Learning to Write at the Doctoral Level

I love learning.   I read a lot for work and school; watch documentaries, news clips, TED Talks, and the like for fun; and listen to audiobooks, radio, and podcasts while driving, working out, and cleaning.  One result of ingesting so much information is that I often have myriad ideas banging up against one another in my head.  Though I take in a lot of information on any given day, I find I rarely achieve a deeper sense of learning unless I also make time to write.  Whether that writing takes the form of a twenty-page term paper or a one-line Facebook post, taking time to decide what matters and how to articulate it increases my level of understanding of and connection to the topic foremost in my mind at the moment. Continue reading

Shifting towards mixed methodologies

Through my lived experiences I have interfaced with the construct of “research” in a number of different ways. Through directed and casual reading, conducting research projects with various levels of formality, and writing to both summarize and report on research, my conceptualization of the construct has changed and evolved. Similarly, my worldview has broadened and shifted. My ontological and epistemological perspectives continue to be shifting and context dependent. Over the past few months I have engaged with mixed methodology in my coursework and in one strand of my research. This methodology is well suited for my current way of thinking as it “encourages the use of multiple worldviews” (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011, p. 13). To unpack how I have emerged at this point, in this post I describe my interactions with worldviews and “research” before my current program of study, briefly consider my development as a student and research fellow at the University of Vermont, and ponder my current questions about mixed methodology. Continue reading