Laying the seed for your research growth…

Last night it was great to see you all chatting and hopefully getting to know each other a bit more in our “speed socializing” protocol. It makes a difference when you get to know your classmates a little more, and you have a chance to share with different people in your learning community. I hope you derived a certain amount of energy and even hope from your different mini-conversations. There are so many interesting and special people in this class!

So, I think the seed of broader understanding has been planted. We are now on our way. We have surveyed “the landscape” that research emerges from. And we have covered a general sense of what research entails. To quote Fran again – “research isn’t cute” – it takes patience and perseverance, a tolerance for failure (or at least failed attempts), and it certainly takes your close attention. It takes some passion and care. To paraphrase Rachel – it also takes a revisionist’s disposition. As writers, we know that “revision” in writing is really just what the the writing process actually is. You write -and rewrite- until you discover and refine your meaning. Research is similar (in this sense of iteration) – it requires your time, your hard work, and mostly, your endurance.

We discussed the general distinctions between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods for data collection and analysis. We have covered terms like “generalizable” and “bias” and “instrument” . And we have spoken a bit about the political specter of “the Academy” (which amounts to all the institutions/individuals with “skin in the game”) – the universities, the foundations, the grant funding agencies, the grant officers, the peer reviewers, the evaluation committees, etc. We also discussed the CARS model which is quite useful in identify a starting point for your research inquiry ( i.e. Establish a territory, …Establish a niche, …Occupy the niche).  Let’s remember those 11 closing questions (found at the end of the CARS article) when we proceed in class.

Our class slides from 2/1

Your to-do list for next week

Please read:

Purdy, James and Joyce Walker. Liminal Spaces and Research Identity: The Construction of Introductory Composition Students as Researchers. Pedagogy. 13.1 (2012), 9-41.

Tyler will begin our presentation series next week based on this article.

**Please note: For each of your class presentations, the presenter should develop their own “lesson plan” or protocol for how we will engage with the text and the ideas as a learning community.  Presenters are encouraged to give us some guiding questions or prompts/ideas we can respond to and work with, and lead us in certain pedagogical exercises that will open up our understanding of the ideas for that week.  Be creative with the readings!  Think about new ways to work with colleagues to share this material and engender meaningful discussion.

Please write your 3rd blog: 

**Please write a reflection regarding the above Purdy & Walker reading. And also remember to read your peers’ blogs before class in order to prepare for a meaningful discussion in class.


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Yes, …it is indeed the season of winter doldrums…that “I-can’t-wait-for-winter-to-end” feeling that produces mild but manageable sluggishness (and also ….warm food cravings??).

To all of you – remember to take care of yourself. Eat well, move your body, take a nap if you have the opportunity, …and before you know it, the Spring will burst forth!

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