Theorising professional development in the academy: a conversational approach

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Conference Proceeding
AARE 2005 Creative Dissent: Constructive Solutions, 2005, pp. 1 - 23
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There is increasing recognition of the need to rethink academic professional development, to shift it from industrial-era craft-based approaches to approaches more in tune with the complex, multi-faceted demands of contemporary higher education. We describe and analyse the learning of a group of three academics over a series of six audio taped conversations. Participants appeared to refine, by means of selection over time, the ways they categorised or carved up their world. Our findings suggest the potency of reconceiving professional development generatively, in terms of a biologically based selectionist theory of learning. We discuss the need for follow-up investigations of the extent to which these academics' regenerated ideas inform their professional practice.
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