It is important that a researcher’s initial preconceptions arising from personal experience with the ‘education in their lives’ and research material are surfaced [aka bracketed] prior to undertaking the project. These pre-conceptions (i.e. researcher’s pre-existing personal beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and opinions) should also be monitored throughout the research project as both a potential source of insight as well as potential obstacles to engagement with the participants. A common method of bracketing is writing memos throughout the research process. For this assignment, write a 2-page account acknowledging and foregrounding your preconceptions about your research question in relation to those who you intend to study.
Directions:First revisit your response to the image, especially look at the life experiences that you chose to talk about in your response. Second, think about your research question in light of your response to the image. Clearly identify and label a lens through which you are approaching this topic: Are you thinking about the purpose of education as a ‘parent’, ‘professional educator’, ‘graduate student,’ ‘spiritual person,’ ‘first-generation college graduate’, ‘Christian’, ‘bystander who does not really care about this topic’, etc. It is likely that have looked at education through different/multiple lenses throughout your life. Decide which of these personal roles/perspectives is most prominent at this point when you think about the purpose of education. Which of these lenses/perspectives/positions do you tend to take now when discussing educational issues or when you hear others discuss these issues (say, in presidential debates)?
Finally, in a memo (1-2 pages), state your research question, then discuss how you approach this question/topic clearly labeling ‘where you are coming from’ as a researcher. [Example: As I begin thinking about this question, my experiences as a school administrator (as a mother, as a student, as a person with disability, etc) come to mind. I believe that in order to be educated the person must……. . Thus, I think that the purpose of education is……. etc.] Make sure to support your statements with concrete/specific examples of experiences from your life as a …… (whichever lense you chose). [ E.g., I remember one time when I….. etc.] Memo must be written in the 1st person reflection/journal style. An example is attached.
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