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The identity conga line: How diverse lecturers perform the enabling dance
journal contributionposted on 29.07.2021, 23:41 by Katrina JohnstonKatrina Johnston, Gemma MannGemma Mann, Louise A Mullaney, Brijesh KumarBrijesh Kumar
Enabling educators occupy a somewhat ambiguous space on the fringes of higher education, as they help students prepare for university study. To explore the implications of this role, four enabling educators from diverse backgrounds wrote reflections about what it means to be an enabling educator at CQUniversity in Queensland, Australia, and how this role fitted or conflicted with their other ‘identities’. These reflective pieces were then collectively analysed for themes and connections. Two main themes emerged: the highly student-focussed approach of each educator and the impact of time-pressures. Within the first theme it was found that each of the authors sought to help their students by ‘going the extra mile’. To be more student-focused, the authors maintained more flexible contact hours; and while this had the positive effect of helping students, it had a negative effect on the educators in that it conflicted with their family time. The pressures on time were also created by the multiple roles that each author had to take on while working as an enabling educator. However, as the paper shows, the common desire to help students should be tempered so that educators achieve balance with their other identities.