Non-specialism and shifting academic identities: A sign of the times?

Samuel Elkington, Lesley Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper focuses upon the largely under-recognised, under-researched world of non-specialist teaching in Higher Education (HE). Three categories of non-specialist teaching were devised from findings from a qualitative study aimed at exploring the reality of non-specialist teaching at two UK HE institutions. The implicit expectation of teaching as a non-specialist was perceived by staff as a consequence of broader, sector-wide changes in the role of the contemporary academic. Whilst clearly recognised as an implicit expectation of the lecturer role, non-specialist teaching was found to be a cause for tension in how lecturers perceived themselves as HE professionals and their academic identity. The need to recognise implications of non-specialist teaching in terms of support structures was a key conclusion and paramount in order to enable staff to manage tensions and conflicts arising from their increasingly fragmented and multifaceted work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2012

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