Publication Details

Percy, A. & Stirling, J. (2005). Representation for (re)invention. Critiquing and reflecting: LAS profession and practice, Australian National University Press, Canberra, ACT, 141-154.


In her plenary address to the 2001 Australian Language and Academic Skills Conference, Carolyn Webb (2002, p. 7) suggested that in comparison to other educational developers in the university context, Language and Academic Skills (LAS) practitioners had been less strategic in addressing their identity and practice ‘to secure their place in the landscape of university work, [and] to reinvent themselves for securing future places’. She concluded with the suggestion that LAS practitioners might wish to see themselves as ‘facilitators of organisational learning’ (Webb, 2002, p. 17). Both of these points will be addressed in the following discussion. This paper argues that models of practice can be understood as powerful signifi ers around which learning advisers are able to (re)invent themselves in response to institutional agendas. The point is illustrated through a refl ection and critique of a shift in representation of Learning Development practice at the University of Wollongong, with the most recent representational model attempting to capture the notion of the LAS practitioner’s role as making a signifi cant contribution to organisational learning as it relates to the quality enhancement of student learning in general. The refl ective process in this paper is informed by the quality imperative currently in circulation at the University of Wollongong: that is, to plan, act, review and improve.