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Supervision of Maori doctoral students: A descriptive report

This report follows up a previous paper that outlined the goals and plans of a research project that focused on both theoretical and cultural questions regarding the supervisory process for Māori doctoral students (McKinley, Grant, Middleton, Irwin, & Williams, 2007). The major goal of the project is to enhance understanding of the teaching and learning process of supervision for students and supervisors, particularly around issues of culture that arise in research methodologies and practices. This paper reports on the completed project by providing further operational background, design features, the nature of the student and supervisor samples and a summary of interview findings. The results show that there are indeed distinctive issues arising within the supervision of Māori doctoral students. Some of these are to do with both pleasures and challenges found in the supervision relationship, while others relate to the kinds of projects the students undertake. Many projects for example, push at the disciplinary boundaries of Western knowledge and are often rooted in a political desire to enhance the everyday lives of Māori. Yet others are connected to identity formation processes that concern many Māori during their years as doctoral students. A central message for supervisors from this work is that the supervision of Māori doctoral students may require unfamiliar forms of engagement but that these are likely to be deeply rewarding in many different ways.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
McKinley, E., Grant, B., Middleton, S., Irwin, K. & Williams, L. R. T. (2009). Supervision of Maori doctoral students: A descriptive report. MAI Review, 2009, 1, Article 6.
Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, University of Auckland
This article has been published in the journal: MAI review. Used with permission.