Doctoral studies as an initiatory trial:expected and taken-for-granted practices that impede PhD students’ progress

Skakni, Isabelle (2018) Doctoral studies as an initiatory trial:expected and taken-for-granted practices that impede PhD students’ progress. Teaching in Higher Education, 23 (8). pp. 927-944. ISSN 1356-2517

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Abstract

Intellectual abilities alone are not sufficient to successfully progress through doctoral studies. Research indicates that modes of training and the context and conditions in which doctoral studies take place also have a significant impact on the process. However, few studies examine how taken-for-granted and self-evident practices in academia likely impede students’ progress. To address this gap, a qualitative inquiry was conducted according to an instrumental case study design. Six human and social sciences faculties at a Canadian university were selected to define the case. In addition to analysing institutional documents pertaining to doctoral studies in this specific context, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 36 PhD students, 14 thesis supervisors and five academic administrators. Based on Giddens’ theory of structuration, the analysis revealed an enduring perception of doctoral studies as an ‘initiatory trial’ that affects both the formal and tacit organisation of the process, and consequently its underlying challenges.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Teaching in Higher Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3304
Subjects:
ID Code:
139396
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Jul 2020 10:15
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Sep 2020 05:50