Developing Capability international students in doctoral writing groups Dr Jeannie Daniels La Trobe University Melbourne Australia
the Writing Group The notion of Capability How the two came together as research Continuing the conversation
My work La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria. Faculty of Law & Management – Law, Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management & Tourism. PhD candidates from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, fewer from European countries, as well as Australia.
Questions related to my role • How does doctoral study at La Trobe benefit these students? • What kind of professional identity is being built, or built upon? And • How to facilitate the doctoral process as identity development, agency, and negotiation of the role of knowledge worker?
Other benefits Confidence Self-awareness/identity Awareness of difference and own agency/reflexivity Changing ideas about how to ‘use’ their doctoral skills
Capability ‘a critique of other approaches to thinking about human well-being’ (Walker & Unterhalter 2007)
Transnational spaces ‘How the world is constituted by cross-border relationships, patterns of economic, political and cultural relations... ...the multiple and messy proximities through which human societies have now become globally interconnected and interdependent’ (Rizvi 2010, p 160)
The Research Questions • Does participation in doctoral writing groups lead to ‘Capability' through development of high level academic and self-management skills? • If so, how does this happen within the writing group?
Confidence with self(personal attributes) • self assessed improvement in thinking at doctoral level; • a sense of purpose/sense of 'self'; • clarity of future goals; • self-assessment of personal and learner development. Outward confidence (communicative attributes) • demonstrably increasing confidence, improved writing at doctoral level; • eagerness to give opinion; • demonstrated skills in giving critique, and receiving and acting on critique from peers.
Capability? ‘what makes it any different?’ A useful concept? Just another way of looking at the pedagogy of the writing group? How do we theorise and research the work we do with international students? And do it well?
References Rizvi, F. 2010. International students and doctoral studies in transnational spaces. In: Walker, M. & Thomson, P. (eds.) The Routledge doctoral supervisor's companion:supporting effective research in education and the social sciences. London & New York: Routledge, 158-170. Walker, M. & Unterhalter, E. 2007. The Capability Approach: its potential for work in education. In: Walker, M. & Unterhalter, E. (eds.) AmartyaSen's capability approach and social justice in education. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 1-18.