Stirring doctoral candidates into academic practices: a doctoral course and its practice architectures

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Rönnerman, Karin ; Kemmis, Stephen (2016)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v7.27558
  • Subject: Academic practices, theory of practice architectures, doctoral coursework, enabling research collaboration, international networking

This article reports on the experiences of 104 doctoral candidates who participated in six offerings (2008–2015) of an intensive 5-day course for doctoral candidates associated with the research programme of an international research network. The purpose of the article is to demonstrate how higher education practices, like those of this course, can be understood through the lens of a particular form of practice theory, namely the theory of practice architectures. The analyses show how the practice architectures of the course enable and constrain candidates’ academic practices such as presenting and discussing their own research, chairing seminar presentations and being discussants for research papers whose authors are present. The candidates entered some new academic practices in the course but sometimes contested these practices, for example by requesting greater structure in some sessions, perhaps reflecting their expectations that the course would be more similar to other doctoral courses they had attended. Using the lens of the theory of practice architectures, the analyses shows how these new practices were enabled and constrained by specific arrangements built into the design of the course that served both as practice architectures for learning in the course and for the academic practices being learned.Keywords: academic practices, theory of practice architectures, doctoral coursework, enabling research collaboration, international networking, higher education(Published: 9 June 2016)Citation: Education Inquiry (EDUI) 2016, 7, 27558, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/edui.v7.27558
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