Learning through a Reflection: Becoming an effective PhD supervisor

Nikica Mojsoska- Blazevski

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to learn how to be a better or more effective supervisor through a critical reflection on my own supervisory experience. The importance of the effective supervision is highlighted in view of the established link between effective supervision and greater completion rates of postgraduate degrees, where the latter is main focus of higher education institutions/authorities in the last decade.

The reflection is used to not only to justify the way we were supervised, but to challenge it and find ways how we can improve our effective supervision. Several researchers argue that supervisors usually adopt the same supervisory practice and style as the one they experienced themselves as research students (Pearson and Brew, 2002; Lee, 2008; Wright et al., 2008), notwithstanding additional factors that might influence the effectiveness of supervision. Pearson and Brew (2002) argue that new supervisors should have an ability to critically reflect on their past experience as research student in light of the theoretical conceptions and research findings in the literature on supervision, a process called “a critical reflective journey” by Tait (2009, p.193).

The methodology for this research is based on the framework for effective supervision adopted by Engebretson et al. (2008) who establish eleven characteristics of an effective supervision. Parallel to the examination of each of those individual characteristics, I provide my insight into each characteristic by reflecting on my own experience.

The structure of the paper is as follows. Section 1 introduces the importance of an effective supervision in the modern educational environment, as well as the value that critical reflection brings to the learning. Section 2 provides a literature review of the characteristics of a good supervisor, along with a personal experience related to each of them. Section 3 concludes.

 

Key words: Reflection, Learning, Supervision, Students, Oversees


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v2i5.2339

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