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Existentialist supervisory practice

I developed an approach for research supervisory practice that integrates personal, professional, and societal development. Before discussing thesis topics, I ask if students are willing to share their motivations and struggles in pursuing such endeavors. While sharing their story, they reveal existential threats such as harm, disrespect, and lack of money. Like in Theater of the Oppressed, I help them to see that these threats do not affect them alone, as there are more people in similar situations. This realization typically leads them to find a thesis topic related to one of these threats.

The key opening questions are:

  • Who are you?
  • Who do you want to become after and because of the research thesis?
  • What is hindering you to become that person?
  • What is hindering people like you to become that person?

Recently, I’m using B.akka archetype library to help students expressing who they are and who they want to become. This card deck is a partial but quite appealing representation of typical young identities in the current Brazilian intellectual workforce.

Categories: Methods & Tools.