In this post entitled ‘How not to Write a PhD thesis’ by Tara Brabazon, notice the vulnerability of doctoral researchers to injustices. For example, after the oral exam, one of Tara Brabazon’s students suffers the slap of ‘minor revisions needed’ for ONE revision to a footnote in the fifth chapter.
The nightmare story of the doctoral researcher in the comment section at the end of the piece should convince everyone of the need for more transparency in the oral exam, in the selection of external examiners, and in instructions for revision that are given to students.
Please read this post and let me know how some of the problems Brabazon discusses could be ameliorated or avoided. Note Brabazon is a British academic in the Humanities, so some of which she writes is particular to her discipline and her system.
How do the points Brabazon makes apply to doctoral education in other disciplines and countries. How do they not?
How not to write a PhD thesis | General | Times Higher Education.
“I couldn’t get an old science-fiction story out of my mind. It told the story of a special school whose programs were designed to educate that tiny elite of the galaxy’s population capable of exploring the edges of the universe. With a laptop and a search engine at my disposal, I found my way back to “Academy for Pioneers,” by Raymond F. Jones (1956). The plot was simple. The academy was an elaborate hoax designed to make it possible for students to learn the unteachable. Although faculty members did not know how to instill judgment, spontaneity, or improvisation in the face of surprise and uncertainty, they did understand the conditions their students could not possibly tolerate. Only by requiring all candidates to undergo an education designed to appall truly elite candidates to the point of rebellion could the school ultimately identify those who were capable of learning to engage with the unknown (Shulman, 2010, p.1)”
How is doctoral education similar to the movie Academy for Pioneers?
Shulman, Lee. (2010, April 4). Doctoral Education Shouldn’t Be a Marathon. (Barkat, J. contributor). The Chronicle Review.