Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover
PDF

Keywords

Reflexivity
researcher
literature review
methodology
data collection
Design and Technology
assessment
Mauritius

Abstract

A postgraduate student researcher coming from a context where there is an absence of an active research culture is likely to face several challenges when undertaking doctoral study at a university with a deep-rooted culture of research. They may experience academic writing, researching and thesis structuring struggles, and may specifically encounter difficulties during data collection, especially in communities which are not conversant with research practices. The literature and guides for students seldom give advice on dealing with such challenges as those faced in aresearch study. I wish to address this gap by providing recounts of my PhD experiences for structuring the literature review, selecting appropriate methodology and adapting data gathering methods; and do so in a reflexive way. My PhD study explores the 'assessment for learning' (AfL) practices of Design and Technology (D&T) teachers in the state secondary schools of Mauritius. The main research question was 'How are the AfL practices of Mauritius D&T teachers framed?' In light of this question, an interpretative naturalistic theoretical perspective (Crotty, 1998; Gray, 2014) was used as the participants were observed in their natural settings. Data were gathered in three stages using a multi-method approach incorporating a survey, interviews and observations along with secondary documents and field notes. In this article I progressively discuss four key stages of the PhD process and elaborate on strategies that were adopted to generate the literature review, refine the research questions as a bridge to methodology, make decisions of design and methods, and respond to the research context. In doing so, I hope to be able to inspire and guide doctoral students in these areas, particularly researchers willing to investigate teachers' practices in their natural settings.

https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v22i2.565
PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Authors retain copyright of their publications.

Author and users are free to:

  • Adapt 
    remix, transform, and build upon the material
  • The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

    Attribution 
    You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use

    NonCommercial 
    You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

    ShareAlike 
    If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.