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PHD-DESIGN  May 2009

PHD-DESIGN May 2009

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Subject:

Re: Critiques of PhD supervision

From:

jeremy hunsinger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

jeremy hunsinger <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 12 May 2009 16:32:26 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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I actually agree with none of the aspects of teaching license.  I  
don't think a ph.d. does anything about teaching at all.   Oh it  
can... but it need not. It merely says that the person who holds it  
has defended a dissertation to a committee of a graduate school  
faculty however that is comprised.  There is really nothing more.  We  
can argue there should be more, but there isn't any necessity of there  
actually being more than a defended dissertation.   It certifies no  
more than that.   I have seen people defend dissertations and not be  
able to teach and I have seen people with ph.d.'s who couldn't  
organize and perform any more research or at least were not  
successful.  Teaching and research are not necessarily skills that  
writing a dissertation and defending it provides as there are all  
kinds of ways one can put together a dissertation without learning  
strong skills.    I want to remind you that every year hundreds and  
thousands of new ph.d.'s enter the workforce, very few of those get  
jobs and of those, even fewer get tenure.   The reasons for not  
getting tenure, I'd argue, tend to tie directly to the evidence that  
the ph.d. does not necessarily prepare one to do the job of an  
assistant professor/lecturer/etc..




On May 12, 2009, at 4:19 PM, Karel van der Waarde wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> Thank you David and Jose for recent messages.
>
> Ken wrote on Monday May 4:
>>>
> "The special role of the PhD as a teaching license determines several
> aspects of the criteria for a PhD. This license covers several kinds  
> of teaching.
> - First, it establishes the expertise of the graduated doctor to  
> teach the content of a specific subject field.
> - Second, it establishes the expertise of the graduated doctor to  
> teach the research methods of that field.
> - Third, it establishes the ability of the graduated doctor to  
> conduct independent research.
> - Fourth, it establishes the ability of the graduated doctor to  
> supervise research and train researchers."
>>>
>
> Looking at these four teaching criteria, I agree with the first  
> three. Looking at the comments of Terry, David and Jose, and my own  
> PhD-experience, the fourth point might need some attention. I'm not  
> sure if my ability 'to supervise research and train researchers' was  
> ever supervised or examined during my PhD.
>
> Which universities offer a PhD-supervision course? Some of the  
> topics in which I would be interested are:
> - Different types of PhDs (Experimental, collection of published  
> papers, historical, practice based, ...);
> - How to handle several students with very different backgrounds and/ 
> or very different research methods at the same time;
> - How to plan the practical supervision limits (hours/student, co- 
> authored publications, joined presentations, teaching);
> - How to gauge research-progress in different ways;
> - How to decide when input is required/necessary/essential;
> - How to decide if enough input is provided;
> - How to deal with clashes of personalities, cultures, and languages;
> - How to decide when to stop and refer to alternative supervision;
> - Different types of examinations;
> - Time-,  resources-, financial management.
>
> Of course, all these topics should be research based and/or 'best  
> supervisional practice' based. Where can I register?
>
> Kind regards,
> Karel.
> [log in to unmask]

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