Reflections on personal development within a Professional Doctorate: what development framework is appropriate?
In my career I have worked concurrently in academia and professional practice in sport. Having completed a professional doctorate I am now engaged in designing and delivering on DProf programmes. My experiences have led me to question whether current academic personal development frameworks are relevant for DProf learners. Current frameworks, such as the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), focuses almost exclusively on the development of the student as a researcher. However, my experience suggests that many DProf learners are not undertaking their doctoral journey with the aim of becoming researchers. My own DProf experience highlighted the disconnect between personal ambition and the RDF. My DProf goal was aimed at bridging a gap between theory and practice with the aim of impacting widely on practitioners. I knew that to achieve this outcome I needed to be ‘multi-lingual’. I had to be able to speak the language of both practice and research and be able to effectively translate between the two. The ‘Engagement’ domain of the RDF is the one that was ostensibly most relevant to my ambition. However, within it the idea of ‘professional practice’ is not mentioned. The framework makes limited mention of presenting to ‘non-expert audiences’ and using ‘non-academic’ publication outlets but the primary thrust is about researcher engaging with researcher. In contrast, I believe that to be an effective ‘translator’ requires specific skills. You have to learn to listen to the evolution of professional language, to keep adjusting your message to maintain cultural relevance, to simplify ideas without losing coherence or accuracy. None of these ‘skills’ were touched upon in the framework guiding my DProf journey ergo it did not develop me in relation to my ambition. I suggest that academia needs to rethink its personal development frameworks to address the needs of a widening population of doctoral students.
|Keywords||professional doctorate ; researcher development framework|
|Conference||UKCGE 5th International Conference in Developments in Doctoral Education|
|Web address (URL)||https://ukcge.ac.uk/events/5th-international-conference-on-developments-in-doctoral-education-training|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||28 Oct 2022|
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