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‘The books don’t talk to me!’: Postgraduate student groups and research student identity formation

Conference Paper


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Abstract


  • This paper explores alternative spaces for learning amongst postgraduate research (PGR)

    students in the form of research-related groups such as reading and discussion groups,

    writing groups, seminar series or social groups. Our research with PGR students and

    academics explores the pedagogy and role of such groups in student learning and identity

    formation. In this paper, we discuss our findings related to PGR student needs and the

    factors prompting the formation of research-related groups. A survey of 36 PGR students

    revealed that students were reasonably satisfied with the formal components of their

    research degrees such as supervision and mandatory units of study. Yet general

    dissatisfaction with other opportunities for intellectual engagement, and feelings of

    isolation, were also prevalent. We hypothesise that though a majority of students might

    feel supported to complete their higher research degree, they are not necessarily feeling

    supported in the transition to becoming scholars or in developing broader scholarly

    interests and networks. As other academic literature has opined, research-related student

    groups can fulfil a dual function, assisting students towards completion of their research

    degree but also socialising students into academia. This paper discusses the role that

    higher education institutions and faculties might play in supporting research-related

    groups. In particular, there is a balance to be achieved between facilitating groups and

    enabling sustainability while ensuring that PGR students maintain autonomy and a

    reciprocal degree of responsibility in governance of such groups, which are key to

    developing an academic identity.

UOW Authors


  •   Bell, Felicity J. (external author)
  •   Shackel, Rita (external author)
  •   Steele, Linda

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • F. Bell, R. Shackel & L. Steele, '‘The books don’t talk to me!’: Postgraduate student groups and research student identity formation' (Paper presented at the 36th HERDSA Annual International Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 1-4 Jul 2013).

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/context/lhapapers/article/2119/type/native/viewcontent

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1114

Start Page


  • 37

End Page


  • 47

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.herdsa.org.au/?page_id=3502

Abstract


  • This paper explores alternative spaces for learning amongst postgraduate research (PGR)

    students in the form of research-related groups such as reading and discussion groups,

    writing groups, seminar series or social groups. Our research with PGR students and

    academics explores the pedagogy and role of such groups in student learning and identity

    formation. In this paper, we discuss our findings related to PGR student needs and the

    factors prompting the formation of research-related groups. A survey of 36 PGR students

    revealed that students were reasonably satisfied with the formal components of their

    research degrees such as supervision and mandatory units of study. Yet general

    dissatisfaction with other opportunities for intellectual engagement, and feelings of

    isolation, were also prevalent. We hypothesise that though a majority of students might

    feel supported to complete their higher research degree, they are not necessarily feeling

    supported in the transition to becoming scholars or in developing broader scholarly

    interests and networks. As other academic literature has opined, research-related student

    groups can fulfil a dual function, assisting students towards completion of their research

    degree but also socialising students into academia. This paper discusses the role that

    higher education institutions and faculties might play in supporting research-related

    groups. In particular, there is a balance to be achieved between facilitating groups and

    enabling sustainability while ensuring that PGR students maintain autonomy and a

    reciprocal degree of responsibility in governance of such groups, which are key to

    developing an academic identity.

UOW Authors


  •   Bell, Felicity J. (external author)
  •   Shackel, Rita (external author)
  •   Steele, Linda

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • F. Bell, R. Shackel & L. Steele, '‘The books don’t talk to me!’: Postgraduate student groups and research student identity formation' (Paper presented at the 36th HERDSA Annual International Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 1-4 Jul 2013).

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/context/lhapapers/article/2119/type/native/viewcontent

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1114

Start Page


  • 37

End Page


  • 47

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.herdsa.org.au/?page_id=3502