F 2.2 Session: F Parallel Session: 2.2 Research Domain: Reshaping Academic Practice, Work and Cultures David Mills University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom Hidden Histories of University Pedagogy What intellectual traditions and scholarly perspectives can academics draw on when analysing and reflecting on learning and teaching reforms? A focus on the changing nature of academic work risks eclipsing important institutional and pedagogic continuities with the past. I make the case for developing a stronger historical awareness of the development of teaching practices within British universities over the twentieth century. There are three main and overlapping literatures on university pedagogy available to scholars – ideas, resources and conversations promoted within the field of academic ‘development’, the higher education research and practitioner journals, and work on learning and teaching published in disciplinary journals. The practitioner-focused literature in the first field tends to be dominated by normative conceptions of ‘good’ practice and has a utilitarian bent (e.g. Ramsden 2003). Research in the second field of higher education research is discipline bound in its own way, informed by both the paradigms of educational psychology and the methods of phenomenographic research (e.g. Prosser and Trigwell 1999). The third field of disciplinary-specific scholarship on pedagogy is a growing area (such as the SOTL movement in the US described by Huber and Morreale (2001)). However the recognition that there are strong disciplinary contexts to academic practice (Becher 1989) has not always been coupled with an attention to the dynamic and evolving nature of these contexts, or to a comparative analyses of disciplinary pedagogies. In the social sciences and the humanities practitioner research has also tended to be overshadowed by critiques of contemporary higher education policy (e.g. Strathern 2000). What do these three domains share in common? In each the focus is largely ‘presentist’ and tends to be decontextualised from an attention to historical context. Beyond the work of historians of higher education (eg Clark 2006), little attempt has been made to historicise contemporary learning and teaching practices, either within disciplinary and institutional histories or (fast-disappearing) national pedagogic traditions. Myth histories can result. Figures as diverse as Socrates, Newman, Humboldt and Whitehead are invoked as ‘souvenirs’ to legitimate or critique current academic practices, whilst the institutional and historical specificities of university pedagogies and their reforms are often ignored, simplified or mythologised. In this paper I draw on debates over the teaching of social anthropology to make the case for the importance of such ‘hidden histories’ (Mills forthcoming). Giving pedagogies their histories would allow a more nuanced and balanced understanding of change within higher education. Becher, T. (1989). Academic Tribes and Territories. Buckingham, SRHE/Open University Press. Clark, W. (2006). Academic Charisma and the origins of the research university. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Huber, M. T. and S. P. Morreale, Eds. (2001). Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground. Melmont, CA, Carnegie Foundation, in association with the American Association for Higher Education. Mills, D (forthcoming 2008) Difficult Folk: A political history of social anthropology. Oxford: Berghahn Prosser, M. and K. Trigwell (1999). Understanding learning and teaching: The experience in higher education. London, SRHE. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to Teach in Higher Education. Abingdon, RoutledgeFarmer. Strathern, M., Ed. (2000). Audit Cultures: Anthropological studies in accountability, ethics and the academcy. Eupropean Association of Social Anthrppology. London, Routledge.