We’ve recently been reading this paper by David Boud and Angela Brew, in which the authors argue for a reconceptualising of academic development:

Boud, D. and Brew, A. (2013) Reconceptualising academic work as professional practice: implications for academic development. IJAD 18:3. 208-221.


Boud and Brew consider academic development work in a broad sense and argue for a movement  away from the ‘development’ of individuals and the isolation of teachers  into PGCert courses and workshops. Instead, drawing on ‘practice theory’, they suggest that we view academic development as more of a ‘practice’ of the whole university. The  thrust of the piece is to refocus the discussion about academic development to be one about cultures and practices rather than about individuals gaining skills or techniques outside the context of their own sites of practice.

The text also raises questions about what is meant by ‘location’ and it describes a number of possibilities: spatial, temporal, personal, social and professional location. We are drawing on these ideas of location in our interviews and survey.

This work also prompts me to think that  that we mustn’t lose sight of what we imagine  ‘academic development’ to be and how it is conceptualised by practitioners and the wider academic community.