The MethodSpace focus for August was on teaching research methods, and we’re continuing in September with resources on mentoring, supervising, and guiding researchers. You can find the whole series here.
More questions were posted than we had time to answer during the during the Nurturing the Researchers of Tomorrow webinar. This post is one of the responses. I’ll continue to work through the questions, and you can find this unfolding collection of posts here.
Q. What do you think – people become academicians by themselves or there’s always someone who bring them and guide them in the world of scholarship?
JS. I am sure some people achieve academic success on their own. However, take a look at scholarly articles and textbooks– how many have a single author? I would argue that our work is best when we are engaged in mutually-supportive networks and collaborative projects. When we network and collaborate, we help and guide each other. We are compelled to look at research problems, methods, discussion of findings, from larger cultural and disciplinary perspectives.
Model and encourage networks and collaboration with your students.
It is valuable to encourage Masters and doctoral students to learn how to support each other. In doing so, we can enculturate them into a professional field where being about to work together is essential. The skills they learn will be beneficial as they move forward in academic or other research-related careers. We can model these ways of working in our styles of teaching, mentoring, and supervising.
Last spring I invited Jim McCleskey, my former doctoral student, now professor and writer, to join me for a webinar hosted by the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. I wanted to share experiences from the mentor and student perspectives. We discussed an online doctoral writing circle, and online exchanges I hosted each term with my cohort of doctoral students that we called “Research Cabaret.”
Thanks to TAA, you can view the recording, usually only available to members.