Mapping the Doctorate: A Longitudinal Study of PhD Students and their Supervisors

Mapping the Doctorate: A Longitudinal Study of PhD Students and their Supervisors

Camille B. Kandiko Howson (King's College London, UK) and Ian Kinchin (University of Surrey, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5816-5.ch017
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Abstract

This chapter reports on the results of a four-year longitudinal study of PhD students and their supervisors, from which the evidence gained suggests that the students tend to focus on the PhD in terms of a product to be completed (in terms of writing a thesis and peer-reviewed journals), whilst the supervisors tend to concentrate more on the process of learning and scientific development, placing the student's contribution into the wider disciplinary discourse. The structural observations from the concept maps generated within this research are that the students perceive the PhD as a linear structure, whereas the supervisors are more likely to generate a cyclic structure to illustrate the dynamic, iterative processes of research more generally. Further structural elements emerge from the analysis of the maps, indicating the need for holistic understanding of the content, structure, and meanings in concept maps and their relationship with safe spaces for the development of critical thinking.

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