Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Conceptions of doctoral supervision

At the last researchers' meeting, when Nigel Ford talked about supervisors, I mentioned a study of supervisors' conceptions of supervising. This is the reference:

Lee, A. (2008) “How are doctoral students supervised? Concepts of doctoral research supervision.” Studies in Higher Education, 33(3), 267-281. (there is an open access copy here: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/484/)

"The main concepts [of supervising] identified are: Functional: where the issue is one of project management; enculturation: where the student is encouraged to become a member of the disciplinary community; critical thinking: where the student is encouraged to question and analyse their work; emancipation: where the student is encouraged to question and develop themselves; and developing a quality relationship: where the student is enthused, inspired and cared for. Supervisors of doctoral students are also trying to reconcile the tensions between their professional role as an academic and their personal self as well as encouraging students to move a long a path towards increasing independence. The concepts are examined in the light of each of these tensions. Finally the research illuminates the power of the supervisor’s own experience as a student and the paper suggests that supervisors need to be aware of both the positive and negative aspects of each of these conceptual approaches."
I discussed this study when I gave a presentation on Information Literacy and the role of the supervisor: a supervisor's perspective. last May

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