oa Journal of Education - Negotiating student identity in the doctoral proposal development process: a personal reflective account

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



This article focuses on the interpersonal and formative dynamics involved in the PhD proposal supervision process. It is a reflective account of my supervisory experiences with two of my doctoral students. The article discusses the authoritative basis upon which these two supervisory relationships were founded, negotiated and substantiated. Key to the supervision process has been an awareness of and engagement with the ways the students� personal identities initially informed their respective approaches to doctoral study. Rooted within an understanding of their biographies, the article discusses how the supervisory process navigated shifts in their personal approaches. I show how these shifts enabled them to identify their research foci and to pose an academically acceptable set of research questions. The development of my own reflexivity about my authority as a doctoral supervisor is central to this account.

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