chapter  6
Critical Reflections on a Problematic Student-Supervisor Relationship
ByPeter Charles Taylor, Vaille Dawson
Pages 24

Three years ago, we completed a student-supervisor relationship that, on the surface, appeared to have been very successful. Peter’s supervision of Vaille’s research study had culminated in her being awarded a masters degree with distinction and an Australian Postgraduate Award to study for a doctorate. However, because of our mutual professional concern with ensuring that relations between teachers and students are not disempowering of students (or, for that matter, of teachers), we believe that it is essential to judge success not only in terms of the achievement of prede­ termined academic goals but also by taking into account the quality of the day-to-day student-teacher relationship. By presenting this account of our joint inquiry into the rough-and-tumble of our own relationship, we hope to convince the reader of the importance of the supervisor and student adopt­ ing collaboratively a critical perspective and examining deeply hidden beliefs that can reinforce cultural stereotypes and sustain relations of domination.