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Adding dimensions to research student learning and research supervision

Sonesson, Anders LU and Ahlberg, Anders LU (2009) Postgraduate Supervision Conference: Research and Practice
Abstract
Research student learning and supervision has become an increasing concern for many stakeholders inside and outside the universities. As a result, universities are in different ways trying to enhance doctoral education, often through activities aimed at research supervisors.

In this paper we claim that research supervision and its relation to research student learning is poorly conceptualised in university discourse in general and in much popular literature on the topic. A too narrow or incomplete conception could lead to enhancing activities failing to do good, consuming time and money as well as goodwill. It could also actively reinforce conceptions and practices that are counterproductive for research student learning, and for... (More)
Research student learning and supervision has become an increasing concern for many stakeholders inside and outside the universities. As a result, universities are in different ways trying to enhance doctoral education, often through activities aimed at research supervisors.

In this paper we claim that research supervision and its relation to research student learning is poorly conceptualised in university discourse in general and in much popular literature on the topic. A too narrow or incomplete conception could lead to enhancing activities failing to do good, consuming time and money as well as goodwill. It could also actively reinforce conceptions and practices that are counterproductive for research student learning, and for research.

We will begin by criticising the popular but in our view incomplete conception of doctoral studies as an academic apprenticeship with its notions of a dyadic expert-novice relationship between supervisor and student, and of learning from immersion in practise. Instead we present an emerging model for research learning anchored in Dall’Alba and Sandberg’s theory for professional development. The model is comprised of three interdependent and overlapping dimensions of learning: skills development through experience of practice; understanding of, and in, practice; and meta-knowledge. From this model we then draw implications for supervision, supervisor skills, and for practice.

We will then turn to our experiences from discussions with more than two hundred research supervisors on a two-day workshop on supervision, and compare common descriptions of research supervision and practices with the above model and its implications.

On basis of our findings, we will finally propose some strategies for enhancement of research learning and supervision.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Doctoral education, Doctoral supervision, Educational development
categories
Higher Education
conference name
Postgraduate Supervision Conference: Research and Practice
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b81f920d-e664-4a51-a355-a8834389b86d (old id 4437872)
date added to LUP
2014-08-12 15:43:33
date last changed
2016-10-14 14:36:42
@misc{b81f920d-e664-4a51-a355-a8834389b86d,
  abstract     = {Research student learning and supervision has become an increasing concern for many stakeholders inside and outside the universities. As a result, universities are in different ways trying to enhance doctoral education, often through activities aimed at research supervisors.<br/><br/>In this paper we claim that research supervision and its relation to research student learning is poorly conceptualised in university discourse in general and in much popular literature on the topic. A too narrow or incomplete conception could lead to enhancing activities failing to do good, consuming time and money as well as goodwill. It could also actively reinforce conceptions and practices that are counterproductive for research student learning, and for research. <br/><br/>We will begin by criticising the popular but in our view incomplete conception of doctoral studies as an academic apprenticeship with its notions of a dyadic expert-novice relationship between supervisor and student, and of learning from immersion in practise. Instead we present an emerging model for research learning anchored in Dall’Alba and Sandberg’s theory for professional development. The model is comprised of three interdependent and overlapping dimensions of learning: skills development through experience of practice; understanding of, and in, practice; and meta-knowledge. From this model we then draw implications for supervision, supervisor skills, and for practice. <br/><br/>We will then turn to our experiences from discussions with more than two hundred research supervisors on a two-day workshop on supervision, and compare common descriptions of research supervision and practices with the above model and its implications.<br/><br/>On basis of our findings, we will finally propose some strategies for enhancement of research learning and supervision.<br/>},
  author       = {Sonesson, Anders and Ahlberg, Anders},
  keyword      = {Doctoral education,Doctoral supervision,Educational development},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Adding dimensions to research student learning and research supervision},
  year         = {2009},
}