Doctoral Education: Research-Based Strategies for Doctoral Students, Supervisors and Administrators

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1 Doctoral Education: Research-Based Strategies for Doctoral Students, Supervisors and Administrators

2 Lynn McAlpine Cheryl Amundsen Editors Doctoral Education: Research-Based Strategies for Doctoral Students, Supervisors and Administrators 1 3

3 Editors: Dr. Lynn McAlpine McGill University McTavish St H3A 1Y2 Montreal Québec Canada Dr. Cheryl Amundsen Simon Fraser University Fac. Education University Drive 8888 V5A 1S6 Burnaby British Columbia Canada ISBN e-isbn DOI / Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York Library of Congress Control Number: Springer Science+Business Media B.V No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Cover design: estudio Calamar S.L. Printed on acid-free paper Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media (

4 Acknowledgements We wish to recognize and thank members of our research team, all of whom have contributed chapters to this book. Over the four years that we have been conducting the research upon which this book is based, we have all worked to coordinate every aspect of the research. We believe we now have a coherent and significant body of evidence from which to consider policies and practices surrounding doctoral education in the social sciences. And this would have been impossible without the ongoing commitment of the research participants who have provided us not only with information but also feedback on our work, and their own recommendations for institutional change. Of particular note are the accomplishments of graduate student members of our team during this time period Marian Jazvac-Martek and Allison Gonsalves both successfully defended their PhD dissertation; Barb Edwards successfully defended her EdD dissertation. And Shuhua Chen completed her MA degree and is well on her way to finishing her PhD research, as is Larissa Yousoubova. We also want to acknowledge the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for funding this research. We are now beginning the next iteration of the inquiry, also funded by SSHRC, taking what we have learned to investigate more fully the experiences of doctoral students and new academics in disciplines other than the social sciences. Finally, we wish to give a big thank you to Tara Neufeld for her excellent and detailed attention in creating the final manuscript of this book. Lynn McAlpine and Cheryl Amundsen v

5 Contents 1 To Be or Not to Be? The Challenges of Learning Academic Work... 1 Lynn McAlpine and Cheryl Amundsen Part I Being Becoming Academics Tracking the Doctoral Student Experience over Time: Cultivating Agency in Diverse Spaces Marian Jazvac-Martek, Shuhua Chen and Lynn McAlpine 3 New Academics as Supervisors: A Steep Learning Curve with Challenges, Tensions and Pleasures Cheryl Amundsen and Lynn McAlpine Part II Writing and Speaking Learning the Disciplinary Language, Talking the Talk Speaking of Writing: Supervisory Feedback and the Dissertation Anthony Paré 5 The Paradox of Writing in Doctoral Education: Student Experiences Doreen Starke-Meyerring 6 Making Sense of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense: A Student-Experience-Based Perspective Shuhua Chen Part III Gender, Genre, and Disciplinary Identifying Negotiating Borders Gender and Doctoral Physics Education: Are We Asking the Right Questions? Allison J. Gonsalves vii

6 viii Contents 8 Genre and Disciplinarity: The Challenge of Grant Writing for New Non-Anglophone Scientists Larissa Yousoubova 9 Disciplinary Voices: A Shifting Landscape for English Doctoral Education in the Twenty-First Century Lynn McAlpine, Anthony Paré and Doreen Starke-Meyerring Part IV Supporting the Doctoral Process Through Research- Based Strategies Making Meaning of Diverse Experiences: Constructing an Identity Through Time Lynn McAlpine and Cheryl Amundsen 11 Challenging the Taken-For-Granted: How Research Can Inform Doctoral Education Policy and Practice Lynn McAlpine and Cheryl Amundsen 12 Moving from Evidence to Action Cheryl Amundsen and Lynn McAlpine Index

7 Contributors Cheryl Amundsen Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada Shuhua Chen McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada Allison J. Gonsalves Université de Montréal, 90, av Vincent d Indy, Montréal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada Marian Jazvac-Martek Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, 3700 McTavish Street, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada Lynn McAlpine University of Oxford, 16/17 St Ebbes, Suite 4, Oxford, OX1 1PT, UK McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada Anthony Paré Faculty of Education, McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada Doreen Starke-Meyerring Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada Larissa Yousoubova McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada ix

8 About the Authors Cheryl Amundsen I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. I also spent ten years as a faculty member at McGill University. I have a long-standing interest in academic development and my research has focused on how academics develop pedagogical knowledge in relationship to their subject matter and the thinking underlying instructional decisions. More recently, I have ventured beyond the focus on classroom teaching to look at the role of doctoral supervisor with its fascinating interplay of pedagogy and identity construction for both student and supervisor. Shuhua Chen I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. My research interests include the policies and practices surrounding the doctoral defense, doctoral learning experiences, and doctoral students researcher/academic identity development. Before entering the doctoral program, I completed a master s thesis that reported how Chinese doctoral students adapted to doctoral study in Canada. Currently, I am conducting my doctoral dissertation research on doctoral students experiences of defending their dissertations. Lynn McAlpine I am Professor of Higher Education Development at the University of Oxford and Professor Emerita at McGill University. My academic career has always been linked to academic development, and my research interests were originally directed at understanding how academics develop the knowledge and principles underlying their pedagogical actions. More recently, my interest has broadened so that now I am researching how academics, particularly those early in their careers (doctoral students, research staff, and pre-tenure academics), make sense of and engage in all aspects of academic work. Anthony Paré I am a Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, and editor of the McGill Journal of Education. My research examines academic and workplace writing, situated learning, school-towork transitions, and the development of professional literacies. I teach graduate courses in literacy, discourse theory, writing theory, research, and practice. My publications include books, chapters, and articles on topics related to the study and practice of academic and professional communication. xi

9 xii About the Authors Doreen Starke-Meyerring I am an Associate Professor of rhetoric and writing studies in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Focused on discourse studies and writing development in higher education, my research has examined changes in writing practices in increasingly digital, globalizing, and knowledge-intensive settings. At present, I am conducting a multi-year cross-institutional research project examining current demands on doctoral student writing and publishing; the challenges these demands present for doctoral students, supervisors, and administrators at Canadian research-intensive universities, and ways of addressing current demands. Larissa Yousoubova I am working on a doctorate at McGill University. I have over 15 years experience in translation, teaching, and compliance management in several countries, and have always been fascinated by the cross-cultural aspects of communication. My research interests centre on pragmatics of discourse, especially written communication in academic and professional settings. In my dissertation research I focus on how new non-english academics adjust to the pressures and challenges of the North American system of grant funding and grant writing. Marian Jazvac-Martek My PhD dissertation inquiry into academic identity construction closely followed a group of individuals who explicitly desired cultivating academic careers. I am continuing my research interests in academic identity, doctoral education, and higher education pedagogy as a post-doctoral research fellow, while also applying some of my findings to post-doctoral research work for the Dean of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies at McGill University. I have also been a lecturer at McGill University for over eight years and am currently on maternity leave. Allison Gonsalves I completed my PhD at McGill University where I focussed on the gendering of physics discourses and the implications this has for students engagement and identity construction in the practices of the various disciplinary sub-fields of physics. My post-doctoral work at the Université de Montréal explores the potential of afterschool science programs to offer youth of colour from lowincome families opportunities to begin to see themselves as insiders to science.

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