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The highly productive supervisor: “I like to think I am a Sherpa guiding them, not St Christopher carrying them on my back” Dr Margaret Kiley The Australian.

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Presentation on theme: "The highly productive supervisor: “I like to think I am a Sherpa guiding them, not St Christopher carrying them on my back” Dr Margaret Kiley The Australian."— Presentation transcript:

1 The highly productive supervisor: “I like to think I am a Sherpa guiding them, not St Christopher carrying them on my back” Dr Margaret Kiley The Australian National University

2 Background ‘High PhD productive’ supervisors ‘have different, more positive attitudes and beliefs about graduate students and graduate education and are more academically and socially engaged with graduate students than their low productive counter-parts’ (Lovitts 2007, p. 12) Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU2

3 Research questions Do the findings of Lovitts and others hold true with a) Australian doctoral supervisors and b) across disciplines? What is it about those doctoral supervisors that leads to their success? Are there lessons which we can learn from these doctoral supervisors that might help others? Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU3

4 Four roles identified by candidates In addition to “content”, “method” and “methodology” expertise: –coaching –mentoring –facilitating the candidature –sponsoring participation (Pearson and Kayrooz 2004) Provides a useful way of examining the outcomes of the analysis Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU4

5 Research Design of Pilot Semi-structured interviews with 10 doctoral supervisors in five Australian universities (now 19 in eight institutions) Average successful completions over their career was 43 (20-70) Average number being supervised at one time was 13 (7-20) Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU5

6 Discipline cluster N=Av. graduated Av. at one time STEM5 (one female) 4513 HASS5 (one female) 4214 Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU6

7 Research Design (Cont) The interviewees were identified through contact with DoGS. This person would be known to the Dean as having: –Completed most candidates in funded time –Positive examiners’ reports –Positive comments from candidates –Requests from potential students –A reputation in the School for being “good” Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU7

8 Analysis The transcripts were analysed and six main themes were identified: –Organisational –Affective –Pedagogical –Context –Enjoyment –Sense of satisfaction and achievement. Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU8

9 Organizational Engaging in constructive and creative strategies Being strategic and resourceful Being organised Maintaining contact after graduation Being accessibility and responsive, and Being selective. Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU9

10 Affective (describing themselves) Self-directed and independent Attentive and nurturing Hard working Innovative or inquisitive Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU 10

11 Pedagogical metaphors from the data –Advisor as midwife: the ‘temperamental ability to intervene at the appropriate moment’. –Performance: ‘stop rehearsing and just play the concert’ –Pedigree lines: ‘training and handing down from one generation to another’ –Sounding board: ‘I don’t really try and tell them what to write but I am a sounding board for what they are working out’ Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU11

12 Pedagogy (Cont) The strongest categories were: –individual differences and –collegial and peer learning and teaching approaches. Other pedagogical concepts that were also identified included leading, mentoring, and facilitating. Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU12

13 Context in which they are working Main themes ongoing change and reform expansion and growth, and multiculturalism Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU13

14 Enjoyment, satisfaction & accomplishment –‘I like to teach stuff I really know’ –‘I do get a buzz out of sitting with a student discussing ideas on a whiteboard’ –‘It allows for a level of intellectual engagement’ –‘Seeing people learn things’ –‘I find very few aspects of the job more satisfying than seeing the development’ and –‘It has been good fun I reckon’ Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU14

15 So what can we learn? These supervisors are highly productive and efficient, yet… They are also nurturing individuals who care for, support and extend their charges—not only candidates, but also post-docs and younger academics—while also maintaining extensive and influential professional networks Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU15

16 Conclusion: These supervisors have a... Belief in, and commitment to, intellectual and academic leadership demonstrated by: –capacity to generate a critical mass of people, ideas and resources –commitment to academic renewal and contribution to the discipline –sustained practical support for graduates/colleagues –sheer enjoyment and satisfaction from being a good teacher—simply ‘great fun’! Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU 16

17 Margaret Kiley: CEDAM The ANU17 Dr Margaret Kiley CEDAM The Australian National University


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