The PhD Program

David D. Blouin and Alison R. Moss (2015). Graduate Student Teacher Training: Still Relevant (and Missing?) 20 Years Later. Teaching Sociology 2015, Vol. 43(2) 126–136.

Abstract. Twenty years ago, Pescosolido and Milkie (1995) reported that 50 percent of U.S. and Canadian sociology graduate programs offered formal teacher training. Despite pronouncements that offerings have increased substantially, no similarly thorough and direct investigation has been published since. In this time of dramatic change and increasing scrutiny of higher education, graduate teacher training is arguably more important than ever before. Thus, we seek to provide a new baseline of teacher training in the discipline. Using a 2013 survey of U.S. and Canadian sociology graduate programs (N = 173), we find that 94 percent involve graduate students in teaching, almost 68 percent provide formal training for graduate student instructors, and 54 percent provide formal training for teaching assistants. We discuss the kinds and frequency of teacher training, as well as the type of graduate programs most likely to offer teacher training, and we provide suggestions for future research.

Kamila Benová (2014), Research(er) at home: auto/ethnography of (my) PhD, European Journal of Higher Education, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2014, 55-66

Abstract This article deals with the PhD phase of tertiary higher education (in Slovakia), which is here considered as the specific phase of the academic career. It tries to answer the question: what is the PhD, in the context of research, theoretically and methodologically approached as a critical ethnography of higher education. It is focused on the linking epistemological (feminist standpoint) and methodological (autoethnography) background; while the analysis ‘tells’ the autoethnographic ‘PhD story’ of the author, the part-time PhD student and the university researcher at the same time, the storyteller and the member of a researched PhD community. The bottom-up perspective aims to the empowerment of the doctoral community, as well as the author herself. The author tries to identify her own situatedness, according to the research and the PhD studies, through recognizing roles and positions, and describe the trajectory of her own academic career. Finally, the article tries to demonstrate, how distant the policy from everyday reality can be.

Lovitts, B. E.(2008). The transition to independent research: Who makes it, who doesn’t, and why. Journal of Higher Education, Volume 79, Issue: 3, pp: 296-+
Abstract. A critical question in doctoral education is why students who succeed in the coursework (dependent) phase of their graduate education have different fates in the independent research phase of their education. In this focus group-based study, faculty were asked to talk about students who had difficulty making the transition to independent research or who did not make it at all. They were also asked to talk about students who made the transition to independent research with relative ease. The focus group discussions were analyzed using a theoretical perspective derived from theory and research on creativity and degree completion. The descriptions of students who made the transition with relative success matched closely with characterizations of highly creative people.

Sweitzer, Vicki (2009). Towards a Theory of Doctoral Student Professional Identity Development: A Developmental Networks Approach. The Journal of Higher Education, Volume 80, Number 1, January/February 2009
Abstract. This article begins to address the question—what role do relationships play for individuals on the path to the professoriate? Drawing on literatures from higher education and organizational studies, this paper proposes models of doctoral student professional identity development and offers propositions for future research to advance the study of doctoral education.

Kamler, Barbara (2008). Rethinking doctoral publication practices: writing from and beyond the thesis. Studies in Higher Education, Jun2008, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p283-294, 12p

This article addresses the importance of giving greater pedagogical attention to writing for publication in higher education. It recognizes that, while doctoral research is a major source of new knowledge production in universities, most doctoral students do not receive adequate mentoring or structural support to publish from their research, with poor results. Data from a case study of graduates in science and education are examined to show how the different disciplinary and pedagogic practices of each discourse community impact on student publication. It is argued that co-authorship with supervisors is a significant pedagogic practice that can enhance the robustness and know-how of emergent scholars as well as their publication output. There is a need, however, to rethink co-authorship more explicitly as a pedagogic practice, and create more deliberate structures in subject disciplines to scaffold doctoral publication – as it is these structures that influence whether graduates publish as informed professionals in their chosen fields of practice.

BARRIE, SIMON C. , Understanding What We Mean by the Generic Attributes of Graduates, Higher Education (2006) 51: 215–241

Abstract. One way in which universities have sought to articulate the outcomes of a
university education is through a description of the attributes of their graduates. Recent
calls for universities to demonstrate the quality of their outcomes and processes have
prompted a re-examination of the generic graduate attribute outcomes many Australian
universities have espoused for the past decade. As university communities struggle to
identify what combination of skills, attributes and knowledge to include in these
statements of graduate outcomes, and begin to come to terms with how to develop
curricula to effectively achieve these outcomes, the fundamental nature of these
outcomes is a vital preliminary question to address. What are these things that universities
call generic graduate attributes? This is a more fundamental question than what
combination of skills, attributes and knowledge should be included on the graduate
‘shopping-list’, it is about the nature of the things on the list, and the nature of the list
itself. In seeking to further our understanding of the meaning of generic graduate
attributes, the research described in this paper used phenomenographic analysis to
explore academics’ conceptions of generic graduate attributes in the context of contemporary
teaching and learning practices at one Australian university. A way of
describing the key aspects of the variation in academics’ understandings of the concept
of graduate attributes is presented. The contribution of discipline background to
conceptions of generic attributes is considered and the implications of the observed
variation for universities’ current curriculum reform initiatives discussed.

More publications.