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Hunt the shadow not the substance: the rise of the career academic in construction education

Tennant, Stuart; Murray, Mike; Forster, Alan; Pilcher, Nick


Stuart Tennant

Mike Murray

Alan Forster


Construction education is context-laden, navigating and reflecting the byzantine influences of period, place and person. Despite considerable rhetoric, in UK higher education (HE) and construction studies in particular the importance of contextualized teaching is being devalued. Over the past decade a growing number of new teaching staff to university lecturing has limited or no industrial experience of the construction sector. This paper explores the rise of the career academic in construction education and implications for teaching standards and student learning. Whilst career academics exhibit research skills and afford funding possibilities that universities find appealing, pedagogical studies suggest that experience-led, contextualized teaching offer students enhanced educational value. Policy-making and pedagogical strategies that continue to value research at the expense of teaching excellence coupled with recruitment of career academics as opposed to industry professionals present new challenges for construction education, teaching and student learning.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Aug 12, 2015
Publication Date 2015-10
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 13, 2017
Print ISSN 1356-2517
Electronic ISSN 1470-1294
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 7
Pages 723-737
Keywords Teaching; research; career academic; construction education;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jul 21, 2015