Approaches to supervision and critical thinking (21-22 Oct, 2013)

01 Nov 2013

Linqed Thesis WS1

From 21st to 22nd October 2013, LINQED and ITM organized a workshop on thesis supervision  - "Approaches to supervision and critical thinking" - at ITM, Antwerpen, Belgium. About 20 participants attended. Among them, 5 international participants came from Gadjah Mada Unicersity Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Uganda Martyrs University Kampala, Uganda; Ecole Nationale de Santé Publique, Rabat, Morocco and University of Pretoria, South Africa. During these 2 days, specific information was offered to junior and experienced Master and/or PhD supervisors, as well as to ITM staff who coordinate Master and Phd trainings. During the one-day workshop, supervisors and coordinators discussed the challenges and various supervision approaches. The concept of critical thinking and the use of the Socratic questioning technique which teaches students to examine their own thoughts in a more critical manner. 

Most participants appreciated the way the topic was dealt with. Below are some of their quotes:

The key messages for me are (1) Thesis supervision is a skill that needs to be attained and sharpened with time and experience.(2) Thesis supervision is an art and a science which involves principles to be applied to have the best results this is contrary to what i knew before as a haphazard way of doing things. (3)the supervisor is not an ultimate source of knowledge in the supervision process because s/he can also be critiqued on his/her own thesis comments.”

“There are different styles of supervisors; all styles have merits. Be a well organized supervisor, be aware that your actions (even small) have an important impact on the work (and life) of your student. Listen well to your student. Investigate his body language and emotional reactions to your comments. Be patient with your students in revision their texts. Writing a logical text is something many of us have to learn by doing.”

“It is important to discuss the expectation between supervisors and between supervisors and students. It is important to make it explicit for supervisors as well as students that one of the learning goals of thesis writing is to be able to think more critically.”



For general information