I’ve storified tweets from the annual conference for the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Melbourne, 8 July 2015:
I was able to vicariously enjoy the conference via Twitter – you can view a Storified version of the tweets as a slide show below:
The excellent people at Deakin University were pleased when I received an award from the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at their recent annual conference held in Quebec City, Canada (ISSOTL14). The award was for best oral presentation by a post-graduate student, and I appreciate receiving it, given I was presenting my research to a new audience of interdisciplinary scholars. It is always an unknown quantity when one travels to another country and presents in front of an international audience who are unlikely to be familiar with your work or the peculiarities of your discipline. I am heartened by the warmth and friendliness of people at overseas conferences, particularly the Association of Law Teachers annual conference in Leeds, England, earlier this year, and ISSOTL14. Thanks to Dr Michael McShane, who alerted me to ISSOTL14 and prompted me to submit an abstract for the conference.
Thanks also to my supervisor, Dr Julianne Lynch, who is supportive in that rare constructively confronting way essential to great academic supervision – Juli prompted the Deakin Research group to spread news of the award – their research writer Claire Whiteley interviewed me and wrote a nice item, published in the Geelong Advertiser (the local news) and reproduced on Deakin’s Research Showcase website. Scholarship of teaching and learning in practical legal training is a bit of a niche topic – so it is good to see it get a public outing.
I’ve been kept busy with travel from Melbourne to Quebec City and attending the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning annual conference. Quebec City is lovely and people here are very friendly – if you haven’t visited I encourage you to do so.
Here’s a copy of my presentation for the conference. I am on tomorrow morning (Saturday 25 October) at 9.00 a.m., so wish me luck! I will post a bit more information about the presentation in the next few days.
I’m looking forward to attending the annual conference held by the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Quebec City, 22-25 October 2014.
I will be presenting a paper, however the main purpose in making this trip is to get an up close look at the current interdisciplinary work around SoTL.
My paper focuses onpractitioner as a still-emergent professional trajectory in law. Institutional has been around in Australia since the 1970s, but is still novel in the arc of the English common law tradition. There are some interesting epistemological challenges and opportunities for practitioners and providers around “what counts” in teaching and learning.
Feel free to view my ALTA 2014 Prezi.
This presentation extends on some previous work around my PhD research.
I question ways in which social structures are inscribed into legal education practices, and conversely, whether practices can modify those structures. I argue practitioners are not simply soldiers for a “vocationalist” strategy. Instead, I re-imagine practitioners as “double agents” or “resistance fighters”, lamplighters in a still emergent professional trajectory. It is a trajectory catalysed by the 1970s introduction of institutional ; just a baby really, in the context of English common law.
In Bourdieu’s terms it is possible, by revisiting past struggles in Australian legal education, to conceptualise institutionalas the product of judicial, professional, and academic struggles to produce a vocationalised, non-academic, and critique-free sub-field within the juridical field. Those struggles succeeded, to some extent, in the extra-individual dimension of structures, regulation, and institutions, to collectively inculcate preferred dispositions within individuals about legal education and professional identity.
That account, however, ignores the potential for agency and alterity – the ways in which individuals might appropriate, in Certeau’s terms, the resources of the legal field to explore new professional trajectories. For some, these trajectories involve struggles to enrich, and add texture to, legal education. Drawing on interviews withpractitioners, I identify multi-vocal and multi-perspectival themes, including notions of social justice, equality, professional ethics, personal improvement, and indeed, interest in scholarship of teaching and learning.
It is in this sense I re-imaginepractitioners as “double agents”, operating betwixt and between dominant domains in law. In my view, practitioners can participate in conceptualising and developing emergent approaches in legal education, and to theorise “practice” as lawyers and educators. Scholarship of teaching and learning has its part to play in this. It provides a means, as lawyers and as educators, to discover information, to reflect, critique, communicate, and conceptualise, insights about “practice” and practices.
I hope to publish an article based on the presentation later this year.