Theories are best developed with evidence

My research is inductive. It uses evidence to develop theory rather than to test theory. It emerges from practice, my own or that of others, and so this places me alongside the tradition of practitioner or insider researchers. This philosophy of research presumes that it was undertaken for others to read and use.

Dissemination is therefore integral to my research and it occurs through presenting findings at conferences, during workshops, within articles, via consultancies and in chapters for books. The accompanying pages contain details of these outputs since 2013.

Another happy day... with Dr. Cookie Liu after his Award Ceremony at Anglia Ruskin University, 2011

In 2001 my academic partnership with Professor Shosh Leshem started. Her professional background is in teaching English as a foreign language. However, our mutual interest in why and how learning occurs, and the barriers that impede learning, found common cause in doctoral education.

We felt that evidence on ‘how candidates ensured that their thesis met the scholarly expectations of examiners’ plus ‘how supervisors learnt from their cumulative experience of supervising’, were underplayed in the literature. Our research and writing addresses these, and related, aspects of doctorateness.

Our research evidence de-mystifies the secrecy of the doctoral process and the viva. It exposes some of the shibboleths which surround this scholarly event because it makes the tacit explicit. Our findings have direct relevance for doctoral candidates and their supervisors, plus those engaged in other forms of doctoral education ~ and even examiners! Thus, we are concerned to ensure that our work has applicability through the development of practical theory rather than the simple description of findings or events.

Shosh and I have published extensively on these topics and our workshop/conference presentations in numerous countries transcend the particular regulatory frameworks in which doctoral study occurs. We were pleased that in 2008 the Open University Press published our book ‘Stepping Stones to Achieving your Doctorate.’ We were happy because our manuscript displayed models, thinking and evidence that had been developed over seven years of collaboration.

If you are unfamiliar with our work, why not look through these pages to see how relevant it is to your own research?

Contact me today to explore opportunities to work together.