Blog 64

Teaching Commons Journal Club – Educational Development as Pink Collar Labor

Celia Popovic and Lisa Endersby, Teaching Commons

The Teaching Commons Journal Club met in May to discuss the paper by Lesley Bernhagen and Emily Gravett: Educational Development as Pink Collar Labor: Implications and Recommendations, published in ‘To Improve the Academy’, 28 January 2017, available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tia2.20053/full

The article raises a possibly contentious argument that educational development, in common with other areas dominated by women, may be undervalued by the scholarly community as a whole simply because of the gendered response.  The authors provide suggestions to counter this tendency, such as reducing the emphasis on the service aspect of our role, instead pointing to the research that we do, our expertise and our regional and national role in influencing the development of teaching and learning in Post-Secondary Education.

The discussion that took place was engaging, particularly since those present were all educational developers but not all were women. As is a common experience at the Journal Club, the subsequent discussion raised issues tangential to the article, which were enriching and engaging. There was a consensus that the authors have identified a potential weakness in the way in which educational development is perceived but not all were convinced by the need to reduce the focus on this work as principally a service to the community. It would have been interesting to hear the views of non-educational developers, to hear whether faculty and staff agree with the perspective of the authors.

Our May meeting wrapped up our Journal Club conversations for the 2016-2017 academic year. We are looking forward to launching our second year of the Journal Club on Monday, September 18th at 2pm in the TC Lounge. Join us for refreshments and an opportunity to discuss reading for professional development. More information about our upcoming meetings as well as an archive of previously discussed articles can be found on the Teaching Commons website: http://teachingcommons.yorku.ca/journal-club/

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