Katrina is a Lecturer in IML and works with academics and general staff in the development of submissions for UTS learning and teaching awards and citations, national teaching awards, and learning and teaching grant applications.
She also supports academics in developing teaching and learning approaches which foster interaction, with a focus on approaches which work well in culturally diverse classes, and approaches which minimise subtle gender discrimination.
Recently, she has contributed to business faculty working parties on internationalization of curriculum, incorporating ethics into curriculum, and the development of interdisciplinary business subjects.
Current research interests include the practice of curriculum change within higher education, and in particular, business and management education. She is also a member of the project team for the OLT Grant 'Student Engagement in university decision-making and governance - towards a more systemically inclusive student voice'.
Prior to her move to the higher education sector, Katrina worked in marketing management in the technology industry. She then moved to the United Arab Emirates where she coordinated an e-business degree program, and taught Marketing Management on the University of Strathclyde’s International MBA. In 2006 she received an ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award for her work in the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai.
Member of the NSW/ACT Office for Learning and Teaching Promoting Excellence Network
Sociology of Higher Education
Higher Education curriculum
Bourdieuan field analysis and reflexive sociology
Critical discourse analysis
Gender and inclusion-minded pedagogy and curriculum
Student Voice in University Leadership and Governance
Professional development for academics
Teaching and learning in quantitative Subjects
Gender and inclusion minded-pedagogy and curriculum
Teaching and learning in culturally diverse classes
Valuing learning and teaching in higher education
Creative learning potential of Touchscreen technologies
McCormack, C, Ambler, T, Martin, B, Waite, KM & Wilson, A 2016, 'Narrative-based evaluation demonstrates the value of a higher education professional learning network.', Studies in Educational Evaluation, vol. 50, pp. 79-87.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Assessing and demonstrating value for money to agencies funding professional learning networks is a universal challenge. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a narrative-based approach to evaluation called story-building that can be employed to complement other more traditional approaches to evaluation. Story-building goes beyond the anecdotal by constructing individual reflective stories, a collective story and a value creation story that are authentic and resonate with stakeholders because they tap into the specific and particular knowledge of practitioners. A key characteristic which sets story-building apart from other approaches is that it collects and collates both individual and collective evidence of a network's impact from different sources. Members of the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory Promoting Excellence Network created and implemented this rigorous approach to evaluation and found story-building to be an effective practice to demonstrate the value and impact of a network.
Kirkup, L, Waite, K, Beames, S, Mears, A, Pizzica, J & Watkins, S 2015, 'National Science Agency – University Collaboration Inspires an Inquiry-Oriented Experiment', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 66-78.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
An initiative involving the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and Australia's premier science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Agency (CSIRO), connects first year students in a large enrolment physics service subject to research of national standing through a co-developed inquiry-oriented experiment. We describe the background to the initiative which we believe to be the first of its kind, how it was piloted, and our findings from the first running of the experiment with enrolled students. The initiative applies a previously published framework for designing and evaluating new and existing experiments with regard to student engagement and learning, laboratory logistics, and scale. Evidence from focus groups, student surveys, and classroom observations indicates that the experiment is regarded by students as: 1) a worthwhile, very valuable or outstanding learning experience; 2) engaging; and 3) benefitting their learning through group discussions. Student feedback during the development phase highlighted issues to be addressed, including allowing students greater time to design and carry out their own investigations, more explicit assistance for students in the use of supporting technology, and better guidance on the assessed component of the experiment.
Waller, DS, Freeman, LM, Hambusch, G, Waite, K, Neil, J & Wray-Bliss, E 2014, 'Embedding Ethics in the Business Curriculum: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach', Journal of Business Ethics Education, vol. 11, pp. 239-260.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In response to recent corporate ethical and financial disasters there has been increased pressure on business schools to improve their teaching of corporate ethics. Accreditation bodies, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), now require member institutions to develop the ethical awareness of business students, either through a dedicated subject or an integrated coverage of ethics across the curriculum. This paper describes an institutional approach to the incorporation of a comprehensive multi-disciplinary ethics framework into the business curriculum. We discuss important implications for the assessment of ethics within institutional assurance practices, and address critical issues related to the support of academics when required to incorporate new ethics material within their subject which may be outside their field of
expertise. As an example, the successful application of the framework within the marketing discipline is presented and discussed.
Kirkup, L, Pizzica, J, Waite, K & Srinivasan, L 2010, 'Realizing a framework for enhancing the laboratory experiences of non-physics majors: from pilot to large-scale implementation', European Journal of Physics, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 1061-1070.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Physics experiments for students not majoring in physics may have little meaning for those students and appear to them unconnected in any way to their majors. This affects student engagement and influences lhe extent to which they regard their experiences in the physics laboratory as positive. We apply a framework for the development and evaluation of experiments for nOllphysics majors, which draws on the perspectives of a range of stakeholders and is designed to bring relevance and context to the fore. We report the application of the framework to a particular experiment over four semesters. The framework assisted in identifying features of laboratory work that often go unrecognized. These include the discord that can exist between the ambitions of the laboratory demonstrators and the expectations of the students; the change in the response of the students to an experiment once it moves from the trial phases to being implemented in classes that comprise several hundred students; and the impact of contextual factors, such as the quality of the laboratory environment.
Waite, KM 2018, 'Bourdieusian reflexivity in insider research in higher education: Considering participants as a critical audience' in Albright, J, Hartman, D & Widin, J (eds), Bourdieu's Field Theory and the Social Sciences, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, pp. 165-180.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Bourdieusian Reflexivity in Insider
Research in Higher Education: Considering
Participants as a Critical Audience
In this chapter, I explore insider research within higher education from
my perspective as a doctoral candidate who also holds a full-time academic
position. I position doctoral education as a subfield of the higher
education academic field and consider the homologies of these fields.
This exploration uses concepts of Bourdieu's 'participant objectivation'
in relation to the social and career trajectories of myself as an insider
doctoral researcher and as an academic and explains how this reflexivity
of my positioning within these fields led to the development of a new
methodological 'gaze' or 'metanoia'. Bourdieu's concept of 'illusio'
or sense of the game within the field is explored as it relates to the parallel
formation of a 'habitus' as an academic and a researcher over time.
The chapter makes reference to Bourdieu's 'socio-analysis' of his representation
of the French higher education field to his peers, and discusses
how this analysis has informed my own research and its representation.
Following Bourdieu's example, this chapter takes a reflexive sociological
analytic approach, to explain how my own positionings within the higher
education field influenced methodological decisions and strategic moves
within the field.
I develop an argument to demonstrate that insider research in the
higher education field is a unique form of insider research and that certain
discourses relating to the practice of doctoral education may be
inappropriate, potentially self-sabotaging, and even wasteful in this context.
The chapter addresses the construction of the object of research
within an insider context and discusses the process which led to the
selection of a new analytical lens.
In this chapter, field analysis is used to analyse my position as a
researcher and work colleague, and the impact of this reflexive analy...
Waite, K. 2011, 'Introduction: your business future' in Nicola Meehan (ed), Integrating Business Perspectives, McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd, Australia, pp. 1-19.
First Chapter in Textbook for new subject Integrating Business Perspectives. This chapter is original work by Katrina Waite, written specifically for the textbook.
Anderson, T & Waite, K 2018, 'Masterclass: Dealing with unconscious bias in the workplace', 2018 Women in Data Science Conference in Sydney, University of Technology Sydney.
This masterclass sheds light on unconscious bias in everyday work practices and provides strategies for subtle disruption of these practices regardless of one's position in the organisation.
Waite, K 2017, 'Biting the hand that feeds us? Problematising the disengagement phase in insider higher education research', Australian Association for Research in Education 2017, Katrina, Canberra.
This paper addresses the 'disengagement' phase (Labaree, 2002) of insider higher education research. Based on my own quasi-ethnographic insider doctoral study, the presentation aims to provoke discussion about the point where the researcher withdraws from the site of the research. For higher education insider research, there may be no withdrawal. The researcher continues to work within the site as a colleague, but as the bearer of new, perhaps critical, knowledge about the field and the colleagues whose practice formed the basis of the research.
This issue has been identified as a problem by a number of methodologists. Researchers may choose not to reveal their findings to participants for fear of creating offence (Mercer, 2007). Pierre Bourdieu, reflecting on his own insider research on the French University system, revealed his angst at the offence his work had caused and the consequent breakdown of collegial friendships. His socio-analysis highlights the emotional impact of objective research on audience members who have a personal relationship with the researcher- reflecting the politics of the insider research field.
There is a wide range of literature on the representation of the voices of participants in ethnographic studies, including Foley, (2002). However, there appears to be little literature which specifically considers insider academics as a critical audience, in a positive and emancipatory fashion.
In this presentation I will outline a critical moment in my doctoral study where my Bourdieusian reflexive methodology inspired a radical change in my analytical and representational approach (Waite, 2017). For the insider higher education researcher, particularly doctoral candidates, this paper will provide suggestions for considering the participants as a critical audience early in the candidature. The presentation specifically critiques the relevance of two doctoral education tropes – 'limited audience' and 'limited impact' - within the insider higher...
Waite, K 2017, 'Disrupting the gendered dystopia: Inclusive strategies for university teaching, learning and curriculum from an ethnographic study', Australian Association for Research in Education 2017, Canberra.
'Dystopia' is a strong word. Yet our ethnographic research shows that 'normal' everyday university teaching, learning, and curriculum is infused with practices that perpetuate gender inequality - even in subjects where there are gender-balanced enrolments. Importantly, these practices tend to be invisible to the participants, both teachers and students. Gender inequality then becomes entrenched in pay gaps from the first graduate job, and despite government policy initiatives, including the reporting requirements of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, progress towards gender equality in the workplace is exceedingly slow.
This presentation will share the ethnographic methodologies used to uncover surprising results which, in turn, led to the design of inclusive, and subtlely disruptive, university teaching strategies. Using Bourdieusian reflexive sociology (2002), we will then discuss the rhetorical challenge of representing these somewhat confronting findings to a variety of audiences - students staff, all genders - in a way which engages the various groups in change.
The construction of 'normal' practices as 'dystopian' is used with rhetorical intent, and we will share case examples where a carefully framed 'dystopian / utopian' arc informed by Levitas (2013) has been effective in engaging both staff and students in activities which disrupt entrenched gendered behaviour. This work is also informed by Haliliuc (2016), who considers the audience reception of rhetoric as an important area of study.
We will introduce Bourdieu's 'Masculine domination' (2002) as a framing device for working in the field of unconscious gender bias, and discuss the relevance of the Harvard Gender Equity Case Study (2013) to the Australian context.
Strategies to change these gendered practices are subject to both internal politics within the university - the prioritized strategic initiatives - and changing political discourses relating to gender equality. We will show how these pol...
Varnham, S, Waite, K, Olliffe, B & Cahill, A 2016, 'Student engagement in university decision-making and governance: How does Australia compare internationally?', Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual conference, Fremantle, Australia.
Waite, K 2015, 'Bourdieusian reflexivity in insider higher education research: Considering participants as a critical audience', COLLOQUIUM ON BOURDIEUSIAN FIELD METHODS AND THEORIES, University of Technology Sydney / University of Newcastle.
Research by academics on their own higher education academic practices has received relatively little coverage within academic research. In fact, it is often counselled against, due to the possibility of personal and ethical conflicts, not only for the during of the study, but extending into future academic careers. However, there are writers who suggest that there is the potential for significant value of further research in this area, due to the unique contextual knowledge available to insider researchers (Brannick & Coghlan, 2013). This chapter discusses methodological and theoretical considerations of an insider study undertaken on the practice of higher education business curriculum change.
Within this study, I held multiple roles, as an academic developer, and as a doctoral researcher, and was aware of the importance of reflexivity around these roles. As a reflexive stimulus – I continually challenged myself with this Bourdieusian quote – 'persons, at their most personal, are essentially the personification of exigencies actually or potentially inscribed in the structure of the field…' (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992). These words continually reminded me to both resist the exigencies that I recognized in my practice of academic work to foster analytical distance, and to question the presence and absences of discourses within the field,/intersecting fields. Through this reflexivity, questions arose over the ethical responsibilities associated with a quasi-ethnographic study with one's colleagues, and the value of the work beyond the award of a doctorate. If the work provided research insights into what could be considered "successful" curriculum change practice, what sort of critical, analytical, and theoretical perspectives would provide meaningful outcomes for the people involved? I therefore discarded many of the commonly used theoretical approaches to bring a new more ideologically inclusive lens to the study of curriculum practice - or at least ...
Varnham, S, Waite, KM, Olliffe, B & Cahill, A 2015, 'Building the argument for more systemic student voice in university governance and decision-making in Australia: Learnings from the UK', Converging Concepts in global Higher Education Research: Local, national and international perspectives, Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Research Conference, Newport, Wales, United Kingdom.
Waite, KM, Anderson, T & Bawa, M 2015, 'Sites of silence in the convergence:Methodologies to place gender on the teaching and learning agenda', Converging Concepts in Global higher Education Research: Local, national and international perspectives, Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Research Conference, Newport, Wales, United Kingdom.
Waite, K 2014, 'Fields within fields: The use of Bourdieuan reflexive sociology to expose sites of silence in the practice of higher education curriculum development', Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Research Conference, Cardiff Wales.
My doctoral study investigates the discourses evident and absent in the practice of business curriculum development in the post Global Financial Crisis context. If, like many scholars, we accept that business curriculum has room for improvement, then how do we determine what needs to be changed by investigating what already exists? Curriculum theory (Pinar, 2012) and research is helpful, but there is limited research on the practice of making curriculum in higher education, and there is an issue of the relevance of theory to the current time and context.
My data includes many texts created in the process of review and reaccreditation of a new undergraduate business degree. Earlier preliminary critical discourse analyses demonstrate the predominance of organisational, financial, and quality discourses (author, 2013). Of course everything that does not appear in the texts is a site of silence, but this is hardly a useful concept. To establish an analysis lens which has the potential to highlight the absence of discourses and practices which are in the realm of the 'adjacent possible' - evident on the fringes of practice, relevant to the higher education field, but not yet mainstream - I have adopted Bourdieu's reflexive sociological approach (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992).
Using this approach, I will demonstrate how my multiple roles as full-time academic, part-time doctoral student and mother of a teenage daughter place me in a number of fields of practice relevant to my research, each of which have their own logic, but also points of intersection. I will discuss critical and serendipitous incidents in these intersecting fields which have helped to develop an analytical mindedness allowing me to justify the exposure of discourses absent within the texts. These include gender and diversity - issues which have concurrently moved into prominence at Harvard Business School, (Kantor, 2013), and the move towards the 'bionic' or technologically enhanced student. (Silva, 201...
Schulte, J & Hohl, M 2014, 'First Year Pracs - What if we had a CHOICE? Creating an authentic workplace experience in a large first year subject', UTS Teaching and Learning Forum 2014, Sydney.
The presentation reports on a pilot project in the practical program of a large first year subject that received direct support by industry and provides student with an authentic learning experience. While the object of the pilot has been very specific, for the purpose of this Forum we will be focusing on two aspects which may be of interest to the larger UTS T&L community and beyond FY practical programs: 1. The process of identifying suitable industry for subject support as well as suitable industry practise for embedding authentic learning experiences, and 2. The design of student engaged learning activities to support content of practicals, subject outcomes and graduate attributes.
Waite, K 2013, 'The curriculum challenge in business schools, post GFC: What, and who really matters?', Enhancement and innovation in higher education conference, Enhancement and innovation in higher education conference, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Glasgow Scotland, pp. 44-53.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In late 2008, just after the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, a large Australian business school embarked on a curriculum renewal process. I was a member of the panel, and the project became the site of my PhD study. My research showed that discourses relating to managerial, business/competitive and global issues are highly evident. What is far less evident is a discussion of the student as a learner, a particular issue with trends in technology creating a new ''species'' of student - a ''singularity'' of human and machine. The paper attempts to demonstrate that higher education curriculum change includes a layered set of discursive practices, and that the topics of these discursive practices are as likely to be the organisation, as about the student experience of curriculum. Challenges and opportunities related to researching the practice of curriculum renewal are raised.
Waite, K. 2013, 'Disrupting big, loud and first: new pedagogies for an inclusive curriculum', Enhancement and innovation in higher education conference, Glasgow Scotland.
This workshop aims to provoke new thinking about the interactions between students in university group activities, and to provide suggestions for alternative approaches which value diverse contributions, and result in improved student satisfaction in group work. This workshop builds on outcomes of a UTS Vice-Chancellor's Teaching and learning Grant - undertaken with Theresa Anderson and Mukti Bawa.
Neil, J.A., Freeman, L.M., Waller, D.S., Hambusch, G. & Waite, K. 2012, 'Developing graduate attributes in ethics: UTS online ethics portal', Proceedings of UTS Teaching & Learning Forum, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Waite, K., Pizzica, J. & Kirkup, L. 2010, 'More than the sum of the parts: Counterintuitive implications from a collaboration between academic developers and physicists', Proceedings of the Annual HERDSA Conference 2010: Reshaping Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc. (HERDSA), Melbourne, NSW, Australia.
Kirkup, L., Pizzica, J., Waite, K. & Srinivasan, L. 2010, 'Revitalising a physics laboratory program for non-physics majors - developing a framework emphasising disciplinary relevance', ISSOTL, Liverpool.
Waite, K. 2009, 'Can we trust students to design their own curriculum, their own criteria and assess themselves? Authentic assessment of a real-world project', Assessment in Different Dimensions, ATN Assessment Conference 2009 / RMIT, Melbourne, pp. 1-9.
Described an authentic assessment approach, and outcomes, undertaken at Dubai Womens' College for Bachelor of e-Business Management students in their final year. Students were given broad direction, developed their own project scope, produced a high profile event, developed 360 degree assessment criteria and undertook peer and self assessment. Included issues of scaffolding, and trust .
Waite, K. 2008, 'Unveiling Aspirations: strategies to enhance graduate employability of Arab women in Dubai', Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference, Rotorua New Zealand.
Arab women in Dubai face unique educational challenges. They are privileged economically, but at the same time often ill-prepared for tertiary education. Students are expected to develop business disciplinary competencies within an English-medium teaching environment, but begin the course with very low levels of English competency. There is a high demand for their skills in the workforce, yet they face significant psychological and ethno-socio-cultural barriers to employment. This showcase outlines the unique educational and social context of female tertiary education and graduate employment in Dubai between 2001 and 2007. During this time the presenter held a curriculum leadership role in the e-Business program at Dubai Womenâs College. There, in partnership with colleagues and the community, innovative strategies were developed which increased program graduate employment from 22% to 96% over a period of 4 years. A major focus was the explicit embedding of learning opportunities designed to develop graduate capabilities / attributes within the curriculum. The presentation discusses innovative strategies used to develop career-enhancing networks both within the institution and within the workplace, which have the potential to be directly transferable to the Australasian context of practice-based learning. A major focus was the explicit embedding of learning opportunities designed to develop graduate capabilities / attributes within the curriculum.
Kirkup, L., Pizzica, J., Waite, K. & Srinivasan, L. 2008, 'A Framework for Developing Enquiry-Oriented Experiments for Non-Physics Majors', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, pp. 135-138.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
NSW/ACT PEI network, 'Building success through network connections: National Symposium of Promoting Excellence Networks', University of New England.
National Symposium for Office for Learning and Teaching Promoting Excellence Network Members
Since 2012, our team has been involved in a teaching and learning research project focusing on issues of gender and inclusion within higher education pedagogy and curriculum. This work has been undertaken in an Australian city university in disciplines which are considered relatively gender- balanced - Business, and Arts and Social Sciences. While there is no apparent difference in academic performance between males and females in these disciplines, Australian research shows that the gender pay gap begins at the point of graduate employment – on average women are paid less - and there is an excruciatingly slow move towards gender equality in management (WGEA 2013). In the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership (2012), only 12 of the top 500 publicly listed companies reported having female CEOs. There is also evidence that women tend to reach certain management positions within organisations – but these positions tend to offer no pathway to the most senior levels of management. These positions have been collectively termed 'the marzipan layer' (The Economist, 2011).
Our concern is that while there is a developing consensus that there are structural issues which affect women in the Australian workplace, these should not exist within the equity conscious environment of the university. Yet we were aware of a number of instances of subtle discriminatory practices, practices which, while not overtly discriminatory, resulted in discriminatory outcomes. As previous work had suggested that these behaviours were occurring outside of conscious recognition of staff and students, and were in fact what is generally considered normal practice, an ethnographic research approach was used. Our research included ethnographic observation of classroom activities, social mapping of mixed gender student groups in public learning spaces, and fabulations and focus groups with student participants. This approach aligns with gender equity research which was undertaken around the sam...
Waite, K & NSW/ACT Promoting Excellence Network 2012, 'Evaluating the Promoting Excellence Networks: Approaches and Challenges'.
Networks established under the Australian Learning and Teaching Council's (ALTC) Promoting Excellence Initiative (PEI) were considered of significant value by the ALTC, and resulted in a commitment to legacy funding for 5 state/territory networks across Australia for 2 years. Although each individual PEI project was evaluated formally, there was no requirement to evaluate networks separately. In the current funding environment, now directly managed by the OLT, these new networks need to be evaluated separately to justify future funding. There is some concern in the current funding context that there is scepticism within government about funding of networks. The Initiative
This poster addresses the challenges of demonstrating the value of network to an outside funding body, when, to many of the network members, the value has been primarily relational. In this initiative, a network member has shared her expertise in formal evaluation processes, developing a highly participatory framework and providing valuable opportunities for professional learning for all network members, in itself a key outcome.
This poster embodies connections. It has been produced collectively through the NSW/ACT Promoting Excellence Initiative, and would not have been produced without those connections. The network created connections between specific people within institutions, and in its new form under the federal government Office of Learning and Teaching is sustaining those peer connections. There are now one or two members from all the NSW/ACT universities in the network, and although there have been staff changes within individual institutions, there continues to be representation in the network from each institution.
This poster is an example of the synergy that is possible from such connections when members share expertise with all members.
The network is now aiming to develop the established connections towards a collaborative research focus, a p...