Despite a growing interest in the interaction in academic pedagogical settings, the role of texts in the actual interaction has not been systematically addressed. This article examines the practices and orientations through which written documents have a significant role in the openings of supervision encounters. We use videotaped recordings of supervision encounters and adopt conversation-analytical methodology to analyze the data.
The analysis consists of two main foci: (i) the initial moments of the encounter prior to the actual supervisory activity, and (ii) the launching of the supervisory activity and the negotiation of what that activity will entail. We analyze the orientations toward the document as the necessary object of the joint activity and the prominent bodily orientation toward the papers during the initial moments of the encounter. Furthermore, when the participants move from the initial moments of the encounter toward the main activity, the paper document plays a major role in that interaction.
In our conclusions, we summarize our observations as shared, implicit orientations related to the role of the document. These assumptions constitute the “implicit pedagogy” of the supervisory encounter. We will discuss some of the consequences of this type of pedagogy.
About the authors
Kimmo Svinhufvud is a university instructor at the University of Helsinki Language Centre. His research focuses on academic supervision and seminar interaction. He is an experienced writing coach and has published two books in Finnish on academic writing and the pedagogy of writing.
Sanna Vehviläinen is a senior researcher and university pedagogical developer at the University of Tampere, Finland. She is also a workplace counsellor. She has conducted conversation-analytic research on various pedagogical, counselling, and psychotherapeutic settings. Her work has appeared in journals such as Research on Language and Social Interaction, Discourse Studies, Discourse & Society, and Text. She is one of the editors and contributors of the book entitled Conversation Analysis and Psychotherapy (2008, Cambridge University Press).
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