Scattered Ideas

* My lit review has a working thesis! This means that I’ve gone through the 20+ articles that were somewhat relevant and chosen the ones to write about. This also means that I know how I’m going to organize my lit review. So my thesis, since I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for it: Current methodologies in correctional education fall into three main headings: traditional, computer-assisted/distance education, and progressive.

(More to come, I can’t find the save draft button right now and my sitter just called to tell me that I need to go get my girls.)

…And (days later), now that I’ve written my thesis above, and written my intro paragraph for my lit review, I’m not sure that’s exactly my thesis. But I did say “working thesis,” didn’t I?


* I read the chapter from the Handbook of Qualitative Research on my iPad’s Kindle reader, so we’ll see if I can figure out what I wanted to talk about when I tagged pages…

1. “Objective reality can never be captured” (5). – I love this, and I think that so many people forget it, or don’t realize it in the first place. The only way to get close to the truth is to embrace all versions, all realities. This is what triangulation is about.

2. Qualitative Research & NCLB – It’s so upsetting that NCLB has made qualitative research undesirable. The idea that numbers are more a more important data set than experiences, especially in education, infuriates me.

3. “medical research as the model for educational research, particularly the random clinical trial” (9) – This is what happens when people who aren’t educators start trying to impose their viewpoints on education. Makes me sick! Teaching is not at all like medicine. GRRR.

4. “In the postivist version it is contended that there is a relaity out there to be studied, captured, and understood, whereas the postpositivists argue that reality can never be fully apprehended, only approximated” (11) – Guess I’m a postpositivist, then (if choosing between the two). Goes back up to #1, that “objective reality can never be captured” (5).

(Screaming children, lost my train of thought…)


* As for my lit review, I started the actual writing yesterday. The worst part was when I realized I’d written a couple paragraphs wrong and had to canabalize them in order to write it the way (I think) I’m supposed to. But now that I’m on the right track (I hope), I should be able to finish it tonight. I better be able to finish it tonight because it’s due tomorrow and I don’t have any time tomorrow to work on it!


* In related news, I’ve realized that how I write papers now is completely different from how I used to write them when I was an undergrad. I think it’s due to the constraints on my time these days. I used to be able to think about the topic for a while and sit down for a marathon session or two and it’d be done. Now I have to think about it, write a rough outline, think some more, start the essay, reorganize the outline, write some more, think some more. Mostly it’s because I don’t have time in my life for marathon sessions, and all the time before that I was thinking about my topic I can’t use either. I’m just too busy with life, being a mom, wife, etc.


* And finally, a lesson I’ve learned: when going through a big process like this, I should 1) write short summaries of the articles I’ve written (maybe even a personal annotated bib), and 2) save everything, either on paper or on my computer. Because I have a feeling I’ll need info from all those articles my daughters have drawn all over, spilled stuff on, etc.


And now to calm the screaming child. Apparently Daddy’s not cutting it right now. At all.


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