Writing as liberatory practice: unlocking knowledge to locate an academic field

Alicja Syska, Carina Buckley

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Research and writing are integral to academic identity; however, professionals identifying as Learning Developers form an international practitioner community with limited expectations for publishing. Inhabiting the liminal space between academic and professional roles, they have only recently begun to develop their own disciplinary scholarship. In this paper, the authors – Learning Developers who have transitioned from discipline-based to LD-based writing – argue that Learning Development (LD) struggles to be perceived as a distinctive academic field because it has not yet sufficiently written itself into existence. They propose a model for writing as liberatory practice that facilitates scholarly conversations and co-creation of an academic field. Through collective autoethnography, the authors build on their own positionality in LD in order to outline a framework for knowledge production, and demonstrate that scholars in emerging disciplines need encouragement and support to unlock their practitioner knowledge and articulate what makes them a unique scholarly field.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2022


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