- Baker, V. L., & Pifer, M. J. (2011). The role of relationships in the transition from doctoral student to independent scholar. Studies in Continuing Education, 33(1), 5-17.
- Gardner, S. K. (2009). Conceptualizing success in doctoral education: Perspectives of faculty in seven disciplines. The Review of Higher Education, 32(3), 383-406.
- Smith, A. E., & Hatmaker, D. M. (2014). Knowing, doing, and becoming: Professional identity construction among public affairs doctoral students. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 20(4), 545-564.
Annotated Bibliographies on Doctoral Education
Baker, V. L., & Pifer, M. J. (2011). The role of relationships in the transition from doctoral student to independent scholar. Studies in Continuing Education, 33(1), 5-17.
The article focuses on investigating the impact of relationships on the students who undergo a transition from dependent researchers to independent scholars. The reason for conducting the study was lack of evidence for the factors that influence a students transition from dependent to independent scholarship at Stage 2 and the role of relationship in particular. Therefore, the scholars focus on the principles of communications influence on a students ability to change their identity to an independent one, which is required for prospective researchers.
Thus, the experts state that though there is a direct connection between students sociocultural environment and identity development, this topic is poorly investigated. As a result, they used the interdisciplinary network of Baker and Lattuca for combining a sociocultural perspective of learning and the developmental network theory. In order to explore the topic, Baker and Pifer interviewed 31 doctoral students engaged in educational Stage 2 and those who had recently completed it. The interview protocol was focused on such aspects as key experiences, challenges, goals, key relationships, types of support and their availability, and an interviewees identity. The investigation allowed the scholars to conclude that during the learning process, the students simultaneously experienced the identity development process.
Moreover, identity development of the interviewees revealed a strong dependence on their social connections. The reason lies in the need for mastering an identity of an independent researcher, the model of whom is defined and accepted as a result of the corresponding social contacts. The unique aspect of this research is its enhancement of the understanding of an aspiring scholars socialization. The article demonstrates that ones learning and socialization cannot be separated from identity development as they occur simultaneously and influence each other.
Gardner, S. K. (2009). Conceptualizing success in doctoral education: Perspectives of faculty in seven disciplines. The Review of Higher Education, 32(3), 383-406.
Gardners article focuses on the investigation of success as a phenomenon associated with doctoral education. The author assures that the understanding of this issue is critical because only the half of those who enter doctoral program manage to complete it. The study is based on the question of the influence of disciplinary context and culture on the understanding of success in doctoral education. Thus, the author of the research analyzes different factors that are associated with the concept of success and contribute to its conceptualization.
Moreover, the research unites the opinions of different scholars regarding success as a phenomenon and creates a comprehensive framework of this concept in the context of doctoral education. The article also contains several sections that discuss the definition of the investigated phenomenon and the applied research methods presenting its findings. The study population included 38 faculty members in seven departments of educational institutions. The findings lead Gardner to a conclusion that both institutional and disciplinary contexts significantly influence the students understanding of success in their doctoral studies.
The study also revealed tangible and intangible qualities of different faculties and specialties that defined their conceptualization of success. At the same time, the students of different faculties similarly defined the special components of success that could be explained by the institutional influence. Thus, the research is valuable because it improves the understanding of the structures and procedures for facilitating students achieving success in different disciplines. Interestingly, the study discovered that the students of the department of oceanography presented one of the highest completion rates despite the peculiarities of the application of their discipline in life.
Moreover, only these students realized that there was a need for social connectedness and mutual support.
Smith, A. E., & Hatmaker, D. M. (2014). Knowing, doing, and becoming: Professional identity construction among public affairs doctoral students. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 20(4), 545-564.
This article investigates the aspects of professional identity construction among public affairs doctoral students. The scholars claim that their study contributes to the body of knowledge of the researches who examine the public affairs doctoral students undergoing training for becoming researchers. In particular, their study focuses on the correlation between professional identity construction and socialization of doctoral students whose researches are connected to public affairs. In order to conduct a study, Smith and Hatmaker created a multilevel analysis model comprising of organizational, individual, and relational tactics.
Being supported by different researches, the authors affirm that these tactics constitute the competences required for future scholars. In order to verify their theory, the authors used the developed model for studying 59 participants who were public affairs doctoral students representing 25 universities in total. The predominating tool for obtaining opinions of the participants regarding the issue was a professionally transcribed semi-structured phone interview.
The main aim of interviewing was to reveal the principles of the students learning process on their way of becoming academic professionals. Furthermore, Smith and Hatmaker adopted the grounded theory approach iteratively using the data and literature for generating the unique constructs of the investigation. The applied framework of the research allowed creating a model of the prototypical researcher that helped analyze the processes of the interviewees professional identity development. As a result, a model of the relationship between the multilevel components and the doctoral students definition of the construction of a professional identity of a researcher was formed. The model revealed the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary educational programs for professional development of doctoral students.
Thus, the model and the findings allowed the researchers to propose the efficient ways to improve the programs for doctoral students.
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