ERIC Number: EJ1050324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
Experiencing Doctoral Liminality as a Conceptual Threshold and How Supervisors Can Use It
Keefer, Jeffrey M.
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, v52 n1 p17-28 2015
Doctoral students face numerous challenges along the path toward achieving a doctorate. With the experience likened to a rite of passage, many face periods of confusion and disorientation, liminal periods of being betwixt and between. Threshold concept theory, reconceived as conceptual thresholds when experienced on the doctoral level, can inform how they are understood. The aim of this research is to explore liminal experiences during the doctoral journey and offer suggestions for how supervisors can better support their learners. This qualitative narrative inquiry explored doctoral liminality amongst 23 participants coming from five countries and 19 different disciplines. Findings cut across the diversity of the participants, with their liminal experiences comprising a sense of isolation, lack of confidence and impostor syndrome, and research misalignment. Periods of liminality were rarely discussed, even after long periods of time. Findings are offered to provide guidance for supervisors to help support and scaffold their learners.
Descriptors: Graduate Students, Doctoral Programs, Qualitative Research, College Faculty, Personal Narratives, Self Concept, Intellectual Disciplines, Modeling (Psychology), Teacher Student Relationship, Supervisors, Role, Conflict
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A