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An Exploration of Practice Surrounding Student Writing in the Disciplines in UK Higher Education from the Perspectives of Academic Teachers

Tuck, Jacquelyn (2013). An Exploration of Practice Surrounding Student Writing in the Disciplines in UK Higher Education from the Perspectives of Academic Teachers. PhD thesis The Open University.

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This thesis aims to contribute to our understanding of academic literacies in the UK context by exploring the practices of subject-based academic teachers around student writing through the lens of teachers’ experiences. Empirical work has yielded a great deal of insight in recent years into students’ experience of writing in higher education; less attention has been paid to student writing from the perspective of discipline-based teachers. This thesis aims to explore the complex lived realities of practice around student writing in the disciplines from teachers’ perspectives.

The research on which the thesis is based involved a study of fourteen academics, teaching different subjects in six diverse UK universities, occupying a range of institutional roles. The study used an ethnographically informed methodology to explore individuals’ practice as situated within specific disciplinary and institutional contexts. Multiple sources of data were combined to develop a ‘rich picture’ of practice organised around individual case studies.

In keeping with an ‘academic literacies’ approach, the thesis asks questions about how participants’ everyday practices around student writing are bound up with and/or contest institutional practices; how their work with student writers connects with issues of identity, visibility and status, and with broader questions about the nature of contemporary higher education in the UK. Data analysis points to the ways in which established understandings of language in the academy filter into the everyday practices of academic teachers, and to the shaping of these practices in contemporary institutional contexts in a marketised higher education system. The thesis contributes to our understanding of a familiar and taken-for-granted aspect of academic life, and throws light on participants’ efforts to reach beyond routine practices and carve out hospitable spaces for work with student writing. Finally, the thesis suggests some implications for academic teachers and developers and their institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: 2013 Jackie Tuck
Keywords: student writing; higher education pedagogy; academic literacies; academic teachers
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Research Group: Language & Literacies
Item ID: 39206
Depositing User: Jackie Tuck
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 09:17
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2019 06:28
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