A bit OT here. I actually find British academics (most of them those that I've encountered, anyway) have a tendency for understatements, which can be damn irritating. Instead of coming straight out and say what they think is wrong with proposals/assignment prior to it being submitted, which can make things far simpler to correct, to they tend to damn it with faint praise, or skirt around the issue. I think I have got use to the style now, so when I heard the phrase 'its an interesting argument, but...' or 'it is fine, but...', I immediately think of major edits/rewrites.
Not sure if its to avoid breaking the glass hearts of the modern young students, or the need to appear encouraging at all times, but most of the time, I just wish they would say exactly what they mean.
Yes I have had to explain to many international students that they have to read between the lines when our supervisors tell them something. They do not get this indirect approach. It is not something they are used to.
I have also told my supervisors that they need to be more explicit, but obviously they find this difficult. Academics are not trained in management and supervision, so if it doesn't come naturally to them, they struggle with difficult conversations.
What then happens is they bury their heads in the sand hoping that issues work themselves out, which they generally do, at great expense to the mental health of the students.
Supervisors do have a responsibility to check students' work. It's in our postgrad handbook. They are there to guide the research, provide ideas and feedback.
In the event my supervisor told me he felt somewhat culpable, as both he and my second supervisor had told me to write the introduction and conclusion in certain ways that my examiners felt seriously undermined the thesis.
It is, however, my research and my name on the paper - which ultimately means that I must take responsibility for what's in it. I am comfortable with that, even though it is rather embarrassing. I find accepting it to be more calming than searching for reasons it isn't my fault, which was indeed my initial (panicked) reaction.
Well 1, I don't think there's a requirement for this, or at least not yet. At my uni, we do some other sort of teaching qualification, that gives us FHEA status, which is basically an equivalent of the PGC I think. Whilst it's mandatory for me to do this in my teaching role, it's not mandatory for academics that have been around forever. They can just write up some sort of teaching evidence statement and get the same qualification. But, lots of them don't even do this. They can't get promoted without it, but once they are at professor level, that doesn't matter. Most of the academics in my department are professors or struggling to get promoted for other reasons ie lack of grant income so this is not at the forefront of their mind.
And 2, the qualification we take is a bit of a joke. You just have to sit through a few hours of training and write a few examples of teaching evidence. It doesn't really qualify you for anything. There's hardly background theory (we are supposed to research this for ourselves, but who has time for that? Plus, I'm not trained in social sciences so the literature is a bit of a minefield), no actual training and proper observation/feedback and you can just write any old rubbish and pass. At least that's my take on it. This is not the opinion I express at work of course.
I say this as someone who has worked as a manager prior to starting a PhD, and having undergone what I consider to be proper management training. This is what I draw on when I supervise my undergrad students.
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