Academic Practice Network
Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH11 4AS
21ST November 2008, 11.00am-3.00pm
Policy Discourse and Local Enactments
Sue Clegg (Leeds Metropolitan University), Karen Smith (Heriot-Watt University) and Joelle Fanghanel (City University, London)
We work in an environment where academic practice has become an object of policy. Drives to ensure and assess quality have led to the scripting of numerous institutional policies relating to academic practice (for example: learning and teaching, assessment; plagiarism; research-teaching linkages; information literacy etc). Despite their prevalence, little research has been done into how these policies are developed, what messages they portray, and how those messages are reconstructed and enacted by academic staff. In this Academic Practice Network Meeting, three studies are presented which take as their focus a deepening understanding of the discourse of policy and how this policy is played out in practice. Using learning and teaching strategies as the case policy, Sue Clegg will discuss research on what staff expect and desire from learning and teaching strategies; Karen Smith will present an analysis of what and how strategy speaks to its readers; and Joelle Fanghanel will take a close look at how readers interpret and position themselves towards these texts. The session aims to provoke questions about how we ‘do’ policy and the kinds of research necessary to understand the process better. The event will be of interest to staff involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of academic practice-related policy.