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What Is Graduate School All About


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This is an orientation for new graduate students on the changes in the research tools between when I started graduate school in 1975 and 2009. I also talk about the primary skills that are essential that haven't changed.

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What Is Graduate School All About

  1. 1. What is Graduate School All About?<br />
  2. 2. A Perspective from 1975<br />
  3. 3. University of Texas at Austin<br />
  4. 4. Austin– Capital of Texas<br />
  5. 5. Armadillo WorldHeadquarters<br />
  6. 6. Registration-- 1975<br />
  7. 7. “…the not-so-secret secret of becoming an expert is deliberative practice– working hard at a task in a focused, deliberative, and reflective way.” Robert Sternberg, 2004, Psychology 101 ½ <br />
  8. 8. Coursework<br /><ul><li>Theory
  9. 9. Research Methods/Statistics
  10. 10. Content Courses
  11. 11. Colloquium</li></li></ul><li>Theory<br />An ecological perspective on children, families, and <br />communities.<br />
  12. 12. Content—reading about development<br />More theory, <br />Piaget, Piaget, Piaget….. <br />A little Vygotsky, more <br />Piaget, and American<br />Piagetians.<br />
  13. 13. Methods & Statistics<br />Campbell & Stanley-<br />The “Bible” of Methods<br />Analysis of Variance,<br />Multiple Regression<br />
  14. 14. Transitioning from Student to Scientist<br />
  15. 15. “….faculty members want to show you how to do research and scholarship. They want to prepare you for an academic or other research-oriented career. They know that no one is ever going to pay you to sit in a classroom, take notes, and score well on exams. They expect you to …draw your self-esteem not from being a student but from being a researcher and scholar.” Charles Lord, The compleat academic, 2004.<br />
  16. 16. Research Tools<br />
  17. 17. Research Abstracts<br />
  18. 18. Reference Lists<br />
  19. 19. Enduring research skills<br />Finding, <br />Recording, <br />Organizing, and<br />Critiquing research literature <br />
  20. 20. Document Tools<br />
  21. 21. Data Analysis Tools<br />
  22. 22. SPSS– 2nd edition, 1975<br />
  23. 23. Qualitative Data Analysis--1980<br />Qualitative data analysis was very uncommon in psychology programs in the 1970s. <br />
  24. 24. Master Data Analysis Tools <br /><ul><li>Practice data analysis
  25. 25. Read the “results” sections of papers
  26. 26. Ask to write the “results” sections of papers
  27. 27. Take extra statistics/methods courses</li></li></ul><li>1977– big eventsDeposited Masters’ thesis & <br />
  28. 28. Learn to Write<br />
  29. 29. #1 reason why most junior faculty struggle with writing.<br />“They did not learn how to write with fluency and constancy in graduate school.<br /> Instead, most worked on proposals and dissertations erratically and painfully, often procrastinating their writing far longer than they imagined possible.”<br />Robert Boice, Advice for new faculty members, 2000. <br />
  30. 30. “You become an expert writer by writing a lot, and by working to improve you writing while you are doing it.” Robert Sternberg, 2004, Psychology 101 ½<br />
  31. 31. Research Assistantship<br />
  32. 32. Research Assistantship Tasks<br />Data Collection<br />Data Management<br />Supervision of other students<br />Working in teams<br />Workflow management<br />and Learning to think like a scientist<br />
  33. 33. Teaching Assistantship<br />OOPS!!!<br />Things I should have learned as a Teaching Assistant<br /><ul><li>How to manage a course
  34. 34. How to compose and deliver a lecture
  35. 35. How to compose and deliver any presentation
  36. 36. How to grade
  37. 37. How to foster a class discussion
  38. 38. How to manage students
  39. 39. Self-confidence in front of an audience
  40. 40. Etc, etc.</li></li></ul><li>“You become an expert teacher by teaching a lot, and by asking yourself how you can improve your teaching.” <br />Robert Sternberg, 2004, Psychology 101 ½<br />
  41. 41. My own research<br />
  42. 42. Create your own learning opportunities.<br />Audit a course<br />Read all the course readings<br />Volunteer to work on extra research projects<br />Explore faculty across campus<br />
  43. 43. Professional Meetings<br />American Psychological <br />Association, <br />New York City, 1980<br />Why go to meetings:<br /><ul><li>Meet other scientists & practitioners
  44. 44. Learn about newest findings
  45. 45. Meet potential employers
  46. 46. Meet other graduate students
  47. 47. Go to fun cities!</li></li></ul><li>“If you want to become an expert at whatever you do, work hard at it, and continually ask yourself how you can get better.” Robert Sternberg, 2004, Psychology 101 ½ .<br />
  48. 48. Dissertation--1980<br />