Becoming doctorate as an endpoint and a point of departure

Bitzer, Eli ; Leshem, Shosh ; Trafford, Vernon (2016)

CITATION: Bitzer, E., Leshem, S. & Traffore, v. 2016. (Re) Becoming Doctorate as an End-point and a Point of Departure: Intervention Experiences of Doctoral Supervisors and Candidates, in M. Fourie-Malherbe, R. Albertyn, C. Aitchison & E. Bitzer. (eds.). Postgraduate Supervision: Future Foci for the Knowledge Society. Stellenbosch: SUN PRESS. 223-239. doi:10.18820/9781928357223/13.

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Chapters in Books

INTRODUCTION: There are generic features of ‘the doctorate’ that transcend disciplines, universities and doctoral procedures. Perspectives on doctoral outcomes include features of received wisdom, which scholars often refer to as the ‘gold standard’ of the doctorate (Trafford & Leshem 2008: 34–35). When standards at such a scholarly level are met, they constitute ‘doctorateness’, which is what examiners expect to be displayed in doctoral theses (Halse & Malfroy 2010; McAlpine & Ashgar 2010). To achieve generic scholarly standards, doctoral candidates are expected to progress beyond merely reporting facts; levels of knowledge, skills and attitudes that involve intellectualising, conceptualising and contributing to existing knowledge are required. Candidates and supervisors who display this understanding appreciate connections between doing research and writing a doctoral thesis, and for candidates at some institutions, defending their thesis in a doctoral viva. When these criteria for a doctoral degree are met, then ‘doctorateness’ is demonstrated (Trafford & Leshem 2008; 2011).

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