Supervisor Development and Reflection

Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Marion JONES
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Madeline BANDA
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand


Supervision remains a mysterious and private part of academic work – one that is arguably still the least visible, least accountable and least articulable... (Lee & McKenzie, 2008, p. 61).

The term ‘evaluation’ can often put up a barrier for engagement. This roundtable opens a space for discussion and debate on how to frame and develop a process of evaluation for supervision that benefits both student and supervisor. Pearson and Kayrooz’s (2004) process offers an alternative mechanism for enhancing supervision. Instead of ‘evaluation’ the emphasis is on reflection and reflexivity, where the supervisor gains feedback on the more nuanced aspects of their practice.

Various difficulties are evident in the evaluation of supervision, including such issues as the multiplicity of roles held by the supervisor, the historical view of supervision as a ‘private’ practice, the potential conflict between the use of student feedback for formative as well as summative purposes and the challenge for students in differentiating and weighing up the varied contributions of the supervisor. A further issues lies in the resistance of supervisors to be reviewed/assessed on a role that is constantly changing as the research progresses. Since feedback can be obtained in varied ways, what other ways and how best can this be accessed?

Certain questions will guide the discussion and include:

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