ABSTRACT

As staff developers in the area of postgraduate supervision we have been interested to hear academics tell of their personal experiences of being supervised as postgraduate students — frequently they were dismal! And many students currently enrolled tell similar stories. In this chapter we describe ‘Postgraduate Supervision: Guidelines for discussion’ (Graham and Grant, 1993) which we have developed to assist supervisors and students in the process of clarifying mutual expectations of the supervision process. This description is set amidst a consideration of the current literature on postgraduate supervision, as well as stories from students’ experiences of using the document with their supervisors. In addition we offer some discussion — from critical education and Foucauldian perspectives — of the power dynamics of the student-supervisor relationship in an effort to understand this sometimes troubled ground.