Postprint of: Davis, K, Brownie, S, Doran, FM, Evans, S, Hutchinson, M, Mozolic-Staunton, B, Provost, S & Van Aken, R 2012, 'Action learning enhances professional development of research supervisors: an Australian health science exemplar', Nursing and Health Sciences, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 102-108.
Published version of this article is available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00660.x
The worldwide academic workforce is ageing. At the same time, health and human services workforces are expanding. The preparation of educators to fill gaps in expertise and to position the health sciences for future growth is an urgent need. The findings from a recent action learning project that aimed to enhance the professional growth and development of higher degree researcher student supervisors in a School of Health and Human Sciences are presented. Seven early career researchers and the facilitator met for two hours every two to three weeks over 4 months between April and July 2010, in a rural and regional university in New South Wales, Australia. The processes initiated were a combination of experiential knowledge, referral to relevant published reports, use of an effective supervision checklist, and critical conversations. Learning outcomes centered on higher degree management and supervision pedagogy, communities of practice, knowledge translation, and the establishment of a research culture. The contextual barriers and implications of the methodology and learning outcomes for the professional development of health and human science practitioners, researchers and educators is also discussed.