Academic identities in contemporary higher education: Sustaining identities that value teaching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper investigates how academics in the current global higher education system - which often prioritises particular metric proxies for research activity and income generation over rich conceptualisation of teaching - can sustain identities that encompass deep care for students’ learning and positive values in relation to teaching. This is a significant area that has been little researched, particularly with experienced academics in mainstream roles in research-intensive universities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve experienced academics in a research-intensive university. A thematic narrative analysis illustrated important ways in which it can be possible to maintain academic identities that encompassed deep care for teaching. The ways in which narrative processes are significant for identity development which underpins deep care for teaching and strong values in relation to teaching are drawn out. The interplay over time of tensions and synergies between different facets of participants’ identities were shown to be important for maintaining strong teacher identities. Implications for how identities focused on transformative teaching can be prioritised in institutions are explored in relation to the institutional changes and reflexive processes which would be required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Early online date3 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • academic identities
  • student learning
  • teaching
  • higher education


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