Engaging doctoral students in networking opportunities: A relational approach to doctoral study

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Doctoral work is often characterised as lonely and isolating (Holbrook et al. 2014). This paper explores how collaboration with peers and other professionals supports the doctoral learning experience. The research study asks what networks doctoral students engage with and how their engagement in networks supports their studies. Semi-structured interviews were designed to get doctoral students to reflect on their social and cognitive practices. Examples were sought of doctoral students collaborating with peers and colleagues. These collaborations highlight the potential for creating networks where higher-level competences can develop from individual competences. In cultural historical terms, the cultivation of relational expertise helps to develop relational agency (Edwards 2011). Working collaboratively requires effort from the students but also facilitation from the doctoral community. The findings consider the doctoral learning process as one that can be developed pedagogically by appropriating ideas around relational expertise and relational agency.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020

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