e-book Doing a PhD: The Hero’s Journey

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Doctoral education certainly involves one or more journeys and each can involve a significant distance, but that is not the whole of the story. It is the student who has been motivated to study for the degree, who is travelling through the intellectual landscape and making sense of it, who is in search of the original contribution to knowledge, and who bears the ultimate responsibility for failure should that be the outcome.

It is the student who is plunging into the unknown and who will reap the prize for success or pay the cost for failure. In his discussion of the hHero, Auden identified two types. Jason, for example, is instantly recognizable as the kind of man who can win the Golden Fleece if anybody can. The youngest son, the weakest, the least clever, the one who everybody would judge as least likely to succeed, turns out to be the hero when his manifest betters have failed. The qQuest metaphor can be used to encourage students to reflect on this. The hHero is the person who, when faced with apparently insurmountable problems, finds both the courage and means to solve, detour around, or design them out.

While at times the tests may seem to be designed to prevent the timely completion of a PhD, viewing them as part of the qQuest casts them in a new light. They examiners are the actors in the process who decide whether the candidate has performed at a sufficiently high and consistent level to be allowed to possess the precious object and join the pantheon of Heroheroes. The examiners act as guardians for both the discipline and the university and the question as to whether or not malignancy has been involved must be left to discussions about specific cases, but thinking about the metaphor of the qQuest will certainly provoke those discussions!

However, on a more serious point, surfacing the issue prevents the development of a mythology around the examination process, encourages students to develop confidence in the processes which are in place to prevent or remedy unfairness and helps to maintain confidence in the value and worth of the qualification.

Is the successful pursuit of the precious object a one-person effort or something involving just the student and, sometime but not always, her or his one loyal companion? They include supervisors, research advisers, colleagues, librarians and laboratory staff, administrative staff, friends, family and those who provide information, data or commentary and critique on papers or thesis chapters.

Conclusion What I set out to do in this article was to argue for a new metaphor for doctoral education to replace or at least subsume that of the journey.

The journey is too simple, too linear and too general to do justice to such a complex and potentially transformative experience whereas the qQuest offers a much more nuanced and appropriate metaphor. The qQuest, on the other hand, is heuristic and encourages insight and helps bring meaning, coherence and understanding to what can be a confusing experience for many research students.

Just like the horse whisperer – but with more pages

The qQuest is also better than the journey in assisting us to interrogate the doctoral experience. The qQuest metaphor face can also surface important questions about the contemporary PhD such as the tension between the private and the public benefits arising from doctoral education which play into questions of who pays and is there more than one motivation and purpose for the PhD. I think this programmes for research students and their supervisors. Metaphors provide useful starting points makes more sense than introducing a further either both to structure workshop presentations prior to discussion or and also to act as prompts for paragraph because the implication were noted bu not labelled as such.

I think my re-wording has discussion on specific aspects of the doctoral experience. The generative nature of the qQuest strengthened the conclusion and I thank the reviewer for raising the point. The only sustained relation which the Quest Hero can enjoy is with those who accompany him on his journey…. Aside from these, his social life is limited to chance and brief encounters. A further positive implication for researcher development is that tThe qQuest as genre is well- knownubiquitous across cultures and, hence, is useful when working with international and domestic students either independently or together.

Further, the genre is known to almost everybody, even if they are not aware of it. That series of films and the preceding The Lord of the Rings trilogy are forms of qQuest. Many video games are based on the qQuest model. Many of the tales that children in all lands grow up with are based on the idea of the qQuests. It is this universality and appropriateness that makes the qQuest metaphor an ideal replacement alternative to that offor the journey as a thought-device to which will enhance understanding of,f and promote reflection on, the doctoral experience and the doctoral process.

In answer to a question from another participant, she said words to the effect that she disliked intensely the metaphor of the journey for doctoral study and suggested strongly that it should not be used.

Why I Seldom Teach The Hero's Journey Anymore -- And What I Teach Instead | HuffPost

This gave me food for thought as, up to that point, I had been blithely deploying it both in seminars and conversations with students and supervisors without giving it another thought. Her words struck home even though no alternative was suggested. It took several months before serendipity took a hand and I came across the Auden chapter upon which the article draws whilst reading a long way outside the area of research education.

Eds , Tolkien and the Critics: Essays on J.

Chapter originally published in Bartlett, A. Bayley, J.

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Jonathan Young: The Hero's Journey

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New Seller. Expand your business to millions of customers Sell this item on Snapdeal. Sold by. The journeys of learning organizations always start at the personal level. Bencosme, PhD 5. A hero is anyone who leaves the world as usual to go on a journey to an extraordinary world … … where trials, challenges and fears are overcome to secure a treasure which is shared with others in the community at the return from the journey.

Bencosme, PhD 6. Over and over again, you are called into the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: Do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There is always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss. Bencosme, PhD 7. Bencosme, PhD 8. The stages might be different for each individual, culture and time: the overall pattern is what matters. An illustrative 8 stage pattern will be used here.

Doing a PhD: The Hero's Journey

Bencosme, PhD 9. Acknowledging that what most frightens us is our inner light. Re-commitment to the vision. Being grateful. Recovering from inner wounds. Sharing the learning, contributing to society. Bencosme, PhD Those who attain a high level of personal mastery, continuously expand: their capacity to clarify their personal vision, their ability to source and apply the means to materialize it, and their understanding of the purpose of their path as they embody the hero in their own life.

KEY: Only those who dream can create realities. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Its additional archetypes can be summoned to function appropriately along the path toward greatness.