Responding to shifting landscapes: Educational authority and characters of lectureship

Abstract

The paper considers what impact changes in further education structures and cultures have had on lecturers’ professional identities. As traditional sources of authority become increasingly open to contestation, it examines various responses. Based on an eighteen-month ethnographic study in a further education college in the south-west of England, it uncovers shared cultural characterisations of the lecturer, evident in the data. The paper contends that these characters help shape students and lecturers understanding of themselves, each other and the learning encounters they participate in. Four ‘characters of lectureship’ are identified – ‘enforcer’, ‘diplomat’, ‘insider’ and ‘senior buddy’. While some characters seek to reassert more traditional forms of authority, others are open to more democratic, dialogic and authentic manifestations.

Curtis, W. (2010) Responding to shifting landscapes: Educational authority and characters of lectureship. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 3(2). Available at: http://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=515 [Accessed 18 Nov, 2017].