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’We do not have a writing culture’: exploring the nature of ‘academic drift’ through a study of lecturer perspectives on student writing in a vocational university

Coleman, Lynn and Tuck, Jackie (2019). ’We do not have a writing culture’: exploring the nature of ‘academic drift’ through a study of lecturer perspectives on student writing in a vocational university. Journal of Vocational Education & Training (Early Access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2019.1698645
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Abstract

Vocational universities are increasingly becoming susceptible to pressures associated with the phenomenon known as ‘academic drift’. Yet the specific influence of such pressures is experienced differently at various institutional levels and by different stakeholders in such universities. Exploring lecturers’ understanding and perceptions of student academic writing can make visible the ways in which these pressures are realised, for example, in the types of writing given value and writing pedagogies deemed suitable in the context of the vocational university. In this paper, we report on an ethnographically shaped study exploring lecturers’ writing pedagogies and perceptions of students as academic writers at a South African vocational university. The study analytically illustrated how wider socio-political, regulatory and ideological framings of these universities were implicated in lecturers’ writing practices and pedagogies. The study found that lecturers and students were generally constricted by narrow vocationalist agendas, which reinforced negative conceptions of students as academic writers. Our findings suggest that while the explicit impact of academic drift drivers was minimally felt at the undergraduate diploma level of study in our research site, this appeared to close off the potential for writing to act as a means to facilitate students’ epistemic access to their disciplines.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Vocational Aspect of Education Ltd
ISSN: 1747-5090
Keywords: vocational university; academic drift; student academic writing; writing pedagogies; South Africa
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 68483
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jackie Tuck
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2019 11:09
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2020 05:03
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/68483
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