Academic staff as ‘transition managers’ in interdisciplinary, international MA education

A Danish case study

in Learning and Teaching
Author:
Hanne TangeAalborg University tange@cgs.aau.dk

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Abstract

The article builds on an empirical study of knowledge practices in international, interdisciplinary MA education, foregrounding the role of academic staff in identifying and explicating academic norms to students recruited from different subject areas and institutions. A central theme is transition, which refers to the state of liminality that postgraduates can experience when new to a discipline, institution and sociocultural context. I argue for lecturers as ‘transition managers’ who may ease students’ transfer into an unfamiliar academic culture. This argument is explored in an analysis of interview data collected from four MA courses, which suggests that lecturers’ transition management involves an awareness of classroom diversity, an acceptance of responsibility for academic socialisation and the development of new pedagogic practices.

Contributor Notes

Hanne Tange (PhD, University of Glasgow, 2001) is Associate Professor of English and Global Studies in the Department of Culture and Global Studies at Aalborg University. Since 2007, she has conducted extensive empirical research on internationalisation processes in Denmark and Britain, using this as the basis for publications which foreground practice change in areas such as language politics, student-staff relationships, curricular contexts, pedagogic strategies and (teacher) perceptions of ‘normal’ and ‘deviant’ learner conduct. She is currently working to bring together key findings in the monograph Teaching Practices in a Globalised Learning Environment (forthcoming). ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9548-5594. Email: tange@cgs.aau.dk

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Learning and Teaching

The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences

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