Critical autobiography in the professional doctorate: improving students’ writing through the device of literature

Article


Eastman, C. and Maguire, K. 2016. Critical autobiography in the professional doctorate: improving students’ writing through the device of literature. Studies in Continuing Education. 38 (3), pp. 355-372. https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2016.1180510
TypeArticle
TitleCritical autobiography in the professional doctorate: improving students’ writing through the device of literature
AuthorsEastman, C. and Maguire, K.
Abstract

This paper argues for a pedagogic practice to overcome the challenges that many professional practitioners face in undertaking a professional doctorate. Recent examination feedback on a professional doctoral programme of 300 candidates in the UK highlighted that a number of candidates often struggle to write persuasively, critically, and reflectively. This paper discusses the impact of a series of workshops designed to support students in resolving the challenges of writing clearly. In our workshops we encouraged the students to conceptualise their professional doctorate as a critical autobiography. In order to foster a critical autobiographical voice in our students, we explored a range of autobiographical texts for students to use as models for their own writing. In addition to offering a description of our teaching practice in these workshops, this paper explores the theoretical background that illuminates our pedagogical choices. Both theory and practice are posited side by side in our paper to uncover mutually illuminating connections in our discussion and evaluation of our attempts to improve students’ writing. We suggest that conceptualising the professional doctorate as critical autobiography is a valuable tool for professional practitioners who struggle to communicate the complexities of their practice confidently and lucidly.

KeywordsCritical autobiography; criticality; academic writing; professional doctorate; literature
Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
LanguageEnglish
PublisherRoutledge
JournalStudies in Continuing Education
ISSN0158-037X
Electronic1470-126X
Publication dates
Online04 May 2016
Print01 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited04 May 2016
Accepted13 Apr 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Continuing Education on 04/05/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0158037X.2016.1180510

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2016.1180510
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84965036790
Web of Science identifierWOS:000382499800006
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