The Future of the Humanities PhD

Discussions de toutes les phases de l'aventure doctorale, de la décision de se lancer à la soutenance

Questions de méthodologie, d'organisation & de rédaction - Rapport avec la direction de thèse - Choix du Jury - Préparation de soutenance, etc.

The Future of the Humanities PhD

Messagepar Aléa » 10 Novembre 2013, 12:41

Ci-dessous, un "white paper" issu de Standford, s'interrogeant sur les réformes à apporter à un doctorat en "humanities" pour offrir plus de chances d'emploi.

Il est fréquent ici aussi que les doctorant-e-s / docteur-e-s en lettres ou sciences humaines s'interrogent sur leur parcours et sur les possibilités d'emploi à terme / hors académie.

Pensez-vous que des réformes structurelles sont également souhaitables en Suisse?


L'argumentaire en question, spécifique au cursus américain, mais permettant d'ouvrir la réflexion:


The Future of the Humanities PhD at Stanford.

In fall and winter terms 2011/12, a group of senior faculty gathered to discuss the future of the humanities PhD. We asked ourselves: Can and should the humanities PhD remain centrally relevant – at Stanford, in the academy, and in an increasingly global and cosmopolitan 21st century society? We collected and reviewed literature bearing on that question, along with some data from the Humanities and Sciences Dean on humanities PhD programs at Stanford. The data focused on time to degree and careers of PhD’s. As a result of our reading and deliberations, our collective answer to the question about the future relevance of the humanities PhD is, “Yes, the humanities PhD should remain relevant. And yes it can remain relevant, but only if…” The rest of this document completes the last sentence.

We believe that the humanities are unlikely to remain relevant, unless significant changes are made in how professional humanists are trained. Our review of relevant literature and data, both from Stanford and from outside, has given us a good sense of what these changes are. We believe that Stanford -- with its educational prominence, culture of innovation and its great human and material resources -- should be a leader in driving those changes.

Freshly minted humanities PhD’s face a difficult job market, one in which only a small fraction can expect to secure tenurable positions at the Research-One institutions for which they are primarily, if not exclusively, trained. Many qualified humanities PhD’s do not find permanent positions in higher education. Although doctoral programs often convey the message that the only acceptable career for graduates involves research positions in peer institutions, in fact may PhD recipients pursue very different careers, including faculty positions in primarily teaching institutions, non-faculty positions inside higher education and opportunities outside of higher education altogether, whether in government, non-profits or the private sector.

In light of the massive investment of time, effort, and money, on the part of students and universities alike, it is imperative that this genuine range of career outcomes be recognized and that doctoral programs be designed to prepare students appropriately and expeditiously.

We submit that the humanities PhD can be returned to a position of central importance, at Stanford and in higher education elsewhere, by taking two steps:
1. Rationalizing the investment (on the part of students and the university), by reducing time to degree (TTD).
2. Redesigning graduate curricula to prepare PhD’s for a diverse array of meaningful, socially productive and personally rewarding careers within and outside the academy.

We believe that TTD may be lowered and diversification of career paths will be facilitated by a bold rethinking of humanities graduate curricula. This requires substantial buy-in by the university and by the relevant departments. That buy-in entails two substantial policy changes:

1. Stanford should recognize graduate study in humanities as a full-time occupation during a limited TTD (exact times may vary by department, but the goal should be to push the number down). This requires a university commitment to augmenting existing departmental resources such that every PhD student has 12-month (four-quarter) support during the period of graduate enrollment. Unfunded summers impede progress.
2. In order to be eligible for these new resources, each humanities department should submit a detailed curricular plan, specifying how it will move students through the program in a timely fashion. The new curricular plans must address the question of training students for diverse career paths. We recognize that this diversity may require plans for varied training trajectories including, for example, front-loading the acquisition of certain necessary skills.

Specifics for implementation of the new policies

Responsibilities of students.
A. Students must develop a clear sense of their career options and decide upon, and file with their department in writing, a ranked list of preferences by the end of their second year of graduate study. Their subsequent preparation -- coursework, fourth-quarter (summer) projects, dissertation work -- must realistically support the careers on that ranked list. (The list may be amended in consultation with advisors).
B. Students must use their annual fourth-quarter (summer) funding to complete degree requirements as expeditiously as possible and to prepare for the careers on their ranked list. Some departments may propose offering the option of taking a funded summer prior to the first full year of enrollment in order to facilitate certain particular skills acquisition.
C. Students must choose dissertation advisors, reading committees, and dissertation projects suited to careers on their ranked list.

Responsibilities of departments.
D. First- and second-year curricula must be designed to provide students with strong foundations in the field, and must ready them to make well-informed career choices by the end of the second year. In so doing, they should aim to balance academic training in a particular discipline and field with the provision of broader professional perspectives that may extend beyond the traditional academic setting.
E. Departments must clarify the benchmarks that students must achieve in order to demonstrate good progress, and thus remain in their program.
F. Advising of students must be regular, realistic, and aligned with the career goals of the student.
G. Students must receive regular (annual) assessments of their progress, with specific requirements clearly listed, along with the consequences (including termination from program) for failure to complete requirements.
H. There must be a serious review at the end by the second year to determine which students will advance to candidacy, and which will receive a terminal M.A.
I. Comprehensive (general) exams must be completed by no later than the first quarter of the third year.
J. Per A (above) TA and RA assignments (beyond a one-year required minimum) must be designed to further the specific career preferences of the student.
K. Departments must provide clear guidelines regarding expectations for the dissertation, including considerations for alternatives to the traditional dissertation format, when appropriate for a student’s career goals. Departments much guarantee that students receive timely and effective guidance during the dissertation phase.

In summary, we request that the university make twelve-month funding available during a period shorter than the current TTD. This funding should be made available exclusively to departments that develop convincing plans—in terms of curricula, examination schedule, advising and dissertation options—that will facilitate completion within a specified length of time. We believe this period should be no more than five years. Currently Stanford culture encourages students to take longer than five years with the help of prestigious dissertation fellowship competitions. We believe that financial support should be structured as an incentive to finish earlier, not later.

Any change in funding, however, along the lines we suggest, should be contingent on the presentation by departments of compelling plans to enable students to complete degree requirements in no more than five years and to prepare them for specific career goals. If the requested supplementary funding is granted, we propose that the implementation of the plans be reviewed after five years, and that departments that fail to reduce current TTD forfeit the additional funding.


Russell A. Berman
Chris Bobonich
Josh Ober
Gabriella Safran
Jennifer Summit
Caroline Winterer

Avatar de l’utilisateur
Aléa
 
Message(s) : 83
Inscrit le : 20 Novembre 2011, 09:33

Re: The Future of the Humanities PhD

Messagepar deribaup » 19 Novembre 2013, 23:51

Pour lancer un peu le débat...

Je ne suis pas en lettres ou sciences humaines, mais je pense que ce débat est intéressant quelque soit le domaine de recherche.

Je pense que certains points devraient vraiment être pris en compte en Suisse, telle que la durée du doctorat. Quelque soit le domaine, le doctorat n'est plus l'oeuvre de notre vie, cela ne veut pas dire que notre recherche n'est pas importante, et qu'il ne faut pas investir à fond dedans, mais pour moi, elle n'est qu'un début de ce que l'on pourra faire par la suite, et ceci si on reste dans l'académie ou pas.


Je pense aussi que les points énoncés pour les "Responsibilities of departments" sont vraiment intéressants et important.

D. First- and second-year curricula must be designed to provide students with strong foundations in the field, and must ready them to make well-informed career choices by the end of the second year. In so doing, they should aim to balance academic training in a particular discipline and field with the provision of broader professional perspectives that may extend beyond the traditional academic setting.
E. Departments must clarify the benchmarks that students must achieve in order to demonstrate good progress, and thus remain in their program.
F. Advising of students must be regular, realistic, and aligned with the career goals of the student.
G. Students must receive regular (annual) assessments of their progress, with specific requirements clearly listed, along with the consequences (including termination from program) for failure to complete requirements.
H. There must be a serious review at the end by the second year to determine which students will advance to candidacy, and which will receive a terminal M.A.
J. Per A (above) TA and RA assignments (beyond a one-year required minimum) must be designed to further the specific career preferences of the student.
K. Departments must provide clear guidelines regarding expectations for the dissertation, including considerations for alternatives to the traditional dissertation format, when appropriate for a student’s career goals. Departments much guarantee that students receive timely and effective guidance during the dissertation phase.


Le suivi est aussi un point important. il est clair que certaines recherches ou domaines de recherches demandent plus de suivi de la part des superviseurs de thèse, prof, que d'autres, mais il n'empêche, quelque que soit le domaine, un minimum de suivi devrait être obligatoire et le prof. devrait avoir à coeur de suivre ces doctorants.

Le point D est valable pour tous les domaines, combien de doctorants ressortent de leur doctorat en ayant un minimum de savoir, et des connaissances fondamentales dans leur domaines datant seulement de ces 10 dernières années (cela est vraiment encore plus valable dans des domaines comme l'informatique ou on peut même réduire ces connaissances à 5 ans), et aucune méthodologie de recherche par dessus cela? On dit que le doctorat c'est encore une formation, je trouve qu'en Suisse, au tout cas dans mon domaine, cela n'est pas encore assez le cas, les écoles doctorales s'améliorent, mais ce n'est pas encore cela non plus.

Bref, je trouve ce "white paper" très intéressant, et je pense que certains responsable d'école doctorales ou prof devraient s'en inspirer....
deribaup
 
Message(s) : 52
Inscrit le : 27 Avril 2012, 15:47

Re: The Future of the Humanities PhD

Messagepar E = f(C) » 09 Janvier 2014, 18:04

Oui, il semble que la vulgate (hors uni) veut qu'un doctorat en sciences dur est un atout pour une carrière professionnelle hors université, alors qu'un doctorat en lettres sciences humaines représente plutôt un handicap.

Il y a bien sûr de nombreuses exceptions, mais vu l'uagmentation du nombre de doctorant-e-s partout, le racourcissement des thèses en lettres et sceinces humaines, etc. il semble évident que le contexte suisse va de plus en plus ressembler au contexte anglo saxon et qu'il serait utile de mettre au centre de la formation doctorale (enfin, pas au centre centre, mais pas non plus juste en périphérie / laissé à l'inititative personnelle) la question de la consturction de carrière, le développement et l'attestastion de compétences extra scientifiques, etc.
Avatar de l’utilisateur
E = f(C)
 
Message(s) : 16
Inscrit le : 07 Janvier 2012, 15:17

Re: The Future of the Humanities PhD

Messagepar deribaup » 20 Janvier 2014, 15:59

Pour relancer un peu la discussion, Je pense que cela fait longtemps que les doctorants développe des qualités autres que celle de la rédaction et de la recherche pendant leur thèse, mais sans "papiers" pour le prouver, c'est toujours difficile de les mettre en avant. D'ou l'utilité des formations "soft skills" et de pouvoir prouver qu'on est pas que des "rats" de laboratoire ou de bibliothèque, mais qu'on a d'autres qualités, très utiles dans le monde de tout les jours.
deribaup
 
Message(s) : 52
Inscrit le : 27 Avril 2012, 15:47

Re: The Future of the Humanities PhD

Messagepar inoutin » 21 Janvier 2014, 10:59

Les "papiers" attestant de compétences acquises sont sans aucun doute utiles.

Je pense aussi qu'un travail réflexif ainsi qu'un "reassessment" de la manière de se voir, de se présenter, de valoriser ses compétences, etc. est également un facteur crucial.

Certaines personnes s'en sortent naturellement très bien, mais d'autres semblent ne pas arriver à se déprendre de leur habitudes académiques et cela les dessert lorsqu'il cherchent un travail hors uni.

In the words of the recovering academic (the substance of which I agree with):

We are trained to specialize, to possess a knowledge or skill that makes unique and original contributions to humanity’s understanding of things. It feels like the post-ac job market, in contrast, is about how anyone can do anything, about how skills are so nimble and adaptable to so many different industries and jobs. So the job search requires some re-branding. Initially, my (very academic) approach was to think of myself as an expert on my dissertation topics. This type of analysis. This really cool social science topic. I taught a college-level course on Something Moderately Interesting three times, so I guess that makes me an expert on that too. I … am a PhD.

That means nothing and wastes everybody’s time. In my job search now I emphasize what I can do. At a higher level, I’m a professional learner: I am trained to figure things out. As a PhD, I know how to look at a big picture (ie an entire social science) and then zoom into it from all angles until I find the one tiny spot where paint is missing (my dissertation topic). And then I won’t sleep until that spot is painted, even if that means I have to literally make paint (ie field work). More practically speaking, as a professional learner I can pick skills up pretty quickly and independently, like the time when I taught myself Python for a conference paper. I’m really good with deadlines and have never asked for an extension on anything in my life. I multitask. I’m great at explaining stuff.

The attitude makeover has been accompanied by a bigger emphasis on networking. My biggest lesson learned is that a successful application process doesn’t start with an application at all. In the academic market, good advisers will do some of the work for you, by talking about you to other academics, presenting at conferences with you, keeping an eye out for openings… their job is to get you the interview, and your job is to close the deal. In the post-ac market, you have to be your own adviser, networking and surveying the market before applications are due. So… networking meetings, introductions, meetups, social media, company referrals


http://recoveringacademicchronicles.wor ... i-grow-up/
inoutin
 
Message(s) : 38
Inscrit le : 26 Décembre 2011, 12:05


Retour vers L'espace-temps du doctorat



Qui est en ligne ?

Utilisateur(s) parcourant ce forum : Aucun utilisateur inscrit et 1 invité

cron