Inbetweeners: (re)negotiating professional identity in the transition from practitioner to academic

Alison Gates, Tracey Green

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


Quality professional education depends on the recruitment of experienced practitioners to the university to contribute to teaching and research in and around professional education programs. However, for the individuals concerned, the transition from the practice world to academia is not always straight forward. In this paper we report on research to explore the transition from within. Drawing from our experience at CSU, we interviewed staff within the Faculty of Arts to identify obstacles, challenges and opportunities for academic staff across the transition period from practice to academia. We draw from early (first 18months) middle (3'5 years) and experienced (5 years plus) academic staff who have transitioned or are transitioning from the practice world to the academic world. This project is about developing a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of the transition from practitioner to academic. We consider that this is situated in a wider discourse about the professionalisation of the academic workforce. The recent work of Boud and Brew (2012) to reconceptualise academic work as professional practice informs new thinking about how practitioners transition to the academic world. Academics from the practice world often take on important leadership roles within the University, especially as gatekeepers of the relationships between the University and the outside world (including industry, workplaces and accreditation and professional bodies). Understanding their experience of the transition to academia is crucial to successfully recruiting and retaining staff and to providing relevant staff induction and development (Keirnan, 2005).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventPractice-Based Education Summit - Sydney, Australia, Australia
Duration: 10 Apr 201311 Apr 2013


ConferencePractice-Based Education Summit


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