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'Through the reading web’ – Academic reading in doctoral studies

Journal article
Authors Britt Marie Apelgren
Published in Personal Construct Theory & Practice
Volume 13
Pages 66-77
ISSN 1613-5091
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 66-77
Language en
Keywords academic reading; doctoral supervision; personal construct psychology; transformative learning
Subject categories


Research into doctoral supervision in constructivist research has increased over the last decades, yet studies on academic reading and how doctoral students’ understand and make sense of their reading are fewer in the area. This paper explores the role of academic reading during one PhD student’s doctoral studies and it highlights the learning process and transformation from being a student reader to becoming a critical researcher reader. Using the specific interview technique within personal construct psychology, known as the river interview, in connection with document analysis of supervision notes and email conversations, it shows the processes during the PhD jour-ney when changes occur in the way the student understands, explores and reviews his/her reading of the literature. Three particular areas of development and change are found in relation to aca-demic reading: independence, iteration and foci. These changes suggest that reading processes challenge a person’s current constructs and stimulate new ways of construing the world.

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