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ERIC Number: EJ1111709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Graduate Students' Construction of Researcher Identities Explored through Discourse Analysis
Davis, C. Amelia; Lester, Jessica N.
Qualitative Research in Education, v5 n1 p49-76 Feb 2016
While many research methods courses challenge students to make sense of their own researcher identities as they relate to research paradigms and perspectives, there is a lack of research that examines how students actually go about constructing these identities, particularly at the level of discourse. In this study, we attended to graduate students' talk in an introductory research methods course, taking note of how students used particular discursive resources to construct a research identity in online classroom discussions. We analyzed 93 discussion posts students were asked to make in response to a discussion board prompt after completing assigned readings related to research paradigms and researcher identity. We identified two discursive patterns through our analysis: 1) minimizing knowledge, and 2) justifying paradigmatic orientations. Our findings highlight how being asked to talk about one's research identity is a potentially fragile task, as evidenced by disclaimers of "knowing", and justifications. We highlight implications for teaching research methodology, particularly qualitative methods courses.
Descriptors: Graduate Students, Methods Courses, Self Concept, Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Research, Researchers, Introductory Courses, Prompting, Computer Mediated Communication, Research Methodology, Reading Assignments, Online Courses, Group Discussion, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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