Emma Medland

“Messy and Precise”

Peculiarities and Parallels between the Performing Arts and Higher Education


Emma Medland, Alison James and Niall Bailey

Pedagogical Peculiarities

Conversations at the Edge of University Teaching and Learning


Edited by Emma Medland, Richard Watermeyer, Anesa Hosein, Ian M. Kinchin and Simon Lygo-Baker

Pedagogical Peculiarities: Conversations at the Edge of University Teaching and Learning explores the peculiarities characterising university teaching cultures through a consideration of the implications, tensions and impacts associated with academic development in higher education. This is achieved through a series of deliberative dialogues, involving experts in pedagogy and academics working within specific disciplinary and institutional contexts.

The chapters provide an important and currently missing critique of the peculiarity of teaching practice and the idealisation of teaching excellence in higher education. As a result, the volume’s major contribution lies in the advancement of a unique discourse of pedagogy in higher education, comprised of multiple contexts.
Ultimately Pedagogical Peculiarities’ distinctiveness lies in its articulation of different pedagogical identities. These emanate from, and are characterised by different teaching and learning environments, across different institutions and sectors. This, in turn, serves to illuminate the current contexts and challenges across higher education as they relate and respond to ideology, values, policy and changes in the organisation of the sector. In essence, Pedagogical Peculiarities explores what it means to be a contemporary academic.

Pedagogical Peculiarities is a thoroughly engaging book about the complexities of teaching in higher education today. The contributors reject the mantras of best practice and the market in putting together a stimulating series of reflections on what it really means to manage the challenges of working in the modern university.”— Bruce Macfarlane, University of Southampton
“At a time when metrics are in the ascendency, this book provides a welcome interjection, offering a collection of unhurried and theoretically-rich narrative accounts that explore the distinctiveness of higher education pedagogy. Focusing on often overlooked areas of the academy such as veterinary medicine, performing arts or the ‘small discipline’ of medical physics, we gain access to a richer understanding of university teaching and teachers that is both intriguing and provocative.”— Saranne Weller, London South Bank University

“The book’s methodology, which includes dialogue, interview, case study, illustrations, and narrative, is a welcomed variation from resources written in prose. The cultural differencesbetween a U.S.-based reviewer and a primarily U.K.-based text were apparent, but were easily clarified. Overall, this text raises important pedagogical issues for university deans, chairs, and academic development administrators. It also spurs conversations for current or aspiring academics who are rethinking their identity as teacher-scholars amidst shifting needs in higher education.” – Reflective Teaching, 2018