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Mentoring and Communication

Theories and Practices

Edited By Diana Trebing and Ahmet Atay

Although mentoring occupies a paramount role in higher education and is part of a faculty’s expected duties, nowadays increasingly so, it is not an area to which graduate schools pay close attention. There is no formalized training and faculty and graduate students alike are expected to know how to mentor effectively once they graduate or start a new teaching or administrative position. This book tackles two interrelated issues: the role and importance of mentoring in the communication discipline as well as critical/cultural studies and using critical communication to illuminate the ways in which students and junior faculty among others are mentored in higher education. The authors of these chapters present a position or an issue in regards to mentoring students and faculty or the lack of it in higher education. Their goal is to generate a scholarly discussion by utilizing qualitative and narrative-based research approaches and critical and cultural perspectives to promote awareness about the importance of mentoring. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the important issues in mentoring as a form of critical communication pedagogy and present some guidelines, ideas, and examples to mentor more effectively. This edited book will be helpful for various audiences. First, it will provide guidance for graduate students, junior and senior faculty members who are asked to mentor others at various stages of their academic careers. Second, it will help students and faculty who are currently trying to identify and work with mentors. And third, it gives ideas on what to do and not to do in successful mentor-mentee relationships.
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chapter 12 Subversive Spaces, Embodied Places and Mentoring as Onto-Epistemology

Extract

Jacqueline Taylor

In the pursuit of new knowledge, the Ph.D. can be intellectually, physically, and mentally isolating. It is also fraught with tensions and trepidations such as navigating the unknown, imposter syndrome and understanding how to inhabit the academe as a researcher. As a result, the doctoral student experience has started to be explored in recent years. In particular, there has been an increasing focus on the mental health of Ph.D. students (Levecque et al., 2017) in what is acknowledged as a crisis in Ph.D. well-being (Times Higher Education, 2017) along with the benefits of establishing doctoral communities (Parker, 2009; Pilbeam & Denyer, 2009). Although doctoral education has previously been under-theorized and conceptualized (Boud & Lee, 2005) it is increasingly being considered in terms of pedagogy. However, this tends to be limited to Ph.D. supervision (Stracke, 2010) and teaching cohorts of learners through a Researcher Development model, focusing on training research methods and skills as separate to the doctoral experience.

Whilst discussion of mentoring is limited in the context of doctoral education and predominantly focuses on the Ph.D. supervisor as mentor, this chapter reconceptualizes mentoring as an expanded and multidimensional mode of support that has the potential to both enhance the doctoral experience and meet students’ ←225 | 226→doctoral training needs. Specifically, I explore the pedagogical potential of mentoring for Arts, Design and Media Ph.D. students and their associated challenges of attaining ‘doctoralness,’ including negotiating the nuances, complexities and slipperiness of ‘art practice research’ that,...

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