I’m Helen Colley, ex-bus driver and factory worker, critical feminist, and Professor of Lifelong Learning at the University of Huddersfield. My own research has always focused on practitioners working with disadvantaged people, and what they have to learn – formally and informally – to do their jobs. Because I am deeply concerned with issues of gender and class inequalities, especially how these combine, I have a particular interest in researching emotional and ethical aspects of work and learning. These seem all the more important to me in the current context, as economic ‘austerity’ measures put public service practitioners under ever more intensive pressures.
I am also Director of Graduate Education in the School of Education and Professional Development at Huddersfield. It’s been a new step in my career to take on this role, and it has been a wonderfully thought-provoking and challenging one, which I’ve enjoyed enormously. SupervisorStuff is a blog I have set up to reflect on doctoral education and in particular the role that supervisors and supervision play in it. I know that supervision is an academic practice that tends to be rarely discussed amongst academics, an arcane area of our work that all too often seems taboo. Whilst social media abound with doctoral students discussing the doctoral journey and supervision, I’ve been struck by the dearth of tweets, blogs etc. from the supervisor’s point of view. Through SupervisorStuff, I hope to do just a little bit to overcome this silence and create a space in which supervisors and students alike can reflect on strategies for good supervision, the role of supervisors, and their relationship with their students. Twelve years since I started supervising, I feel I still have so much to learn, and am hoping for conversations in which more of us can share our experiences of supervision and how to do it well.
All views expressed are my own, not those of my institution. Comments and guest posts are very welcome.