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Exploring the doctoral motivations of Irish higher education professionals: a narrative inquiry

Mitchell, Diana (2017) Exploring the doctoral motivations of Irish higher education professionals: a narrative inquiry. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Diana Mitchell FINAL Thesis 26.3.2018.pdf
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Abstract

This thesis examines the experiences of professional staff, other than academic staff, working within Irish higher education while pursuing a doctorate in education. The research question is “To what extent do the narratives of professional staff working in Irish higher education reveal their motivations for pursuing a doctorate in education?” The study employs narrative inquiry both as the methodology and the phenomenon under observation as it examines the data derived from the narratives of five higher educational professionals working in different Irish higher education institutions. The conceptual framework for the study was based on Connelly and Clandinin’s approach to narrative inquiry which in turn is grounded in a Deweyan theory of experience. The data was presented in two parts. The first part made visible different aspects of individual experience by presenting a storied account of each research participant using their own words as illustration. The second part presents six main themes and a further twenty-four sub-themes which emerged during the interviews and analysis of the life grid responses. The six main themes were: previous experiences of education; motivations for undertaking a doctoral qualification; relationships; identity; support networks; and after the doctorate. The reasons for doctoral study are complex and individuals choose it for multiple reasons. I would argue that all of the themes and sub-themes are relational in terms of motivations for undertaking doctoral research and that stories that people live and tell, matter.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mrs Diana Mitchell
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2018 08:58
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2018 08:58
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19937

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