Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Qualitative research

So here I am now completing my final course in the doctoral program. I am so glad I left this one until the last -- only because it is really bringing the past year and a half into focus. This time last year I had just started the doctoral seminar course and was being exposed to a whole new lexicon. That course gave me such a wonderful opportunity to explore worldviews and paradigms and as I muddled my way through I found that the middle ground that works for me. Pragmatism! Thankfully my supervisor shares this perspective and has built his academic world around it.

Now that I am doing this qualitative course I see how the program has been scaffolded. First I had to know the paradigm language, learn more about the specific discipline, and then be exposed to the methods. Some peers chose to do the 700 seminar and the methods courses in parallel but I don't think I would have had the same mind-enriching experience had I gone that route. I am very happy that I chose to do the courses in the order in which my dissertation will be written...paradigm, problem, methods.

On a concluding note, the first formal assignment for this course is an autobiographical reflection. Of all the papers and presentations in the program this is the one I have struggled with the most. The struggle continues...so an update next week on how I have addressed the paper.