Mrs Mop, Mechanic and /or Miracle Worker : Metaphors of Study Support
It is important to document and reflect on the work we do, to share knowledge and practices and to build up a series of case studies around our work. As study support tutors we are part of the academy, not separate from it, and we need to reflect on our own relationships within our own community and the institution we work in.As members of the ALDinHE we are a specific academic discourse community who create themselves through talk, formal and informal; through shared use of metaphor as well as practices. (Blythman & Orr 2006:1) In this paper we explore our own roles within the university , how we see ourselves and how we are perceived by others .Increasingly we see our role as one of not only supporting students when writing or talking about their work but also helping to provide some of the expected cultural capital (Bourdieu 1997) which large numbers of students may not have the same access to as traditional students. Through sharing our own perceptions in a workshop at the last ALD in HE conference we encouraged debate and reflection around metaphors to describe the work we do. We are interested to continue this discussion with more staff in our future exploration of metaphors of study support to develop a sharper, more refined perspective on the work we do with the students and staff across the various institutions we work in.
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