In this presentation we map and track what it is that helped us become unstuck. This is a presentation about the journey of the PhD process. It is about how we have come to the PhD finish line. We have gone through the experience of starting, choosing our topics, identifying our research questions, locating our research theoretical frame, and writing through our confusion, thinking about the things that need to be finished and changed. Looking for the right words to express our ideas, choosing which data to focus on, interviewing participants, several meeting with our supervisors, incorporating and sometimes challenging or rethinking supervisors feedback, talking to other PhD students and graduates and we realize based on these experiences that no PhD experience is the same. We all have our unique ways of going through the experience and what we would like to share with your today are the memories of our experience of collaborating to finish. Collaboration is an often discussed word in the orientation or induction programme for PhD but it is often missing in the vocabulary of the PhD student. Although there is the rhetoric of collaborating with other peers but the way it is designed especially in the humanities and arts is that it is a very individualized process. The closest we have to collaborating is sharing the office together for some of us. Learning does not only take place in the mind of the learner but in collaborating with other minds. It takes place in the interaction between two others in relationships. And so in this presentation, we will like to share some of the key concepts that have helped us to get closer to finishing our thesis.
Subjective/collective selves. The drive, idea opportunity arose when we were ‘stuck’ in a ‘dip’ and decided to talk about our shared methodology and the challenges we faced then and were still facing. Our muse (inspiration) had deserted us. What is critical ethnography?... “ Critical ethnography unites the political and the personal, sensitive to the political interests of participants and committed to altering the conditions that oppress the participants.” (Brown, 2004, p. 299). What does it mean for our study. Janean’s study ‘troubles’ behaviour management policy in secondary schooling by listening to the voices, interpretations and understandings of YR 10 students and Bisi’s understands how beginning teachers construct their teacher identities in relation to their students. The process evolved into something different from what had been offered to us before. It had its origins in a “corridor conversation” (Patterson et. al, 2010, p. 1010). It was an internal drive to connect and motivate each other. This drive is often ignored. “There is very little information on programs that provide students with the supports and resources required for successful completion” (Wall & Shankar, 2008, p. 554). Although there is much in the literature about surviving and obtaining a successful Phd, with advice to find a ‘study buddy’, reading and writing networks, It seems that there is not a lot of research on collaboration that germinates with the purpose to become unstuck and help each other to get over the final hurdle and submit.
Self and perspectives, feedback
(“The process of collaboration or development of ideas is seldom made explicit” (Patterson et al. 2010, p. 1008) OUR EXPERIENCE This was a non-competitive process and a non contrived collaboration, in which “we achieved not consensus, but a shared conceptual understanding”(Patterson et al. 2010, p. 1009) of the process. We became colleagues by confirming and engaging in each others work. This is the sort of relationship that can also occur in a positive way between a teacher and their students in the process of learning. The relational and emotional/social selves were allowed to operate. Janean reads her prose. After meeting spontaneously with Bizzy, what I am reminded of when I collaborate and share is the essence of the word-‘genuine’, It is happening because it is, not because we are being told to, paid to, look like we are, We are because we WANT to, we chose to be driven to, attracted to the connection. To be human is to share.
What we gained…We were able to articulate our own learning process, thereby taking more control of it. Instead of trying to be experts, we shared our apprenticeships and again began to ‘enjoy’ and believe in our own thesis and its powerful work. We were then once more able to take some control of our own learning.
“ We may present a coherent and enlightening picture without proving anything and, indeed, without claiming to present or to seek moral knowledge or moral truth” (Noddings, 1984, p.3). Propositional =[problem, prediction, assertion]
Our contribution to the understanding of collaboration is not intended to provide developed plans of action but to reintroduce a way of thinking about collaboration and an invitation to dialogue about what really matters in the process of doing PhD.
Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics and moral education . Berkeley, California: University of California Press. Noddings, N. (2006). Critical lessons: What our schools should teach . New York: Cambridge University Press. Phillips, E.M. & Pugh, D.S (2005). How to get a PhD, (4 th Ed) Open University Press: London Stengel, B. S. (2004). Knowing is response-able relation. In C. Bingham, & A. Sidorkin (Eds.), No Education without Relation (pp. 139 – 152). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Thayer-Bacon Wall, S. & Shankar, I. (2008) Adventures in transdixiplinary learning. Studies in Higher Education 33 (5), 551-565.
BECOMING UNSTUCK: THE PROCESS OF COLLABORATION TO COMPLETE Janean Robinson and Bisi Kuteyi Faculty of Arts and Education School of Education J.Robinson@murdoch.edu.au and O.Kuteyi@murdoch.edu.au
BECOMING UNSTUCK: THE PROCESS OF COLLABORATION TO COMPLETE “ We start life in relation, not as individuals” (Noddings, 2006, p. 95)
What is collaboration? <ul><li>A SAFE SPACE FOR THE PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC TO COME TOGETHER. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ REAL’ CONVERSATIONS- “a more nuanced approach to criticism and evaluation” (Wall & Shanker, 2008, p. 559) </li></ul><ul><li>AN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS AND FEEDBACK THAT PUSHES OUR THINKING AND ANALYSIS (Wall & Shanker, 2008, p. 562) </li></ul><ul><li>MAKING THE IMPLICIT, EXPLICIT. </li></ul>
What the research is saying? <ul><li>Social and intellectual isolation is one of the factors associated with the withdrawal and delays in PhD completion (Conrad & Phillips, 1995, p. 313) </li></ul><ul><li>“ What is needed is collaboration, not competition, between people who should be making each other’s work more comprehensible and less alienating” (Phillips &Pugh, 2005, p. 18). </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of collaboration includes a valuing of the knowledge and skills of each team member, flexibility in thinking and increased level of mutual trust (Wall & Shankar, 2008, pp. 552-553). </li></ul>
The Process Experienced “We trust people who believe in us and belief is a property of confidence. ( Willie, 2000, p. 259)
Collaboration - What we gained <ul><li>RELATIONSHIP </li></ul><ul><li>AUTHENTIC VOICE </li></ul><ul><li>COURAGE to keep going with the process </li></ul><ul><li>EMOTIONAL SUPPORT </li></ul><ul><li>A FINAL DRAFT </li></ul>
Learning and relationship <ul><li>“ The hand that steadied us as we learnt to ride our first bicycle did not provide propositional knowledge, but it guided and supported us all the same, and we finished up “knowing how.”” (Noddings, 1984, p.3). </li></ul>
RELATIONAL- KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING <ul><li>“ We meet to learn. Our meeting, our relation, matters. It determines the form and structure of our knowledge” (Stengel, 2004, p. 152). </li></ul><ul><li>“ A relational approach to knowing describes knowers as social beings-in-relation-with-others, not as isolated individuals” (Thayer-Bacon 2004, p. 168). </li></ul><ul><li>There is “no education without relation” (Sidorkin & Bingham, 2004) </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Bingham, C. & Sidorkin, A.M. (2004). No Education without Relation. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown, S. (2004). Beyond theory shock. In Ethnography unbound: From theory shock to critical praxis (pp. 299-315). Albany: State University of New York Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Conrad, L., & Phillips, E. (1995). From isolation to collaboration: A positive change for postgraduate women? Higher Education, 30, 313-322. </li></ul><ul><li>Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics and moral education . Berkeley, California: University of California Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Noddings, N. (2006). Critical lessons: What our schools should teach . New York: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Patterson, S. Hart, J. & Weaver, D. (2010). Delusions and qualitative confusions: A dialogic collaborative exploration. Qualitative Health Research 20 (7) 1008-1018 </li></ul><ul><li>Phillips, E.M. & Pugh, D.S (2005). How to get a PhD, (4 th Ed) .Open University Press: London </li></ul><ul><li>Stengel, B. S. (2004). Knowing is response-able relation. In C. Bingham, & A. Sidorkin (Eds.), No Education without Relation (pp. 139 – 152). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Thayer-Bacon, B. J. ( 2004 ) Personal and Social Relations in Education, in: C. Bingham and. A. Sidorkin (Eds.) No Education without Relation , New York: Peter Lang Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Wall, S. & Shankar, I. (2008) Adventures in transdisciplinary learning. Studies in Higher Education ,33 (5), 551-565. </li></ul><ul><li>Willie, C. V. (2000) Confidence, Trust and Respect: The Preeminent Goals of Educational Reform. The Journal of Negro Education, 69 (4), 255- 262. </li></ul>