Gary Poole, Isabeau Iqbal & Roselynn Verwoord (2019) are the winners of the IJAD 2019 Article of the Year Award for ‘Small significant networks as birds of a feather’, International Journal for Academic Development, 24(1), 61-72.

Judges’ Citation
All academic developers should read this paper. It rigorously and empirically pursues and extends the knowledge of previous research, resulting in an article that will have broad appeal to developers across the world and in various contexts, both institutionally and geographically. The study investigates academics’ preference for – and increased valuing of – similarity among conversation partners, which makes it all the more vital at this present moment, given how many of us work in contexts facing significant demands for change to a higher education discourse built on dominant white, male, colonialist perspectives. Clear and compelling implications for developers are made explicit, in particular the need for us to take ‘an active role in creating opportunities for instructors to converse about teaching and [to invite] diverse perspectives’ (p. 69) so as to develop networks that will expose academic teachers to alternative ways of thinking. Academic developers have a key role to play in overcoming barriers to a more equitable higher education system, and this study provides the impetus to intervene more consciously, consistently, and transparently than ever.
The winning article as well as the five other shortlisted articles are available as free downloads until December 2020 at:

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