AA 2010 Supplementum 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Postgraduate research supervision: more at stake than research training
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Bitzer, Eli
    English: Is research training of students the key responsibility of postgraduate supervisors? While many academics would agree, supervisory roles might involve more than training postgraduate students. This article argues for the importance of research training as well as development interventions for supervisors. Drawing on relevant conceptions and a proposed supervisor development scheme, twenty-one supervisors reported how their supervisory roles have changed after interventions in five developmental areas. Similarly, supervisors who participated in a four-day supervision conference reported important developmental gains. The article proposes that supervisors seem to assess their supervisory roles and responsibilities more holistically and critically after and as a result of development interventions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The ‘good enough’ doctorate: doctoral learning journeys
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Wisker, Gina
    English: In the context of growing postgraduate numbers, this article focuses on key questions concerning the quality and nature of the PhD by questioning how one can identify what constitutes a “good enough PhD”. Building on international research and a large British National teaching fellowship funded project “Doctoral learning journeys”, it suggests that key quality features include research design, development and final thesis which evidence conceptual, critical and creative enough work. Research and the article consider ways in which strategies, practices and performance help students engage with research to such a doctoral level, as well as develop their practice beyond the PhD itself to help build sustainable research communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    When the teacher becomes the student: the acquisition of academic literacy revisited
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Van Schalkwyk, Susan
    English: The idea of successful postgraduate studies representing “a rite of passage” into the academic community is not new. Entry into the community is facilitated by immersion in the discipline. In my doctoral studies, I investigated the acquisition of academic literacy among a group of first-year students, tracking their first steps in becoming members of the broader academic community. This article describes the similarities between my experience and that of the students, highlighting the challenges that doctoral students face when seeking to negotiate their entry into the different discourse communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘I won’t be squeezed into someone else’s frame’: stories of supervisor selection
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Harrison, Liz; McKenna, Sioux; Searle, Ruth
    English: Using a collection of stories from a group of women who belong to a PhD support group, this article tracks the issue of choosing a supervisor. These women are all academics and therefore had some claim to an “insider” status but as novice researchers they were also “outsiders”. Their discussions around how and why they chose their supervisors highlight issues often underplayed or ignored in textbooks on postgraduate supervision. In particular, this article examines issues of knowledge, embodied subjectivity and power by following three questions that arise from the data: whose knowing is important; who should I be, and whose PhD is it?
  • ItemOpen Access
    Using ICT to enhance the online research supervision process
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Loureiro, Maria; Huet, Isabel; Casanova, Diogo; Baptista, Ana
    English: Online research supervision is a relatively new and evolving process due to changes in university at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. New models of research supervision include different research supervisor and student roles and entail the constitution of online research communities regarding common goals. Even though the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for shaping the supervision processes is undeniable, literature related to this issue is still scarce. This article presents a case study about the use of ICT to enhance the online research supervision process. ICT was used for content delivery and sharing, and to facilitate the interaction between postgraduate students and a supervisor, as well as between the students. Based on the supervisor’s reflections, key positive and negative factors are also systematised
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cultivating a scholarly community of practice
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Lotz-Sisitka, Heila; Ellery, Karen; Olvitt, Lausanne; Schudel, Ingrid; O’Donoghue, Rob
    English: In the field of Environment and Sustainability Education we are seeking ways of developing our teaching and supervision practices to enable social changes in a rapidly transforming field of practice where global issues of truth, judgement, justice and sustainability define our engagements with the public good. This article explores the process of cultivating a scholarly community of practice as a model of supervision that not only engages scholars in an intellectual community oriented towards socio-ecological transformation, but also extends and enhances dialogue with individuals on the technical and theoretical aspects of their postgraduate studies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Practices in postgraduate research supervision: from apprentice to scholar
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Botha, Nonnie
    English: This article aims to identify lessons from current postgraduate research supervision practices at universities, relevant to improving the quality of such supervision. Research supervision practices in recent literature were scrutinised, current practices in selected universities were investigated and lessons that could be learnt from these practices were identified. The research focused on experiences of individual research supervisors within their specific contexts. The results of the research were analysed using Glassick’s six areas of assessing scholarship, and the data were located on a continuum ranging from “freedom-and-friendship” to “apprenticeship” practice types. Single and sets of practices emerged from the data analysis, revealing certain patterns relevant to scholarship, cohesion of practices and contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Patterns of practice in South African doctoral education: an empirical study
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Backhouse, Judy
    English: In South Africa, doctoral education is usually organised in a traditional supervision model, but the practice of supervision differs across academic units and supervisors. In her comparison of PhD experiences in British universities, Chiang identified two research training structures, namely teamwork and individualist. These different structures affected the research environment, the relationships between supervisor and supervisee, and the experience of doctoral study. Can such differences be observed in South African universities? In a qualitative study of four academic units from different disciplines, four patterns of practice were detected in the ways in which doctoral supervision and research activities were organised. This article characterises these patterns of practice and discusses their impact on the doctoral experience
  • ItemOpen Access
    Challenging issues: doctoral supervision in post-colonial sites
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Grant, Barbara
    English: The supervision of indigenous doctoral students in Aotearoa/New Zealand occurs in a post-colonial context marked by ongoing struggles over identity and belonging. In addition to stories concerning the pleasures taken in this relation, students and supervisors recount the challenges they experience. While some challenges are normal in any doctoral supervision, others are distinctively connected to the identities of the students as indigenous (Maori) and supervisors as settlers (non-Maori). Such challenges not only reveal unfinished tensions that structure settler-indigene (or coloniser-colonised) relations, but also raise questions concerning the implication of doctoral education in identity formation. This article draws on recent interviews with Maori doctoral students and their supervisors to identify several “challenging matters” and to explore their significance for supervision in post-colonial sites.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Socratic method: adult education theories
    (University of the Free State, 2010) Frick, Liezel; Albertyn, Ruth; Rutgers, Linda
    English: Postgraduate students need to explore their research question(s) from different angles, take ownership of the research process, and develop their own scholarly voice. Supervisors are often ill-equipped to guide students in a strategic and learner-centred manner. The Socratic method draws on strategies to elicit learning through uncertainty in the question-and-answer technique employed. Based on a qualitative study, various adult education theories are used to formulate a rationale for the application of the Socratic method as a tool to facilitate learning in the supervisor-student relationship. Theoretical perspectives which emerged as themes through this study include experiential learning, ontological coaching and empowerment. This article provides a conceptual framework for postgraduate supervisors which could act as a guide to enhance their supervisory practice and facilitate independent student learning.