I might have found a new dissertation idea

Now I follow blogs everywhere, but most of my friends are either on blogger or live journal. I had joined live journal after a conversation with a friend a few years back, but it’s mostly foolishness for a better word of what I type over there. At any rate, in all my foolishness, I joined groups related to educational psychology among others and somehow ended up communicating with another woman who was also studying at Capella. We finally met in person at my track three colloquium in Chicago in 2008. While she isn’t specializing in educational psychology, she still seems pretty connected to all fields in psychology. She recently finished all of her coursework and will be starting her comprehensive exams, so I’ve been able to provide her feedback on my experiences.

We hadn’t spoken in a while. In fact, it had almost been a year since either she or I blogged on livejournal. But about two weeks ago, I saw a blog from her commiserating on her job search. We got back in touch, and I told her about my tribulations over the past six or so months, including my recent lack of a dissertation idea.

And, she gave me a fabulous one to pursue. I suppose I should say I’m glad we’re not in the same specialization. We can offer advice to one another without fear that one might steal the other’s idea!

At any rate, her idea was to do a study on high school students who are currently enrolled in self-directed transformative education. How do their perceptions and maybe actions change due to a trauma that occurs in their life? Now, there would be a lot of work involved with this topic. I have contacted two virtual academies approved to offer public education in Washington state. But the more I think about it, my study could encompass any state that allows for public virtual education. I would simply need to mail them information, and it may take a bit longer to do my study, but it would give me a greater pool of participants and perhaps be more interesting to see how students in different environments react.

Right now, though, I need to do some research on why a student would pursue self-directed education in the first place. Both schools that I contacted offer this self-directed education to students as young as five years old. Certainly, they are not the ones who make the choice. It could mean, then, that some students who are currently enrolled in these high schools have been conditioned from an early age to embrace virtual education. I would need to find out how long virtual education has been sanctioned in a particular state.

I will update soon.


About debhalasz

I am a free-lance writer, skilled in writing press-releases, profiles, web copy, articles, and album reviews. I also am a skilled researcher in all areas. I have a MS degree in Educational Pscyhology and am currently in the dissertation phase of my PhD program. My passions are second language learning, learning strategies, music, musicology, neuroscience, and neuroeducation. I am a fan of all genres of music and love learning more about both indie and major-labeled artists as well as the behind-the-scenes people who make them look so good! View all posts by debhalasz

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