Faculty Perspectives on Doctoral Student Socialization in Five Disciplines

By Gardner, Susan K. | International Journal of Doctoral Studies, Annual 2010 | Go to article overview

Faculty Perspectives on Doctoral Student Socialization in Five Disciplines


Gardner, Susan K., International Journal of Doctoral Studies


Introduction

Socialization has become the prevailing framework through which the doctoral student experience has been examined (Austin, 2002; Baird, 1992; Bess, 1978; Clark & Corcoran, 1986; Ellis, 2001; Gardner, 2007; Keith & Moore, 1995; Mendoza, 2007; Turner & Thompson, 1993). Socialization in graduate school is thought to occur as a result of experiences both inside and outside of the classroom (Weidman, Twale, & Stein, 2001) but it is the doctoral student's interactions with faculty members that have received the most attention in the existing literature. In particular, faculty members play myriad roles in the socialization of doctoral students, including instructors in the classroom, supervisors for students with assistantships, committee members for the thesis or dissertation, advisor or chair of the research process, and even mentor (Isaac, Quinlan, & Walker, 1992; Pease, 1967; Weidman & Stein, 2003). In this way, faculty members serve as gatekeepers into and out of doctoral programs (Weidman et al., 2001). And, while multiple studies exist that examine how doctoral students view their socialization experiences in graduate school (e.g., Gardner, 2007; Gonzalez, 2006; Mendoza, 2007; Turner & Thompson, 1993) corresponding studies examining the faculty member's perspective in this socialization process are relatively absent. Such an examination is warranted given the primary role that faculty play in the socialization process of doctoral students (Weidman et al., 2001). The purpose of this study was to better understand faculty members' perceptions about the socialization process and their role in it within five doctoral programs. The paper begins with an overview of the literature related to doctoral student socialization and the faculty role in doctoral education. The methods used to conduct the study, the findings, and the discussion then follow, concluding with implications for policy, practice, and future research.

Doctoral Student Socialization

Socialization is the process through which an individual learns to adopt the values, skills, attitudes, norms, and knowledge needed for membership in a given society, group, or organization (Austin, 2002; Bragg, 1976; Merton, 1957; Tierney, 1997; Van Maanen, 1984; Weidman et al., 2001). In relation to the graduate student, socialization is imperative to a successful graduate school experience (Clark & Corcoran, 1986) as unsuccessful socialization contributes to the decision to depart from the degree program (Council of Graduate Schools, 2004). Unlike other models of professional socialization, however, graduate student socialization is unique in that the student is becoming socialized not only to the graduate school environment but simultaneously to the professional role (Austin, 2002; Golde, 1998; Rosen & Bates, 1967). The socialization that occurs is also specific to the discipline in which the student is located (Golde, 2005).

The avenues through which socialization occurs are tri-fold, according to Bragg (1976): (a) the interaction of students with the structures of the educational setting, (b) the interaction among students in the same educational program (i.e., discipline or department), and (c) the interaction between students and faculty members (p. 14). The structure of the educational setting "[a]ffect[s] or facilitate[s] change in the student's attitudes and values because they reflect the attitudes and values of the profession itself (p. 14). These structural elements include the student selection process, the isolation of students from outside influences, the consistency of program goals, the explicitness of values and role models, the provision of opportunities for practicing responses (i.e., coursework, examinations, internships, or practica), and the provision of both positive and negative sanctions as feedback to students. Interactions with peers also serve to promote the socialization process, particularly as newer students interact with more veteran students in "learning the ropes" of the program. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Faculty Perspectives on Doctoral Student Socialization in Five Disciplines
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.