Supervision of Postgraduate Students: A Personal Experience
Yungungu, Alice M.
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Supervision can be defined as a dynamic facilitative process that encourages a set of tasks and responsibilities which are performed in different domains. In research context, supervision involves supervisors’ and post graduate students ‘tasks and responsibilities in the supervision process. This paper will therefore concentrate on the four pillars of strengthening post graduate supervision namely: power relations, scholarship, practices and processes involved in being a supervisor. Power relations deal with the relationship between supervisors and supervisees. It focuses on how we go about creating an inclusive and participatory learning environment that enables students to acquire and further develop knowledge, methodological skills and writing practices during the research process. Scholarship deals with the strategies used to induct students into an academic community. It also deals with supervisors’ engagement with the scholarly academic community in order to develop a sense of being an effective supervisor. Practices in supervision refer to roles, responsibilities and activities of supervisors and students that enhance students’ development. Supervision processes involved in being a supervisor focus on the logistics of managing supervision with institutional requirements. The supervisors’ roles and students ‘responsibilities and expectations will be discussed under this pillar. Couching and mentoring in supervision as well as conventional and alternative approaches to supervision will be illuminated. Challenges in supervision and possible solutions will be discussed. Recommendations on how to improve the supervision process will be provided. It is hoped that this paper will shed more light on how supervisors should go about the supervision process. As a result, it is expected that supervisors will engage in effective and meaningful supervision