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Academic Architectures: Academic Perceptions of Teaching Conditions in an Australian University

Studies in Higher Education Volume 35, Number 4, ISSN 0307-5079


This article reports a case study of academics' perceptions of how the conditions under which they worked, at one campus of a multi-site regional Australian university, influenced their teaching practices. The data comprise transcripts of periodic meetings of a group of seven education academics, as they reflected upon the nature of their teaching practices during the first half of 2008. To understand how the conditions under which they worked were perceived to influence their teaching practices, the study applies the concept of 'practice architectures' to participants' perceptions. The concept of practice architectures frames the social world as comprising interacting socio-political, material-economic and cultural-discursive dimensions, which collectively influence and are influenced by those who constitute any social setting. The study indicates that political, material and cultural pressures for increased use of new teaching technologies were seen as partially responsible for stimulating productive teaching practices. However, political, cultural and material pressures supportive of increased accountability and economic productivity, and of increased student demands and diversity without adequate resourcing, were believed to inhibit more productive teaching practices.


Hardy, I. (2010). Academic Architectures: Academic Perceptions of Teaching Conditions in an Australian University. Studies in Higher Education, 35(4), 391-404. Retrieved February 21, 2020 from .

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