n South African Journal of Higher Education - 'Learning is accompanied by pain' : eliciting personal perspectives on professional roles : the practice of higher education




This paper is based on the notion that how we think and act is governed by theories that we construe, often unconsciously, to explain what we do and why. Most research on beliefs and conceptualisations about teaching and learning in higher education focuses on academic staff. Little has been written about what developers of academic staff say about their own values, beliefs and understandings of their role. This is a report on the first phase of a study undertaken within the Bureau for Learning Development at the University of South Africa. Though limited by the unstableness of personal conceptualisations, and the singularity of the study, the paper highlights some of the issues raised about professional identity.


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