Next Research Project Ideas

This is my first foray into sharing my doctoral journey, specifically through my decision to share my 5-10 minutes a day of writing about my process and thinking as per my program’s recommendations in our current module (and which I discussed here and here). I hope that reflecting aloud may be helpful for others who are considering this for themselves—either as a model for what can be done, or as a suggestion for what to avoid (the challenges or the process of sharing here itself).

I have to begin thinking about my research ideas for this module, which is entitled Development of Professional Practice. I really like this concept, and think it is more than fitting that I am developing this practice, and exploring it in my own life, here, where my colleagues (both current and future) can join me on the journey.

As I am beginning to formulate my ideas for this mini-project (around 3800 words, +/- 10%), I am going to consider some of the concepts that interest me, as I think some brainstorming is in order:

  • identity and learning
  • autoethnographic inquiry (both as a researcher and as studied in others who engage in this)
  • exploring various personal identities, and the transition from one to another
  • transformative learning
  • reflective practice related to constructivist / critical frameworks
  • individual identity development and self-definition within communities of practice
  • juggling of identities as a process of personal learning

Will have to play around with these, and see what feedback my cohort offers.

6 thoughts on “Next Research Project Ideas

  1. Hi there fellow doctoral traveller who is at the beginning of your doctoral journey,
    Are you by chance a La Trobe uni. student masquerading under a .com? I ask this because I have read a little of your work and you quoted Grant, presumably Audrey (one of my supervisors). Sadly it is too late in the night to go delve much further into your tale or mine for that matter. I was looking for an update on narrative inquiry and up you popped! I am at the end of my doctoral journey at long, long last. It was a journey that started in 1999 although I dreamed of getting a doctorate a lot earlier. How time drags on. Anyway, welcome to the world of typing, typing and more bloody typing. My thesis is interesting to only me I suspect. I dream (a lot of dreaming occurs in doctoral land) of it being the seminal piece of research in the field of transformative learning. Off to sleep
    Bye for now

  2. It’s great following your progress and seeing ideas develop and thriving. Right now I am at a point – thanks to Robb Willer at UC Berkeley – where I wonder whether reflexivity is a positive approach per se. It has become so dominant, being celebrated as the one step towards less bias and more objectivity that I wonder what we loose by focusing so much on introspection and reflection. Automaciticity is something very valuable – are we wandering off into the opposite direction rather than trying to strike a balance?

  3. @Jenny Ryder

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. Knowing I am not working in isolation on this is worth some of these efforts alone! Have you finished?

    No, I am not at LaTrobe–I am studying at Lancaster University in the UK toward a PhD in eResearch and Technology Enhanced Learning, though I still live and work in New York.

    Interested to hear about some of your work with transformative learning.


  4. @Britta Bohlinger

    You raised some really interesting points; can you elaborate? I am not familar with Robb Willer’s work, so some context will be appreciated.

    Interestingly, I am not sure I really see reflexivity being more objective–I am considering life and the world and how I make meaning out of all of it. This seems to be more authentically subjective and honest with my perspective, rather than going with the flow.

    I will certainly speak more on this as I have a Shon article to read tomorrow.

    Now I think I need to hear more about your changing work . . .


  5. The link to Robb Willer and the UC Berkeley podcasts on social psychology including automaticity are here:

    The debate around reflexivity as device to enhance objectivity is indeed a very interesting one. Perhaps reflexivity is much closer to auto-ethnography than to an approach based on distancing and objectivity. One aspect I am still puzzled about is the degree of awareness gained by practices of reflexivity. Awareness is not a positive state of mind per se – but it has gained highly positive status, especially in the social sciences. I haven’t come across any material which discussed these issues but I feel there is more to it than just a few methodological considerations.

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