Constructing employability as higher education practice – a reflective and reflexive account via an examination of my role as Director of the Centre for Excellence for Employability at Sheffield Hallam University, 2005-10

Laughton, David John (2016) Constructing employability as higher education practice – a reflective and reflexive account via an examination of my role as Director of the Centre for Excellence for Employability at Sheffield Hallam University, 2005-10. [Doctorate by Public Works]

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Abstract

The theme of my context statement (CS) is ‘constructing employability as higher education (HE) practice’. The notion of ‘constructing’ is seen as pivotal. In 2005 employability was an emerging agenda in UK HE, one which many universities were deepening their engagement with. It was, however, a contested one, where scholarship and critique was expanding. For many who were sympathetic to the idea that universities should pay more attention to the notion of employability, a question often posed and encountered was: ‘what is it and how do you do it?’ This was the challenge for the Centre for Excellence for Employability (e3i) at Sheffield Hallam University between 2005-10, and for me in my role of Director of the Centre.
In reflecting upon my experiences, and in reviewing my selected public works (PWs), I have found that my actions resulted in the construction of employability as a range of ideas, values, and a set of practices within the context of a specific academic and organisational culture. Employability, via my PWs, is formulated as social and cultural practice within a specific organisational and sectoral context. My roles of academic, educational developer, and Centre Director are explored reflectively and reflexively to re-construct my identity and agency as one of Academic Development Leader.
My understanding is that educational developers and academic leaders in universities operate within the complex spaces and discourses constituted by the values and practices of academics as members of disciplinary subject communities, the processes of institutional strategic management, managerial decision-making and formal governance regimes. My reflection upon my PWs has created both a perspective on how to create and embed employability as a learning experience/learning outcome within a HE context, and also a re-appraisal of my identity and agency as an Academic Development Leader, with associated implications for my ongoing practice.

Item Type: Doctorate by Public Works
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Doctorates by Public Works
Item ID: 19040
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 17:08
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2019 01:14
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/19040

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