Research supervision as praxis: A need to speak back in dangerous ways?




doctoral advising, doctoral education, doctoral supervision, praxis, transformation


Viewing research supervision as praxis offers alternative perspectives on this crucial aspect of academic work. In this paper, we consider the contributions in this Special Issue as counterpoints to dominant discourses on research supervision by drawing on the idea of praxis as morally committed and history-making action. This brings insights from Swedish research into dialogue with literature from across the world, particularly the Global South. We thematize these contributions by highlighting issues of complexity; considering how history, future and positionality shape supervision praxis; challenging narrow production-oriented discourses in favour of creativity as a foundation for supervision as praxis; and reflecting on how a shift from precarity to nuance may enable us to view supervision as praxis as enablement towards a better future. Our consideration of research supervision as praxis necessitates a stance that does not conform to the status quo, thus provoking further debate and action to think, and supervise, in non-routine, future-changing ways. As supervisors, we do not need to be resigned to futures where neoliberal regimes of surveillance, measurement and accountability shape our practices as strongly as they do today. We argue that there is a need to speak back to supervision as praxis in dangerous ways.

Author Biography

Nick Hopwood, University of Technology Sydney

Nick is co-convenor (with Kirsty Young) of the Life-wide Learning & Education Research Group at the University of Technology Sydney, where he holds a professorate. He has more than a decade's experience researching how people learn in a range of settings, and he takes inspiration from the idea that with the right resources and support, the future that ought to be can be the future that actually comes to be. As Professor of Professional Learning Nick often works in transdisciplinary projects collaborating with practitioners and researchers in health settings. His expertise pertains to agency, professional learning, positive change in families and schools. He has studied workplace learning, teacher learning that improves student outcomes, partnership between health practitioners and families, inter-professional health practice, and health professional education. Nick draws on cultural-historical theory and practice theory, following questions of knowledge, expertise, learning in everyday life and workplace settings. 




How to Cite

Hopwood, N., & Frick, L. (2023). Research supervision as praxis: A need to speak back in dangerous ways?. Journal of Praxis in Higher Education, 5(2), 140–166.