University and workplace in doctoral education : a study in two programs

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2005
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- This thesis is an ethnographic research study of two doctoral programs at two different universities. The aim of the study was to see what was actually being realised in doctoral programs that had stated intentions to involve both university and workplace in research activity and outcome; how, in practice, relationships between workplace and university were enacted, what curriculum and supervision issues were arising, and what forms of knowledge were being drawn on and produced. University and workplace relationships have not eventuated as forecast in the literature, but have been formed through deep integration of workplace issues in the doctoral curriculum, the research topics, the research sites, the research outcomes, and through the experiences and interests of both the academic supervisors and doctoral students. Rather than just responding to external pressures to link with workplaces, the doctoral programs in this study were deliberatively constructed to create new forms of research intervention in their field. This involved shifting the disciplinary knowledge of their traditional areas, establishing a moral and political framework for research and using research to influence practices in the workplace. In response to the new agendas in doctoral education, new types of students and new types of doctoral degrees, traditional pedagogical relationships for doctoral supervision have developed into more flexible, collegial and open relationships. Within this context, however, uncertainty and confusion continued to be a feature of the doctoral experience, and was related to disjunction about expectations, the creative tension of doctoral research and the relatively new research territory of the programs. The use of collective and interactive seminars facilitated a process of embedding the epistemological shifts into the academic culture, building a collaborative knowledge-sharing environment and reducing the reliance on a single supervisor. This conception of collective supervision resonated with the students' prior experiences of professional partnerships of the workplace. This study argues for a broader interpretation of postgraduate pedagogy, and for more explicit curricula to identify the interplay of key themes and key elements of reconceptualised knowledge-building. This study shows insights into doctoral supervisors and doctoral students creatively determining new ways of researching practice and new ways of taking that knowledge into the broader society in order to contribute to improvement. Whilst the study shows the emergence of some new practices, it also shows the continuation and adaptation of other doctoral education practices.
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