Academic identity reconstruction: the transition of engineering academics to engineering education researchers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Studies in Higher Education, 2018, 43 (2), pp. 234 - 250
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Society for Research into Higher Education. The field of research (FoR) that an academic participates in is both a manifestation of, and a contributor to the development of their identity. When an academic changes that FoR the question then arises as to how they reconcile this change with their identity. This paper uses the identity-trajectory framework to analyse the discourse of 19 engineering academics in relation to their educational research. The findings reveal insights into the identity changes experienced in the transition from typical engineering academic to engineering education researcher. Participants’ responses illustrate how various aspects of their research activities contribute to the development of the networking and intellectual strands of their academic identity as engineering education researchers, and the effect of their university environment on this development. Conference participation was found to be an important contributor to progression of the intellectual and networking strands of identity-trajectory for researchers at all stages of development, although for different reasons.
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