This We Believe: A Philosophy of Practice for Work with Postgraduate Researchers (UK) / Graduate & Professional Students (...
This we believe: A Philosophy of Practice for Work with Postgraduate Researchers (UK) / Graduate & Professional Students (US)
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This we believe: A Philosophy of Practice for Work with Postgraduate Researchers (UK) / Graduate & Professional Students (US)


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This we believe: A Philosophy of Practice for Work with Postgraduate Researchers (UK) / Graduate & Professional Students (US)

  1. 1. This We Believe: A Philosophy of Practice for Work with Postgraduate Researchers (UK) / Graduate & Professional Students (US)<br />Ilene D. Alexander, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, alexa032@umn.eduJaye McIsaac, University of Liverpool, Cristina Costa, University of Salford, Andriamanalina, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities,<br />Overview<br />We provide long-term programming, professional development events, and wide ranging individual consultations related to learning and teaching, to supportive practices for researching, and to immediate and long-term career development. <br />We shape our practices from knowing and beliefs about the pedagogy of learning and teaching, social justice, human cognitive, identity and psychological development, and from lessons learned while mentoring future academics as they navigate problems and potentials within academe on their way to careers in and beyond the academy.<br />We value our multiple identities as education developers, career services professionals, mentors of postgraduate researchers/graduate students engaged in lifelong learning. <br />Philosophy of Practice – General<br />Co-creating a philosophy of practice allows us to articulate the core values – including political / personal assumptions – that guide daily work and decision-making.<br />Composing a philosophy of practice engages us in processes of discovery with regard to interdisciplinary educational theories and methodologies, and in processes of reflection as we review assessment of objectives / outcomes in setting future directions.<br />We affirm a scholarly practice of publicly sharing, evaluating, developing and testing our philosophies of practice.<br />Philosophy of Practice – Our Principles<br />1. Autonomy: We value and promote the development of autonomy as a guiding principle in our work with postgraduate researchers, teachers, community engaged scholars – understanding autonomous scholars as building professional lives that are collaborative, networked, affiliated, and agentic.<br />2. Negotiate Academe: We take seriously the responsibility of programme design and delivery that thoughtfully examines the immediate and long term requirements of academic life, and respectfully guides skill development for those who are new to negotiating academic cultures.<br />3. Use Who We Are: We hold – and treat respectfully – our unique position within the academy: We are at once scholars, teachers and/or career development professionals to our fields of study; we are also educational developers engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning. We make use of these two bodies of knowledge using a collaboration/mediation approach. <br />4. Value Synergies: We value both disciplinary and multidisciplinary interactions among postgraduate researchers/graduate students; therefore, we work with individual colleges/faculties of a university to create local programming, and we work across the university to develop synergistic multidisciplinary programming via central university offices.<br />5. Promote Choice: We acknowledge and support postgraduate researchers/graduate students in choosing their own career paths. It is our responsibility to be aware of various career paths so we can effectively help postgraduate researchers/graduate students consider the fullest possible range of employability options – academic (staff and faculty), non-academic (business, government, community agency/non-profit).<br />6. Value Micro, Meso, Macro: We approach postgraduate researcher/graduate student professional development programming with from micro, meso, macro levels; that is, working with postgraduates, faculty, and larger local/national institutional bodies in order to collaborate in novel ways and to design for maximum engagement, with the intent to richly meet postgraduate needs, while supporting on-going professional development for those holding supervisor/advisor roles.<br />7. Enact Social Justice: Using social justice framework for social change – we recognize that postgraduates, staff and faculty can be change agents and should be encouraged to have a critically conscious understanding of the systems in which we operate and their role. We use an empowerment model where individuals are urged to engage in and take action on issues of bias and discrimination to transform educational institutions and broader society.<br />8. Link Action & Research: We are goal and action oriented – we understand that a critical factor in attending to other’s career planning and professional development is not only setting one’s own career and professional goals but also taking actions to achieve those goals. To enrich our own intellectual and scholarly growth, we engage in various types of research, staying current on new ideas/practices in our field, and publish within our academic communities and disciplines.<br />9. Develop Cross-Culturally: We advocate programming that openly explores inter-personal, intra-cultural, cross-cultural and international aspects of the roles (including teaching/learning, research and community service/engagement) postgraduate researchers/graduate students may assume as future faculty/professionals.<br />10. Advocate Multiple Mentorships: We value strong networks of support for postgraduate researchers/graduate students, including in these networks multiple faculty, staff and peer mentors who are known to each other so they collectively identify best support structures. We recognize that some students need to pursue diverse career options and will establish mentor networks beyond academe – in industry, government, or the community settings.<br />Resources – For Further Thinking/Information<br />Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), Researcher Development Framework,<br />Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), What do Researchers Do? First destinations of doctoral graduates by subject<br />Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), What do Researchers Do? Doctoral graduate destinations and impact three years on <br />Funders and Employers of Researchers in the UK, The Concordat to support the career development of researchers,<br />Neill Johnson, Philosophy of Teaching and Faculty<br />Ohio State University Center for the Advancement of Teaching: Philosophy<br />Penn State World Campus: Faculty Development Philosophy <br />Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD), Ethical Guidelines, <br />Shinton, S. (2004) What do PhDs Do? Report commissioned by the UK GRAD Programme in partnership with Graduate Prospects,<br />