From anxiety to empowerment: A Learning community of university teachers

Jane MacKenzie, Sheena Bell, Jason Bohan, Andrea Brown, Joanne Burke, Barbara Cogdell, Susan Jamieson, Julie McAdam, Robert McKerlie, Lorna Morrow, Beth Paschke, Paul Rea, Anne Tierney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing numbers of 'teaching-only' staff are being appointed in higher education institutions in the UK. At one research-intensive university, a new category of academic staff was recently introduced: University Teachers, who are required to engage in scholarly activity as part of their conditions of employment. For many this scholarly activity equates to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). In an attempt to support this growing body of staff in their engagement with SoTL, a year-long Learning Community (LC) was formed. This paper outlines the activities of the LC and presents the outcomes of a collaborative project to explore its members' experiences. We describe the developmental process of LC membership and consider the parallels between our findings and theories of social capital and transformative learning. We conclude with a consideration of how LCs might be used as an engaging form of academic staff development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Learning Community
  • Social capital
  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Transformative learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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