ERIC Number: EJ992889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
Informality, Power and Relationships in Postgraduate Supervision: Supervising PhD Candidates over Coffee
Hemer, Susan R.
Higher Education Research and Development, v31 n6 p827-839 2012
A great deal of literature in recent years has focused on the supervisory relationship, yet very little has been written about the nature or content of supervisory meetings, beyond commenting on the frequency and length of meetings. Through semi-structured interviews, informal discussions with colleagues and students, a critical review of literature and personal reflection, this paper explores the salience of coffee for postgraduate supervision. This paper locates supervisions over coffee in reference to contemporary debates about the supervisory relationship (models, styles, tasks and dimensions). Using the concept of "third places" and Misztal's theorisation of informality, it is argued that supervision over coffee conveys a particular supervisory relationship to postgraduate students: one that is incompatible with expert-disciple models or styles of supervision. Instead, supervision over coffee is on neutral territory and on a more informal footing. Finally the paper concludes with discussion about finding a balance between formality and informality in supervision and the development of personal and institutional trust.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Doctoral Programs, Graduate Students, Meetings, Supervisor Supervisee Relationship, Conferences (Gatherings), Incidence, Power Structure, Models, Semi Structured Interviews, Social Behavior, Supervisory Methods, Leadership Styles
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia