The invisible academics

Karen Elizabeth Mate, Judith Weidenhofer, Josephine Smith, Zoe Yates, Suzanne Evans

Abstract


Education focused academics are not considered to be “teaching only” but also do not fit the traditional “research and teaching” classification, falling somewhere in between with a typical workload of 80% teaching and 20% research. There is a lack of reliable data on the numbers and demographics of education focused academics in Australian universities; our own experience suggests a majority are female and clustered in lower level academic positions that may be fixed term. Education focused academics take on a disproportionately high teaching load, often coordinating large first year service-taught courses, mentoring casual teaching staff and acting as facilitators of student engagement. Career pathways are not well defined, and promotion beyond senior lecturer level is hampered by a lack of relevant and specific performance and promotion guidelines. The research role of education focused academics is not well supported particularly in the area of scholarship of teaching and learning, which can be seen as inferior to discipline-based research.

Keywords


education focused academic, performance expectation, scholarship of teaching and learning

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