Are you a single cup supervisor?

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You won’t find this in any Higher Degree by Research Guide to Candidature, but do you really make your students welcome in supervision meetings? There are tales of supervisors who will call “enter” at a knock, then proceed with an hour’s discussion nursing a cup of tea… but without even offering the student a drink! I know a wonderful supervisor who has special cups and glasses in her office, and makes each student feel valued by making a shared warm or cool drink (or at least the offer of one) part of the supervisory experience. I guess I’m coming back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs here, and the idea that it’s hard to learn or even listen when you are thirsty, or feeling ill at ease. What are the material traces of an ethics of care in doctoral supervision?

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Author: Lucinda McKnight

Dr Lucinda McKnight is a lecturer in curriculum and pedagogy at Deakin University. She has a BA in Fine Arts, Women's Studies and English from the University of Melbourne, an MA (Distinction) in Media, Culture and Communication, from the Institute of Education now at UCL, and a PhD in Education from Deakin University. Her cartoons have appeared in a number of publications, including Farrago and Health Voice. She has exhibited her artwork at Museum Victoria and the Victorian College of the Arts.

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