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Facilitator, director or critical friend? contradiction and congruence in doctoral supervision styles

Deuchar, R. (2008) Facilitator, director or critical friend? contradiction and congruence in doctoral supervision styles. Teaching in Higher Education, 13 (4). pp. 489-500. ISSN 1356-2517

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Abstract

This paper explores the current issues relating to doctoral research supervision and candidature, set within the context of the neo-liberal and consumerist agendas and the pressures of the Research Assessment Exercise. The paper opens up discussion about the extent to which the discourse of performativity may be having an influence on supervision styles, and explores some of the barriers that may prevent the realisation of effective supervisor/student relationships. The paper highlights the evidence arising from a critical review of literature into current supervision styles and candidate needs, explores the way in which these issues may be applied to education and provides illustrative examples of the way in which principles are currently being translated into practice in the Faculty of Education of one Scottish university.