Changing the meanings that emerge in practice, for the better, through humour: How I changed plagiarism from the suppository of good scholarship to the condom of good scholarship and lived happily ever after


In this paper, using core concepts from personal pedagogy, reflective practice and cognitive theory as a theoretical base, I examine the energising effect of humour and its contribution to my development of new and useful meanings for what was otherwise a tired and tiring practice problem: the teaching of in-text referencing to undergraduate Business students.

The major contribution of this paper to theory is that it acknowledges the impact of cognitive depletion on reflective practice and posits the use of humour as a partial remedy to this problem. The paper also contributes to practice by re-inventing the use of metaphor as a reflective practice strategy and, perhaps most importantly, by giving academics permission to bring some much needed, energising irreverence and joy to their work.


Bernadette Lynch
Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia


Anderson, G. (2006) Carving out time and space in the managerial university. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 19(5), 578-592 .

Argyris, C. & Schön, D. (1974) Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass .

Baumeister, R. F. (2003) Ego depletion and self-regulation failure: A resource model of self-control. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(2), 281-284 .

Berk, R. (1996) Student ratings of 10 strategies for using humor in college teaching. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 3(3), 71-92 .

Brimble, M., & Stevenson-Clarke, P. (2005) Perceptions of the prevalence and seriousness of academic dishonesty in Australian universities. Australian Educational Researcher, 32(3), 19-44 .

Brookfield S. D. (1987) Developing critical thinkers: Challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting. Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press .

Brookfield S. D. (1995) Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass .

Clandinin, J., & Connelly, M. (1998) Stories to live by: Narrative understandings of School Reform. Curriculum Inquiry, 28(2), 149-164 .

Constanti, P, & Gibbs, P. (2004) Higher education teachers and emotional labour. International Journal of Educational Management, 18(4), 243-249 .

Davis, M. (2003) Barriers to reflective practice: The changing nature of higher education [Electronic Version]. .Active Learning in Higher Education, 4(3), 423- 255 .

Ferry, N. M., & Ross-Gordon, J. M. (1998) An enquiry into Schön's epistemology of practice: Exploring links between experience and reflective practice. Adult Education Quarterly, 48(2), 98-112 .

Fredrickson, B. (1998) What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 300-319 .

Gilbert, D. (1991) How mental systems believe. American Psychologist, 46(2), 107-119 .

Gioia, D. A. (1986) Symbols, scripts and sensemaking: Creating meaning in organizational experience. In H. R. Sims, D. A. Gioia, & Associates (Eds.), The thinking organization: Dynamics of organizational social cognition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass .

Hasen, M., & Huppert, M. Y. (2005) The trail of Damocles: An investigation into the incidence of plagiarism at an Australian university. In Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education Cairns focus conference 2005. Retrieved June 25, 2007, from

Jenkins, E. (2007) Using cooperative inquiry and clinical supervision to improve practice. British Journal of Community Nursing, 12(2), 63-69 .

Kane, R., Sandretto, S., & Heath, C. (2004) An investigation into excellent tertiary teaching: Emphasising reflective practice. Higher Education, 47, 283-310 .

Kuit, J. A., Reay, G., & Freeman, R. (2001) Experiences in reflective teaching. Active Learning in Higher Education, 2(2), 128-142 .

Kuratko, D. F., & Hodgetts, R. M. (2007) Entrepreneurship theory process practice (7th ed.) Western Australia: Thomson Southern .

Lawrence, J. (2005) Addressing diversity in higher education: Two models for facilitating student engagement and mastery. HERDSA, 243-252 .

Loughran, J. J. (2002) Effective reflective practice: In search of meaning in learning about teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(1), 33-43 .

Mancuso, R. (2005, May 25) Queensland's 'Dr Death' linked to 80 deaths. The Age. Retrieved August 7, 2007, from deaths/2005/05/24/1116700709781.html

Miller, C., East, K., Fitzgerald, L. M., Heston, M. L., & Veenstra, T. B. (2002) Visions of self in the act of teaching: Using personal metaphors in a collaborative study of teaching practices. The Journal of Natural Inquiry & Reflective Practice, 16(3), 81- 93 .

Ojenen, S. (1996) Analyzing and evaluating student teachers' developmental processes from point of self-study (Report) Retrieved May 21, 2007, from the ERIC database .

Robbins, S., Millett, B., & Waters-Marsh, T. (2004) Organisational behaviour (4th ed.) Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson .

Schmeichel, B. J., Vohs, K. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (2003) Intellectual performance and ego depletion: Role of the self in logical reasoning and other information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(1), 133-146 .

Schön, D.A. (1983) The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books .

Schön, D. A. (1987) Educating the reflective practitioner: Towards a new design of teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Spennemann, D. (2007) Learning and teaching 24/7: Daily usage patterns at nine Australian universities. Learning and Teaching, 24(1), 27-44 .

Struthers, J. (1999) An investigation into community psychiatric nurses' use of humour during client interactions. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 29(5), 1197-1204 .

Tripp, D. (1993) Critical incidents in teaching: Developing professional judgement. London: Routledge .

Tripp, D. (1998) Culture and critical incidents. In B. Down, C. Hogan & P. Swan (Eds.), Reclaiming professional knowledge: New ways of thinking about teachers' learning (pp. 31-37) Murdoch, WA: Centre for Curriculum and Professional Development, Murdoch University .

van Veidhoven, M., & Broersen, S. (2003) Measurement quality and validity of the 'need for recovery scale'. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 3(7) Retrieved July 25, 2007, from type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=HRCA&docId=A104209358&s ource=gale&srcprod=HRCA&userGroupName=usqlibrary&version=1.0

Worrall, L., & Cooper, C. (2007) Managers' work-life balance and health: The case of UK managers. European Journal of International Management, 1(1/2), 129-145 .


reflective practice; cognitive theory; practice strategy


PP: 004 - 017

Sign Me Up for latest release updates

*  Email Address:
    First Name:
    Last Name:
*  I am interested in:


Web Feed

Latest Articles

Special Issues

Pedagogy and language planning
Volume /

Explorations of pedagogy in Australian contexts
Volume 8/3
Summary | Contents

Quality pedagogies for quality learning in contemporary higher education
Volume 8/2
Summary | Contents

Creativity and collaboration in the education sector
Volume 8/1
Summary | Contents

Cross-cultural pedagogies: The interface between Islamic and Western pedagogies and epistemologies
Volume 7/3
Summary | Contents

Diverse dimensions of computer-assisted language learning
Volume 7/2

Online Pedagogy in Practice
Volume 5/3

Working with computer-assisted language learning
Volume 5/2
Summary | Contents

Language testing
Volume 5/1
Summary | Contents

Pedagogical meanings emerging in practice (Part 2)
Volume 4/5
Summary | Contents

Contextualizing CALL locally and globally
Volume 4/4
Summary | Contents

Pedagogical meanings emerging in practice (Part 1)
Volume 4/3

Doctoral designers: Challenges and opportunities in planning and conducting educational research
Volume 4/2
Summary | Contents

Evaluating value(s): Issues in and implications of educational research significance and researcher identity
Volume 4/1
Summary | Contents

Meanings emerging in practice (Part 3)
Volume 3/3
Summary | Contents

Meanings emerging in practice (Part 2)
Volume 3/2
Summary | Contents

Meanings emerging in practice (Part 1)
Volume 3/1

Educating for tomorrow: Considering theories for Learning Futures
Volume 2/3
Summary | Contents

'Town and gown' in the bush: Contemporary regional universities and transforming communities
Volume 2/2
Summary | Contents

Meanings under the microscope (Part 4)
Volume 2/1
Summary | Contents

Meanings under the microscope (Part 3)
Volume 1/3

Meanings under the microscope (Part 2)
Volume 1/2

Meanings under the microscope (Part 1)
Volume 1/1
Summary | Contents - The citation linking backbone

Website by Arrowsmith Websites. Website Design Sunshine Coast, Australia.