Exploring worldview and identity in an Institution of Christian Higher Education

Elizabeth Christina Belcher, Graham Bruce Parr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


As numbers of higher education institutions are increasing across the world, policy makers stress the value of Higher Education for ?driving economic growth and social cohesion? (cf. OECD, 2006). The Bologna Process reflects a worldwide tendency toward standardisation in higher education, emphasizing ?shared values and principles? and ?common understandings? (Bologna Policy Forum, 2009). How then does a higher education institution develop and articulate an identity that is distinctive, one that meets the needs of its particular students and academics? The published `worldview? of a Christian Higher Education (CHE) institution can be one way to locate its distinctive identity. Typically, this worldview articulates a set of underpinning theological values or principles in curriculum documents and promotional materials, which are constituted in and influenced by the day to day experiences of groups and individual students and teachers in the institution. This paper reports on a four year study investigating a CHE Institution in Canada, the ways this worldview has evolved over thirty five years, and factors mediating the emergence and experience of this worldview. The study is an institutional ethnographic inquiry into a particular site of Christian Higher Education (Smith, 2005) that seeks to better understand the notion of worldview. It is part of a broader epistemological inquiry into the nature of knowledge, identity and experience in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and Development in Higher Education: Reshaping Higher Education
EditorsK Krause, M Buckridge, C Grimmer, S Purbrick-Illek
Place of PublicationMilperra New South Wales Australia
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Pages40 - 49
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)1441001X
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2011 - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 4 Jul 20117 Jul 2011
Conference number: 34th
https://conference.herdsa.org.au/2011/ (Proceedings)


ConferenceHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2011
Abbreviated titleHERDSA Conference 2011
CityGold Coast
Internet address

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