Angela Brew

Position: Professorial Fellow

Telephone: (+61 2) 9850 9273
Location: C3B 421

Web Pages: Biography | Research | Publications | Research Supervision


Current Projects

The nature of research in academic contexts
Angela has pursued a longstanding program of research on the nature of research. This work has established a critical dialogue about the nature of research through an exploration of how research occupies contested space intellectually, socially, politically and psychologically. A funded project established that researchers have fundamentally different understandings of what constitutes research. It was consolidated in the book "The nature of research: inquiry in academic contexts" published in 2001. More recently she worked with Dr Lisa Lucas from the University of Bristol on a project to bring together work on the nature of research that had been published in esoteric and widespread contexts. The idea has been to establish a scholarship of research. This project culminated in the edited book: Academic Research and Researchers.

The relationship between research and teaching 
Angela's work on the relationship between research and teaching first established (with Boud) that learning is a common activity that links research and teaching. She then established that the relationship between teaching and research is dynamic and changes over time as teaching and research change. In her book Research and Teaching : Beyond the Divide she set out a new theoretical framework for understanding how the relationship between research and teaching might be strengthened. This framework is focused around the idea of establishing inclusive scholarly knowledge-building communities.

Undergraduate research and inquiry 
Establishing inclusive scholarly knowledge-building communities implies that students should work alongside academics on the scholarly project of the university. So after working for a number of years to understand the relationship between teaching and research and encourage academics to change their teaching, she has turned her attention to research on engaging undergraduates in various forms of research and inquiry. She worked as an ALTC National Teaching Fellow on a project entitled: Enhancing undergraduate engagement through research and inquiry and is now beginning to research students' experiences of research in the university and academics'  and students' experiences of research experience programs.

Academic formation and identity
Work on how people understand the nature of research has now led to a project (with and David Boud, (UTS)) which is designed to explore how mid-career academics make decisions to focus on research or teaching in research-intensive universities. A survey of Australian academics has been carried out and we are now working with Dr Karin Crawford, The University of Lincoln and Dr Lisa Lucas, Bristol University to implement the survey there. The current project aims to investigate how academics are formed as researchers and as teachers.  Specific objectives are to: 

  1. provide knowledge of what enhances and what inhibits the development of academics as researchers and teachers. 
  2. identify how academics prioritise and balance research and teaching and their perceptions of what influences this.   
  3. examine how academics in different disciplines and universities form researcher and/or  teacher identities.

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