This chapter considers the development of construction and engineering education that historically chartered an increasingly decoupled trajectory from being practical in nature, to include progressively more theoretical instruction. Indeed, over the last half century, construction and engineering education has become increasingly theoretical, and is now arguably delivered by academic staff with little practical experience of the discipline. This could be detrimental to those learning an inherently vocational subject, and perhaps understandably, calls to recouple theory and practice have recently gained traction, through vehicles such as Higher Education Apprenticeships. Whilst largely seen as positive, such recoupling may potentially create problems for the current staff base that are often characterised as ‘career academics’ with often limited ‘real world’ experience. Conversely, academics with industrial experience (or pracademics) are arguably better equipped to bridge theory and practice. Yet, ‘pracademics’ frequently feel an insecurity of identity associated with ‘imposter syndrome’ in a research-dominated Higher Education (HE) context. However, rather than being imposters, we argue ‘pracademics’ have a lineage going back centuries. We highlight the important role that pracademics play in bridging theory and practice and allude to their importance in achieving high quality, contextualised student focused experiential learning that is set to be an increasingly important aspect of HE provision.
|Title of host publication||Professional Development for Practitioners in Academia|
|Subtitle of host publication||Pracademia|
|Editors||Jill Dickinson, Teri-Lisa Griffiths|
|Number of pages||17|
|ISBN (Print)||9783031337451, 9783031337482|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2023|
|Name||Knowledge Studies in Higher Education|