Doctoral experience and learning from a sociocultural perspective

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Studies in Higher Education, 2010, 35 (7), pp. 829 - 843
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This article considers how and what doctoral students learn through teaching, student journal editing and academic career mentoring. It provides a grounded account of doctoral experience as a counter-narrative to prevailing policy discourses that focus on products and overlook the doctorate as a personal and social learning experience. Sociocultural theory is used to emphasise forms of agency and relationships between learning, practice and studentsâ intentions. Students are presented as agentic in their purposeful engagement in particular activities, and in their response to challenges they encounter in those activities. Learning is described as embedded in particular practice contexts, culturally mediated and rooted in social interaction.
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