Proposal Title

Undergraduate and Graduate Research: Developing Your Own Voice through Autobiographical Action Research Projects

Proposal Abstract

Often, undergraduates believe that ‘research is something done to someone else.’ They picture people in white lab coats conducting controlled, focused, highly specific scientific experiments that are pure in design and execution. Room for personal relevance, they believe, should be left at the laboratory door – as if the mere presence of a personal connection will taint their results.

What we do with undergraduate students – and also, graduate students, - is to start where they live. We start by stating that research is the telling of a story – a personal narrative - of how the researcher seeks answers to their questions.

More importantly, autobiographical research gives students’ permission to use the word “I.” Freeing them of the third person allows them to explore their own feelings and experiences without the filter of a disembodied voice. We want them to share not only their research, but how they came about to discover their findings – the choices they made, the impressions they felt, and the realizations they made.

This presentation will describe the use of autobiographical research in my undergraduate and graduate secondary education classes, and how faculty of all disciplines can use autobiographical research to motivate and engage their own students to explore issues and concerns of interest to them.

Location

Room 1220 B

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 27th, 10:00 AM Mar 27th, 10:45 AM

Undergraduate and Graduate Research: Developing Your Own Voice through Autobiographical Action Research Projects

Room 1220 B

Often, undergraduates believe that ‘research is something done to someone else.’ They picture people in white lab coats conducting controlled, focused, highly specific scientific experiments that are pure in design and execution. Room for personal relevance, they believe, should be left at the laboratory door – as if the mere presence of a personal connection will taint their results.

What we do with undergraduate students – and also, graduate students, - is to start where they live. We start by stating that research is the telling of a story – a personal narrative - of how the researcher seeks answers to their questions.

More importantly, autobiographical research gives students’ permission to use the word “I.” Freeing them of the third person allows them to explore their own feelings and experiences without the filter of a disembodied voice. We want them to share not only their research, but how they came about to discover their findings – the choices they made, the impressions they felt, and the realizations they made.

This presentation will describe the use of autobiographical research in my undergraduate and graduate secondary education classes, and how faculty of all disciplines can use autobiographical research to motivate and engage their own students to explore issues and concerns of interest to them.