Expanding our inspiration regarding method…

Our agenda:

Darline’s thesis-in-progress presentation

Thanks to Darline for a wonderful glimpse into her thesis-in-progress. As many of you stated last night, her thesis which focuses on ESL experience and ESL perspectives is a critical contribution, and one that is much needed in education. What I think makes Darline’s work special is the myriad “pathways” she developed for pursuing her inquiry. She employed autoethnographic writings and freewriting, she became a historian of her own family’s linguistic legacy, she has pursued case study narrative through carefully crafted interviews, and she has done a wealth of research on ESL theory and practice. All this comes together to form a thoughtful array of observations & findings. I think her work serves as a useful reference point for every thesis writer since you can consider her “menu of methodologies” as potential strategies for your own work too.

Small group work

I am glad I had a “touch base” discussion with each of the thesis writers that are still in the early phases of the project development. I think each of you has by now started out on your journey, and I am confident that each of you is starting to gain some sense of your own process. It is important for each of you to formulate a weekly “to-do list”. This is a good week to keep engaging and discovering new angles on what you are working on. As I have stressed, a thesis project is iterative, and shifts in time, consisting of ebb and flow of new knowledge and understanding. Each of you must learn to customize your work process – sometimes by reading and note taking in dialogue with other writers, sometimes by finding new materials for your reference, and sometimes by writing in your own creative way.

I hope that the TROIKA consulting protocol yielded some insights for my second semester thesis writers (“Get Practical and Imaginative Help from Colleagues Immediately”). Much can be learned through peer collaboration, and this exercise was designed to draw out solutions to a particular challenge or concern along the way. For those of you who had an opportunity to pursue the Troika framework together, I hope you will blog about your experience with this activity this week, and what new plans might have emerged from the discussion.

Your to-do list:

-Blog on your thesis progress: How is the process unfolding for you? What is working, and what is not working? Are you in research mode? Are you in ?exploring methodology” mode? Are you reading and note taking? Are you writing? What have you accomplished, and what steps do you need to take next?

-We will hear from Lexie about her own thesis-in-progress.  

-Come with one question:  For next week, please come to our class with ONE SPECIFIC QUESTION re: your thesis.  Please add the question to this google doc BEFORE class!

Have a restful and replenishing weekend! xo. -Dr. Z

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