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Enhancing academic climate: doctoral students as their own developers

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Abstract:

This study describes a collaborative initiative with doctoral students to create an academic climate more conducive to fostering interaction across disciplinary groups in a faculty of education in North America. The project attempted to ensure that these students had a voice in creating practices, structures, and policies in the faculty that would enhance their doctoral experience. The evidence suggests that students emerged as their own and others' developers, with a commitment and preparedness to provide leadership within the faculty. While situated in a particular faculty, we believe that the findings have important development implications in other settings since they offer an alternate perspective on development - a shift from expanding training to meet perceived needs to creating opportunities for individuals to construct their own learning opportunities. Cette etude decrit une initiative collaborative, impliquant des doctorants, visant a creer un climat academique permettant davantage d'interactions entre groupes disciplinaires au sein d'une Faculte d'Education en Amerique du Nord. Le projet visait a assurer que ces etudiants puissent s'exprimer relativement a la creation de pratiques, structures et politiques qui amelioreraient leur experience doctorale au sein de la faculte. Les resultats indiquent que les etudiants sont devenus contributeurs de leur propre developpement et de celui de leurs collegues, par leur implication et leur volonte a exercer un leadership au sein de la faculte. Bien que les resultats soient ancres dans une faculte specifique, il nous semble que ceux-ci ont des implications importantes en matiere de developpement pour d'autres environnements puisqu'ils offrent une perspective alternative a l'egard du developpement - un deplacement depuis l'idee d'offrir des activites de formation repondant a des besoins percus vers la creation d'occasions pour des individus de construire leurs propres scenarios d'apprentissage.

Keywords: collaboration; doctoral students; leadership

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13601441003738392

Affiliations: 1: McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada 2: The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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