Narrative explorations into the professional development of lecturers teaching higher education in English further education colleges
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The diversification of settings in which higher education is delivered has resulted in a growing proportion of lecturers entering teaching from professional backgrounds. This is a challenging transition as lecturers are rarely given the space to consider the implications of this move on their identities and practice styles. Writing is recognised as a powerful methodology through which individuals can make sense of experiences and conceptualise them in light of historical, theoretical and social perspectives. In this paper we consider the experiences of 10 college lecturers who used writing to explore this transition as part of a professional development initiative to promote their writing skills. They were providing higher education in further education colleges across South West England. This project ran over two years, involving a year-long professional development intervention and a subsequent evaluation. Over this time the lecturers produced a number of written pieces. We present the different styles and forms of writing used, and how these engaged with their emergent voices and growing sense of legitimacy. We highlight how writing can provide a reflexive medium and assist in the identification of developmental goals, something particularly valuable during professional transitions.
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