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The recontextualisation of architecture and accounting education: Views from the academy and the professions

This thesis reports on a study of the relationship between practice and higher education. It examines the nature of architecture and accounting professional disciplinary knowledge following the recontextualisation and shift of professional learning into higher education in New Zealand. This study set out to examine how and in what way architecture and accounting knowledge and professional identity are shaped by education policy, professional practice, and other contextual influences. In part, it was prompted by a paucity of research on the effects of recontextualisation on the construction of professional disciplinary knowledge, practitioners and academics, and the framing of curriculum content in New Zealand. Participant data for this study were collected through one-to-one interviews with practitioners and focus groups with academics. This enabled in-depth accounts of the cases of architecture and accounting together through the lenses of a range of individuals. Analysis of participant data revealed convergence across the cases of architecture and accounting, particularly in relation to how professions engaged with higher education. The recontextualisation of professional learning into the academy was identified by participants as having created issues of authenticity, autonomy and surveillance. As a result, new practitioners were viewed as struggling to develop skills, behaviours and dispositions expected of practising professionals. Critical factors were the lack of authentic practice within curriculum, and professional learning taking place in risk-averse, highly regulated contexts as mandated by the state. Professional degree designers and teachers struggled to adequately prepare practitioners for relational aspects of practice, and did not appear to easily foster classical notions of professional identity, namely expertise, altruism and autonomy. A critical analysis of documents that shape and otherwise have a bearing on professional learning, practice and professional identity revealed discursive effects of neoliberal education policy and a preoccupation with measurability, surveillance and employability. There are a number of implications for both practice and higher education that can be drawn from this study. At stake is the nature of professional disciplinary knowledge and the development of professionals as autonomous experts practising in New Zealand society. Recommendations are made that point to changes that might enhance professional education programmes within higher education and that call for imagination, criticality and a re-positioning by the state and the professions. To what extent this can occur within the national and global context is the challenge that is presented. A number of future research opportunities are identified. Investigation could continue by examining architecture and accounting knowledge, curriculum and pedagogy in more detail. This study could be replicated to consider other recently recontextualised professional programmes and understand the influences being brought to bear. This study, then, adds to research that considers the legitimacy, power and nature of professional disciplinary knowledge, the discursive effects of a mediated, neoliberal education agenda, and relationships between the academy, practice and society.  
Type of thesis
Blickem, C. J. (2014). The recontextualisation of architecture and accounting education: Views from the academy and the professions (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8973
University of Waikato
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