ERIC Number: ED453723
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Doctoral Dissertations: What Doctoral Students Know, How They Know it, and What They Need To Know--A Preliminary Exploration.
Brause, Rita S.
This preliminary study of students' experiences in doctoral programs includes perspectives from newly admitted students, those who have completed their dissertations, students in intermediate stages of the process, and students who have decided to leave doctoral programs. The time span covers almost 25 years and data were gathered for some 250 participants in doctoral programs. Many students noted that they had no idea what to expect in the dissertation process. It was typical to find that they viewed writing the dissertation as a testimony to what they had learned in their courses. Many students spoke about the hops through which they had to jump to complete the dissertation. Others regarded it as a learning experience in itself, and others seemed to have a pragmatic attitude in which they noted that they were able to engage in new learning while completing many institutional requirements. For some participants, writing the dissertation was the highlight of their educational development, but for others, the dissertation was a hurdle in the way of credential building. The paper discusses the implications for preparing students for the dissertation process. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).