Posted in Personal, Thesis reflections

The first official meeting – “Kelly, you are stubborn & exciting.”

I’ve had a week to reflect on the explosion of events since my first official meeting with my advisor. If I would have wrote this post after I left the meeting, it would have been difficult for me to pinpoint the essence of that meeting. So after a few days of mulling things over, I’ve been reaffirmed that I need to stay focussed. On MY study.

I have been thinking about a possible study for a year now. And I think I have been getting better at narrowing down my many many ideas. I started with a lot of wonderments and questions and possibilities and I finally think I am able to narrow it down to a cohesive study that I would like to begin. But when I met with my advisor, more questions were posed which sent me into another bit of tailspin. I already had questions… am I doing a phenomenological study? or is it a discourse analysis? or is it grounded theory? Can I just stick with qualitative? Will I be challenged to consider quantitative evidence and make it a mixed study? These are a few of the things I’m grappling with. I know what I want to do, but I’m having a difficult time “naming” it for purposes of articulating it in a formal research proposal. And then my advisor mentioned that I should consider interviews to bring in the “human element”. But I’m really not convinced that this will be necessary. So again, I needed to reflect and do more learning about the different theories and methodologies and try to compose my thoughts.

Then came the next point of starting to build a committee to support me through this process. So in the many emails that went back and forth this week, I have arranged brief introductory meetings with two professors who may be involved in my committee. However, in initial communications already, one of them has introduced another technological aspect for me to consider. So again I spin.

As much as I’m interested in listening to further suggestions, I’m very concerned that this new thinking will distract me from MY main purpose for my study.

One article I did discover this week that I think will help me in my thinking is: Choose your method: A comparison of Phenomenology, Discourse Analysis and Grounded Theory by Helene Starks.

Oh yes… and one more thing. At the end of my meeting, my advisor called me “stubborn and exciting”. I’d like to think about it as “sticking with my voice” and I’m thinking I’m ok with the exciting part…

So that is where I’m at. Will I be able to narrow down all of these questions in a timely fashion so I can stick to my goal of having my research proposal ready for a January submission?

Author:

Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board Vice-Principal

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