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Learning styles, and the fallibility of grown ups - Sally's Journal
December 12th, 2005
10:40 am

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Learning styles, and the fallibility of grown ups

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From:3c66b
Date:December 12th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
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It had better come at some point in the course of the PhD, or all the rest will have been for nothing.

As a matter of fact, since you're examined on the thesis and not on any of the stuff you mention, it's perfectly possible to get a PhD without knowing anything about any of these `procedural issues', though I hope it's rare.
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From:king_of_wrong
Date:December 12th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
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Ah, but the "significant contribution to knowledge" examined is usually a lot smaller than most people would expect that to mean. Most of a PhD is professional skills, which is why it's usually funded from a Doctoral Training Account and not from an individual research grant.
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From:3c66b
Date:December 12th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
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As someone who's both co-supervised and examined PhDs, I can tell you it's very definitely non-zero. The funding councils like to think of it as training (which of course includes training in how to be a researcher) because it helps to persuade the government that it's doing something useful in funding ten times as many PhDs as we actually need in academia. But I'm afraid the research element is essential to getting a PhD.
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From:king_of_wrong
Date:December 12th, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I'm not disputing that. Trivially a PhD involves some research - how else could one be certain that the graduand could actually do research?
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From:3c66b
Date:December 12th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
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OK. Well, I further assert that you can get a PhD without being able to do any of the peripheral stuff that you mentioned (writing papers, giving talks...), although in practice it's unusual, and it's obviously undesirable.
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