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Critical reflections on a problematic Student-Supervisor relationship

Taylor, P.C. and Dawson, V. (1999) Critical reflections on a problematic Student-Supervisor relationship. In: Malone, J., Atweh, W. and Northfield, J., (eds.) Research and Supervision in Mathematics and Science Education. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 105-127.

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The supportive role of the research supervisor in an action research study in science education is the focus of this chapter. This critical account of a relationship between a research supervisor and a postgraduate research student was prompted by a sense of disquiet and lack of harmony that developed during a year-long action research study. In the role of a teacher researcher with a critical constructivist perspective, the student had attempted to transform radically the epistemology of her Year 10 Bioethics class. Despite the supervisor's emancipatory intentions, the student felt that she was being disempowered as a result of his demands to conform to normative expectations and standards. Drawing on the student's dissertation and reflective journal, and on their subsequent separate writings, the student and supervisor conducted jointly a critical inquiry into the problematic aspects of their relationship. The writings of Habermas and feminist scholars assisted with their new understandings of the need for a rich communicative relationship, especially in situations where the student is undertaking emancipatory action research and the supervisor wishes to adopt a collaborative research role.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Copyright: © 1999 – Routledge
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