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ERIC Number: ED534746
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 224
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-0134-4
Scholarly Capacities, Habits of Mind, and Dispositions: Case Studies of Education Doctoral Students in a Dissertation Proposal Seminar
McArthur, Dana Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
The completion of a formal proposal for a dissertation research project is a standard requirement as a prelude to the process of conducting research and writing a doctoral dissertation for students who complete a doctoral degree in most academic fields including all the branches of the field of education. Many students satisfactorily complete their required dissertation proposals utilizing the distinctive Discourse or standard academic language of their specialized field of study thanks to each program's built-in opportunities to acquire knowledge in a given discipline. This indicates that students do sufficiently learn to write their proposals and the guidance offered to students does help them write proposals. However, other students need more than these scaffolds provide in order to complete the proposal. This dissertation study examines graduate student-participants' experiences in a qualitative dissertation proposal seminar taught in the Education Department's Language and Literacies program for one semester (January-May 2009) at a university located in the southwestern United States. It also reveals some challenges student-participants faced when writing a proposal and uncovers behaviors employed to overcome those challenges. Additionally, this study explores a qualitative dissertation seminar run as a community of practice to discover possible contributions it makes in assisting students to complete a successful proposal. This dissertation study utilizes qualitative methodology, focusing in particular on three case study subjects: two graduate students enrolled in the dissertation proposal course and the professor of that course. Each case study presents detailed information about its subject and the subject's experience. The data collected in connection with the case studies include notes from (a) direct classroom observations, (b) transcriptions and notes from individual pre and post interviews with student-participants and the professor-participant, (c) artifacts from the seminar such as the syllabus, handouts, presentations, and (d) student dissertation proposal drafts. An analysis of the data yields two bodies of findings. The first body of findings demonstrates that success in acquiring discourse competence depends on a constellation of intellectual or characterological traits identified as scholarly capacities, scholarly habits of mind, and scholarly dispositions. The second body of findings offers a guide to facilitating a qualitative dissertation seminar. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A