Skip to main content

Please note: this event has passed


‘I’m looking forward to the lecture. That’s weird, isn’t it?’: Identities, in/visibilities, and perceptions of teaching value(s) in a research-intensive STEMMB UK university

This online talk by Dr Jessica Wren Butler reflects on the value and devaluing of teaching in higher education. While the central business of universities is generally understood as combining both teaching and research, there is a prevalent perception from those working in higher education that research takes priority.

Teaching, and those who conduct it, are often seen as institutionally undervalued – highly visible to students, but absent from traditionally research-orientated measures of success and excellence. Consequently, the enjoyment of teaching practice or pursuit of a teaching-focused career may be self-consciously reappropriated as ‘weird’.

This seminar draws on 30 semi-structured interviews with teaching-responsible staff to consider the relationships between participants’ identities, the in/visibilities of the ‘teacher’ role, and perceptions of teaching. What tensions may arise from calls to increase the value ascribed to pedagogy when its relative lack of status and distance from the ‘competitive’, highly-metricised arena of research also constitutes part of its appeal?

Speaker Info: Dr Jessica Wren Butler (co-authors Dr Jo Horsburgh, Kate Ippolito) of Imperial College London is an interdisciplinary qualitative researcher working across the fields of gender studies, cultural sociology, and educational research. Her interests constellate around unbelonging, ideals and imaginaries, and group cultures.