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Thursday, June 18 • 3:45pm - 4:15pm
CON08.02 - Contextualized academic development: Facilitating change in teaching and learning practices

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“If we are to move forward with a more holistic academic development practice, … an approach that … respects the expertise and experience of our disciplinary colleagues” is critical (Wuetherick and Ewert-Bauer, 2012). So concluded a paper in a recent 2012 special issue of the International Journal for Academic Development that used postcolonial metaphors to explore the ‘decolonization’ of academic development. What does this mean for academic development practices and the institutional positioning of academic development centres? What does it mean for the day-to-day practices of academic developers in those Centres who are positioned in the ‘margins’ between academic disciplines and central administration (Little and Green, 2012)?_x000D_ This presentation, building on two parallel mixed methods studies of academic developers (on the one hand) and faculty (on the other), seeks to unpack issues related to both the strategic positioning of academic development centres and individual academic development practices that are historically affirming, culturally not alienating, philosophically localized, linguistically inclusive, epistemically and epistempologically validating, and developmentally sensitive and responsive (Wuetherick and Ewert-Bauer, 2012). In particular, this research presentation explores how a more holistic and contextualized academic development practice, at both the individual academic developer and the Centre level, might help address the challenges associated with the gap between the growing literature that explores 'evidence-based' teaching and learning practices in higher education and the reality that many of our disciplinary colleagues still have not begun adopting these 'evidence-based' practices. The presentation also will focus on exploring how one particular model of change, the transtheoretical model of the stages of change, might inform academic development practice to facilitate change in teaching and learning practices in higher education (Hazelton, Murphy and Lightfoot, 2014; Randhawa, 2012).


Wuetherick and Ewert-Bauer (2012). “Perceptions of Neutrality through a Post-Colonial Lens: Institutional Positioning in Canadian Academic Development,” International Journal for Academic Development. 17 (3), 217-229.

Little D., and Green D. (2012). Betwixt and between: Academic developers in the margins, International Journal for Academic Development, 17 (3), 203-216.

Hazelton L., Murphy C., and Lightfoot, K. (2014). Remediation Practices in Canadian Psychiatry Clerkships. Academic Psychiatry, 38, p. 350-353.

Randhawa S. (2012). . The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 43 (4), 148-149.

avatar for Brad Wuetherick

Brad Wuetherick

Executive Director, Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University
Brad Wuetherick is the Executive Director, Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie University, and is an active researcher in teaching and learning in higher education in areas including undergraduate research, educational development, SOTL, facilitating change in teaching and learning... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 3:45pm - 4:15pm PDT
Bayshore Salon D

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