The abstract, for now:

From a philosophical perspective, the focus of the research presented is on the professor-graduate student relationship, seen as being at the very core of graduate education (see Dewey’s teacher-as-mentor). Unless the mentorship relation can ensure that what a more experienced academic has learned (emphatically including their “tacit” knowledge) is passed on to the student, an extremely wasteful epistemological disconnect is guaranteed. Unless master’s and doctoral programs ensure proper valuation of the professor’s highly demanding role, one would be forced to acknowledge an axiological paradox, which is both systemic and structural.

It is argued that while at the graduate level Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development may be (getting) slimmer, its size is (progressively) in reverse proportion to the intensity of effort required on the part of both faculty and students. More than at any other level of education quality suffers tremendously if a professor is discouraged, and really prevented (due to time constraints and competing priorities), from properly transferring to the student their experience as researcher, author and teacher.

It is therefore argued that 1) faculty should be given proper credit for a more adequate amount of consultation time for students and supervision of guided research courses, which not only allow but require low enrolment numbers, and 2) the curriculum (especially at the Doctoral stage) should open up spaces for preparation for peer-reviewed conference presentations and publications.

University of Toronto examples are given of tutoring/guidelines for conference presentations (computer science), professor-student co-authorship of presentations and publications (sciences and humanities), graduate student electronic journals of various formats. The proposed preventive measures for epistemological disconnect and axiological paradox in graduate education are presented in the way of an antidote for the dichotomization of traditional academic values and administrative viability, that the industrialization of higher education threatens.


in preparation for publication:

  • Turning the Tables on Epistemological Disconnect and Axiological Paradox: A Mindmap for Graduate Education Programs. Poster at the Annual CSSHE Conference, Congress’10, Montreal, Quebec, May 29-31, 2010.