The doctoral journey is fraught with stops and starts, crossroads and blind alleys, surprises and epiphanies. All successful doctoral students navigate a pathway through these events to reach their final destination. Navigating the Doctoral Journey explores examples of these routes in ways that both honour individual stories and highlight the broader issues of uniting emergent research practices with doctoral candidates’ individual reflexive projects.
All the doctoral candidates included in this book work with critical topics, theories and methods within the field of education; they face particular challenges – and rewards – when pursuing work that will meet institutional and disciplinary expectations of “good” doctoral-level research. For them, the doctoral process is required to culminate in more than the award of a qualification. Their imperative is to demonstrate mastery of the disciplinary norms, whilst simultaneously challenging dominant models and making authentic contributions to the benefit of broader society.
Navigating the Doctoral Journey addresses the isolation and challenges of what it means to conduct critical doctoral research within a highly contested domain of knowledge. This is not a simplistic self-help guide to clearly map a proven route to doctoral success, rather the book provides a range of possible answers to the questions of how candidates experience doctoral studies, what is “critical” about each contributor’s research, and how this affects what each person does as he or she researches.
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Jean Rath is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Tertiary Teaching and Learning at the University of Waikato. Her main research interest is academic practice (teaching, research and service) and the experiences of early-career academics, including doctoral candidates. She has particular expertise in the use of writing as a method of inquiry to investigate culture, memory and reflective practices. All her work is underpinned by an enduring interest in issues of identity, narrative, social justice and pedagogy.Carol Mutch is currently Head of School and Associate Professor in the School of Critical Studies in Education at the University of Auckland. Her career has included teaching, educational leadership, policy advice, research and evaluation. She has published books, chapters, and articles on educational history and policy, curriculum development, citizenship and social education and research methodologies. Her current research interests focus on the role of schools in disaster response and recovery following the 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquakes.