Making Curriculum Pop

Support for dissertations

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Support for dissertations

I directed 50 or more dissertations in psychology and education and I am ready to provide that expertise to anyone who needs help from the initial proposal to experimental design to data analysis to interpretation and the final report.

Website: http://www.enabling.org
Location: New York City and the world.
Members: 23
Latest Activity: Sep 11, 2018

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ARTICLE: The Amazing Adventures of the Comic-Book Dissertator

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Help narrowing my dissertation topic (NCLB) and focus... 3 Replies

I need help! I am having a lot of difficulty in trying to shape my dissertation into something more manageable. When I seek advice from my advisor and/or professors, I always receive conflicting…Continue

Started by Amie Ralston. Last reply by Amie Ralston Apr 7, 2011.

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Comment by Robert Zenhausern on March 12, 2010 at 9:12am
If you want this to be a continuing project then a qualitative study would probably be a better choice. You can expand on it when you have your degree out of the way. Maybe a book. What are your career goals when you have the degree?

If I have not said it before, treat your dissertation as a stumbling block, not a challenge. Get away with as little as you can and do your real work when you do not have a degree hanging over your head. From that perspective, a quantitative study would be more self-contained.

Decision, decisions, decisions!!
Comment by Stephanie Young on March 12, 2010 at 8:48am
Dr. Z, thanks for the input. As much as I do dread quantitative studies, I don't want to shy away from it. I will continue to think through how viable this study would be. I don't want it to be a "one-shot deal" that disappears, but something that can be built upon for future study. I am passionate about the adminstrative aspect of education and seek to make a strong contribution in this field. I don't think many people realize ( or even care) how many roles the AP has. An AP many times is treated like "the middle child" : invisible.
We'll see what I come up with as time goes along.

Thanks again. Your questions are really pushing me to push myself!
Comment by Robert Zenhausern on March 12, 2010 at 7:26am
Stephanie,
You have first hand experience as an AP. Do others realize the many roles of the AP? The problems? Being "in-between"? Would a dissertation whose purpose is to illustrate these and other facts be original and viable.

I know a qualitative study appeals to those who are not comfortable with statistics and the dreaded null hypothesis. But a quantitative study is more well defined. You say you will do this and do it. A qualitative study is more open ended. Moreover, it is perfectly acceptable to use an outside expert for stat and I will lend a hand on this forum for anyone
Comment by Stephanie Young on March 11, 2010 at 5:45pm
I am looking at a qualitative study and have thought about using the social networking sites to put feelers out there. Dr. Z, being a former AP, I have my own notions about challenges, issues of the position and what is needed, but I am just one person. I'm trying to bring to light how APs are given the grunt work (which many times keep the schools running), but are missing out on learning how to be instructional leaders and partners in administration.

I'll ponder some more :)
Comment by Pam Goble on March 11, 2010 at 3:38pm
What about a qualitative case study of AP's? You could use the ning as your initial survey to ferret out those who would be suitable for the research. You do not need more than 10 to make that work.
Comment by Robert Zenhausern on March 11, 2010 at 3:03pm
Assume you had enough APs to run the study.

If you had your druthers what would you want the results to say? Is that different from what you think they will say? In any case, before you start the dissertation write the conclusion and work backwards.
Comment by Stephanie Young on March 11, 2010 at 2:50pm
Dr. Z
Thanks so much for the feedback...I am also concerned about the number of participants and if I pursued this, how far would my pool need to extend (beyond county, to state, or even region --- feasible or crazy???) I'm an in a unique situation in which I have just relocated to the south and not currently in a permanent position so I'm unlike my cohort members who are working on something related to their jobs.

I believe that I have a better chance getting APs than teachers who are transitioning to admin. It may mean that I have to do some travelling in order to get data, but we'll see :)
Comment by Ryan Goble on March 11, 2010 at 2:37pm
Great quote -"the hardest part of the dissertation is the one on which you are currently working!" Gave me LOLs.
Comment by Robert Zenhausern on March 11, 2010 at 2:36pm
As to the two dissertation ideas: the Assistant Principal
How many AP can you realistically find who would participate? How will you measure "social/professional power"? What does it mean. What can you expect to find? I would guess a normal curve of whatever you are measuring, people will be more or less capable no matter what their position. Now this is not a dead end, but perhaps a starting point for some manipulation.

Transitioning teachers: How many teachers will transition in the time you want to complete your dissertation? Is the subject pool large enough?
How will you measure role conflict? Ideally, you would want measures before they were in transition. Again whatever you measure can be expected to be a normal curve.

The hardest part of any dissertation is getting subjects, because it is the only thing that is no under your control. In my more cynical moments I would say the hardest part of the dissertation is the one on which you are currently working.

I am not shooting down either of those ideas, but they need to be sharpened.

. For a very simple reason: there are more teachers than assistant principals. One of you biggest headaches will be to get and keep participants.
Comment by Pam Goble on March 11, 2010 at 2:15pm
I will send you our proposal outline which is very helpful.
 

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