Title

Authenticity in academic development: the myth of neutrality

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 9-2012

Publication Source

Inernational Journal of Academic Development

Volume

17

Issue

3

Inclusive pages

231-242

Publisher

Routledge

Place of Publication

London

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Academic developers are often positioned as intermediaries who wield valueneutral

tools – languages, models, and techniques – in service of decidedly nonneutral

institutional goals. We challenge the value of perpetuating the ideal of

the neutrality of academic developers and their tools by examining the ways in

which our resources and approaches produce imbalances of control, power, and

authority in a consulting relationship. We suggest that the values embedded

within the practices of academic development lead developers, and the people

they help, to act inauthentically. By recognizing the improbability of neutrality

in academic development work, the authors seek to open the way to constructive

reflection, intentional practice, and ethical consulting choices.

Keywords

academic development; authenticity; consultation; higher education; neutrality

Disciplines

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education Administration | Higher Education and Teaching