Conversations I Wish I Had

Please stop telling me to ‘manage’ my supervisor!

Worthy of note for anyone enrolled in graduate school, because at some point you will wonder: “Am I being needy or is my supervision really not present enough?”

The Thesis Whisperer

Like many other academic developers, I have often run workshops called ‘manage your supervisor’ where I try, in an upbeat fashion, to empower students to feel they can take charge of their own learning and responsibility for the outcomes. I acknowledge in this workshop that supervisors are generally busy, time poor creatures who might need a bit of managing, especially when it comes to keeping appointments, doing important paper work and providing timely feedback on drafts.
There are books, papers, articles and phamplets on the theme of students managing supervisors, so I guess it is hardly surprising that the term crept into my teaching practice too. But now I am questioning it.
As many people have pointed out, supervision / student relationships are rarely, if ever, ‘equal’ and if you had to say one person had more power than the other, it’s almost certainly the supervisor. Why then do we…

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2014 by .
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