Wednesday, December 3, 2008

End of the Semester/Class Reflection

Today marks the last day of class for my WRA 125 course. I must say that I'm EXTREMELY pleased with the smart work my Fall 2008 students have done. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to check out their blogs before Spring 2009 students' blogs replace theirs.

As many of you know, I am doing an Afracentric teacher-research study on this group of students, so I'll make a few comments about their work and the data I need to begin analyzing. Although this blog initially was started to record my teacher-research notes, observations, reflections, etc., it kinda veered off into multiple directions, with limited attention being paid to specific observations from the class. Here's why:

It's not that I haven't been working at all on the dissertation. I have actually written quite a bit and gotten 3 chapters drafted, none of which are empirical. That means I haven't had sufficient time to spend with my data (which I have been collecting, just not analyzing or writing about as much). This is also complicated by the fact that I had to add an additional chapter explaining what an Afrafeminist teacher-research methodology is. That chapter has proven somewhat challenging. Although I have this chapter drafted and outline, I still have a bit more work to do with it before January.

All in all, I still think I'm on schedule. I can devote the entire next semester to data collection, interviews, analysis and writing for two empirical chapters. Although I wish I'd had the time to work with the data this semester, I did produce the theoretical chapters and will hopefully have them out of the way by next semester. Spending more time with data really isn't a bad thing, and I think we should encourage this more since some dissertations are often rushed. As Bruno Latour would say, we need to slow our research down. (LOL! see Grabill, I can make a Latourian connection!).

Hopefully next semester I won't have as many articles to revise and resubmit. I've revised and resubmitted the 3 I'm currently working on several times, and I hope to be done with them for the most part by next semester. I'll still have the Race(ism) and Assessment chapter to draft and revise, but at least I'll be collaborating on that one and won't have all the burden.

I still accomplished a great deal. Now, I need to take time and sit with the data!

btw, the official dissertation prospectus defense is next week, so I'll need to prepare for that!

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