A New Disciplinarity: Communities of Knowledge, Learning and Practice

Parker, Janet (2002). A New Disciplinarity: Communities of Knowledge, Learning and Practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 7(4) pp. 373–386.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/135625102760553883


The welcome new attention paid to subject teaching should have bridged the old divide between pedagogical and disciplinary research. But this paper argues that the focus on subject, rather than disciplinary communities is part of the commodification of higher education; that what is needed to re-energise both teachers and students is an inclusive new model of disciplinary education based on an engaged community's processes and practices.
Each discipline, it is proposed, will model differently its practices, knowledge creation and dissemination, its writing, its community. The model may change received ideas about the focus and central concerns of the discipline, and in modelling disciplinary learning will change teaching and assessment. The model will be discipline specific and, as such, will resist generic and imposed 'skills and outcomes' frameworks. Evolving out of practice, rather than an external agenda, it should link disciplinary and pedagogical research so that they are mutually informing and transforming.

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