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ERIC Number: ED542249
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1324-9320
A Tale of Two Cultures: Building Community by Researching Community
Drane, Jon; Cai, Wenjie; Wechsler, Andrea; Mussi, Eveline; Shi, Ye; Crommelin, Laura
Australian Association for Research in Education (NJ1), Paper presented at the Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference (AARE-APERA 2012) World Education Research Association (WERA) Focal Meeting (Sydney, New South Wales, Dec 2-6, 2012)
Upon beginning postgraduate research at the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW, the authors were surprised to find themselves working in a library-like environment, where a culture of silence prevailed. Assuming initially that this was just how postgraduate research was, they soon learned that the building also housed a second postgraduate lab with a different work environment featuring more interaction. This discovery prompted the authors to create an informal research community group, the Cohort Knowledge Share Group (CKSG), and to develop a "mini-thesis" to explore the lab differences and to share the thesis creation process. Auto-ethnographic perspectives shaped the mini-thesis study, which utilized mixed methodology incorporating a questionnaire, individual reflections and interviews, focus group sessions and observation. The mini-thesis results illustrated that despite undertaking a common journey, the research student community's diverse and multicultural nature created complex needs for facilities, community engagement and personal support. In addition, while undertaking the mini-thesis study, the authors discovered that the innovative CKSG model had changed the sense of community in the main postgraduate lab, as well as the broader research student journey. As this case study will show, the CKSG has therefore been a transformative experience in more ways than one. (Contains 4 tables, 6 figures and 2 footnotes.)
Australian Association for Research in Education. AARE Secretariat, One Geils Court, Deakin ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6285-8388; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
Identifiers - Location: Australia