From Supervisory Dialogues to Successful PhDs: Strategies supporting and enabling the learning conversations of staff and students at postgraduate level

Gina Wisker, G. Robinson, V. Trafford, E. Creighton, M. Warnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Originating in action research 1998-2003 now continued to 2007, for which Gina Wisker is the principal investigator, this qualitative research informed essay explores ways in which supervisory dialogues based on John Heron’s ‘six category intervention analysis’ can empower PhD students to develop as researchers and to become autonomous and successful learners. It contributes new knowledge about supervisory interactions insofar as it explores how different supervisory roles and forms of dialogue ranging from informing and prescriptive through to conceptual prompting and eliciting or clarifying dialogues can help research students clarify conceptualise and articulate their developing conceptual frameworks, methodology and interpretation of findings as well as their research journeys more generally. The essay contributes new knowledge about supervisor and student interactions at PhD level, the role of dialogues in learning, and ways of promoting conceptual expression useful for viva preparation and writing up the PhD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-397
Number of pages15
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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