Modern society is characterised by significant changes in different spheres. Education is not an exception. Being one of the most important aspects of human society, it has to correspond to all demands of modern age. That is why, now there is a great number of significant changes which are peculiar for this sphere. New methods are implied and new demands appear. With this in mind, there is a great need in investigation of these processes. Moreover, postgraduate and research education are also changing. Research education has always been taken as a special kind of education for people who see their future in educational or research sphere and want to make contribution to the world of science. That is why, changes in this field obtain greater importance as they promote increase of the level of knowledge and involvement of students in researches. Moreover, research climate nowadays is marked by significantly increasing numbers and greater diversity within the student population (Engebretson, Smith, McLaughlin, Seibold, Terrett & Ryan, 2008). Doctoral supervision, being an important part of education, is also constantly changing. Realization and analysis of these changes are needed for the further progress and appearance of new efficient ways of supervision.
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Taking into account all these peculiarities of development of the main educational processes, it is possible to say, that a great number of different sources are devoted to investigation of new tendencies. The article The changing reality of research education in Australia and implications for supervision: a review of the literature by Kath Engebretson, Ken Smith, Denis McLaughlin, Carmel Seibold, Gill Terrett and Elizabeth Ryan is devoted to the analysis of the literature on this topic. The authors main aim is to outline the main changes in research education in Australia. The accent is made on two categories of sources which are literature on new ways of conceptualizing research degrees and literature on effective supervision (Engebretson et al., 2008). The paper also challenges traditional understanding of a good supervision as relations between supervisor and student, suggesting new perspective on this question. In order to analyse the issue better, the authors provide the discussion of the background of the main changes in research education and supervision. The articles, which serve as the beginnings of the process of change, are investigated. Moreover, some other points of view presented in different articles are also suggested. The authors also investigate the literature on effective supervision and articles connected with the main peculiarities of supervisor-student relationship. In the end of the work the authors conclude that recent changes to higher research education in Australia demand universities to closely scrutinise, evaluate and holistically re-conceptualise their research curricula (Engebretson et al., 2008). Having read the article, it is possible to say that it presents credible information collected from different scholarly sources. With this in mind, it could be recommended for using in different research projects.
Relevance to our project
The article has a great importance for further understanding and investigation of the issue of doctoral supervision. Underlining the main changes which now are peculiar for research education in Australia, the authors give a good example for other countries. Taking into account this experience, it is possible to suggest some new ways and methods to improve supervision of honours and higher degree research students. Moreover, this article presents a good review of the literature connected with the main processes peculiar for modern educational sphere. This review could be used in new projects connected with this issue.
Engebretson, K., Smith, K., McLaughlin, D., Seibold, C., Terrett, G. & Ryan E. (2008) The changing reality of research education in Australia and implications for supervision: a review of the literature, Teaching in Higher Education, 13(1), 1-15. Web.