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Coming to know in higher education: theorising faculty entry to new work contexts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2000
<mark>Journal</mark>Higher Education Research and Development
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)27-42
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This research contributes to practice in the induction of faculty staff entering new work contexts and identifies theories that are worth further testing. Lightly structured interviews with 24 new entrants to the academic profession were complemented by re-analysis of transcripts from another interview study with 50 faculty members and by appraisal of data from three North American studies. The account of the processes of socialisation into academic life that was developed from repeated analysis of these data sets leads to some propositions about better induction. As the emerging account was repeatedly tested by appraising it for goodness of fit with the data, it was found that activity system theory and the idea of communities of practice contributed to a fuller and more coherent position. Consequently, it is argued that there is value in treating these two notions as heuristics that can evoke fresh understandings of higher education practices.