Teaching academics in higher education: resisting teaching at the expense of research

Bev Rogers, Katharine Swain

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The experiences of academics caught up in the rise of teaching academic (TA) (teaching-only) roles in Australia, the UK, the USA, and Canada, are not well documented in the literature. This paper describes a recent university restructure that resulted in a significant increase in teaching-only positions being created. Despite the claims by the university that teaching-only roles demonstrate excellence and innovation in teaching, the actual experiences of TA in the last few years have highlighted a common finding of “the perceived low value of the TA role and confusion about what the role entails” (Bennett et al., 75:271–286, 2018, p. 271). We use a more local conception of regime of truth as a tool (Gore, 1993) for reflecting on possibilities for resistance and re-imagining how we might think about ourselves beyond ‘second tier’. By understanding that a reconceptualisation of ourselves is simultaneously within a given regime but also outside of it, allowing for reading the regime and thinking about the production of that regime in ways that open up possibilities for creating a space for talking and sharing both research and teaching, which is also within the ‘cultural web’ of the university.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
Early online date4 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2021


  • Academic workforce
  • Higher education
  • Subjectivation
  • Teaching academics
  • Truth regime


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