This is a request for a dissertation proposal. The premise of the dissertation is to study how microaggressions experienced by school leaders (K-12 principals and vice principals) impacts their leadership. This will be phenomological study of school leaders by conducting individual interviews and determining what common themes exist.
Proposed outline w/notes:
Parts of a Dissertation Proposal
Chapter 1 (20-25 pages)
Introduction of the topic and your study
Overview of topic
Why is a focus on this topic important to education in a larger sense
Conceptual Frameworks that serve as a basis of the study
What is already known in general about this topic and issue/problem? — (not as deeply explored as in the literature review…but kind of a summary of what is current research and theory says that is related to your topic).
How are YOU framing the problem/issue and how in an overall sense is the issue/problem framed in the context of the study and the literature
the intro offers an overall perspective which is deepened extensively in chapter 2 – the literature review
Statement of the Problem
Concise statement of the problem you are studying
Need for the Study/ Purpose of the Study
How is it important to education that you conduct this study?
What will be the significance of this study within current literature, theory and practice?
What holes will it fill in existing research and theory?
Brief Summary of the Study
Research Question(s) – can be included in the Statement of the Problem section if you prefer
Significance of the Study
Limitations of the Study
Definition of Terms
Chapter 2 (35 pages)
(Purpose of the Study) Here is what existing research has said
synthesized, critiqued, integrated and presented in patterns of overall research
What are the various streams or patterns in the research and how do they contribute to framing the context of your study?
Here is what existing research has missed…
How Review of Literature Informs this Study
Here is what this research study will contribute within the context of existing research…what gaps it will fill
Use a funnel approach writing from the larger contextual perspective and narrowing toward the specific patterns in the literature related to your topic….sometimes this means moving from national to local, sometimes from history to current, sometimes from policy to practice…
Chapter 3 (20 -25 pages)
Intro to chapter and topic –
includes Research Question(s) – restated and explained
Research Paradigm (Philosophy) used as a Foundation for this Research
Critical, Feminist, Cultural, Positivist, Constructivist etc.
see Jones, Torres & Arminio; Schram; Creswell; and Marshall & Rossman, Guido-DiBrito, Chavez & Lincoln; for beginning definitions here – then research your chosen research paradigm/philosophy
Ontology (nature of reality)
positivism – one reality or truth to be discovered
constructivism – many truths to be explored
Epistemology (how truth is known)
i.e. critical, feminist, cultural
Positionality of the Researcher in relation to the study
Identity similarities and differences in relation to participants
relationship as insider and/or outsider to the study and its context through experience, location etc.
beliefs about the study – how working from your chosen philosophy will assist in the study
Mode of Inquiry
Define and discuss the basic characteristics of your chosen mode of inquiry and how you believe it will assist you in exploring YOUR specific research questions.
Substantiate heavily with literature about the mode of inquiry…go well beyond sources from your coursework
Site(s) of Study
Where will your study take place…describe the salient qualities and offer rationale for why this is a good site or sites to explore your specific research question(s)
Often you will want to describe the city and state as well as the educational institution..especially with the unique qualities of New Mexico….some studies are national or statewide in scope…and then you would discuss this as appropriate for your study.
Ways of purposeful sampling to determine your participants
General demographic and other description of participants
Other Data used (documents, web analysis etc.)
Rationale and targeted documents etc.
Methods of Data Collection and how each
has a reasonable chance to answer the research questions and
are substantiated by research methods literature
should be consistent/congruent with research philosophy chosen
Selection of Interview Participants
Selection of Documents for Analysis
Criteria for Selecting Observation Activities
Site(s) of the study
Data Collection Protocol
How will you analyze each data collected via each method chosen
How will you analyze across the various types of data
Should be WELL substantiated with literature on data analysis in your mode of inquiry and methods
Standards of Quality/Rigor
supported by research literature – how your design supports this rigor/standards of quality
Credibility/Trustworthiness (qualitative) OR Validity (quantitative)
Research Design Credibility & Rigor
Ethics – IRB, discussing ethical dilemmas of the research and how you will minimize chance for harm and supported by research ethics literature
Limitations of Study
What your study does not do and limitations of the research design, methods, participants chosen etc.
Plan & Timeline for Completing the Study
Qualities of a Proposal
How informative is the introduction? Is it easy to understand?
How long before you understand what the proposal is about?
Is there a clear articulation of the problem that the study will address? How far do you have to read before you have a clear sense of it? (Note: There is a difference between a statement of what the research will do and the problem that it addresses.)
Is a plausible argument made for doing the study? Will the study likely make a significant contribution to practice or theory?
Are the questions that the study will address clear? Do they seem reasonable, given the nature of the problem?
Is the literature review adequate, and is it conceptually integrated with the problem and the questions posed?
Is there a convincing argument for the theoretical perspective taken to the problem? Is the perspective (or theoretical framework) from which the data will be collected and analyzed clear and reasonable?
Is there a convincing argument for the methodological approach taken?
Are the methods of the study spelled out in concrete detail? Will they have a good chance of answering the questions the study poses?
Is the researcher’s role in the inquiry clear and acceptable, given the nature of the problem?
Is the ‘‘design’’ of the study apparent, and does it have integrity? Is there a coherent train of thought that runs through the proposal from beginning to end?
Is the structure of the proposal apparent and lucid? Do the parts fit together?
Are the transitions from one part of the proposal to another clear and helpful?
Are the ethical considerations clear and acceptable?
Is the proposal well written? Does the author guide you through the work?
From, Kilbourne, B. (2006). The Qualitative Dissertation Proposal. Teachers College Record Volume 108(4), pp. 529–576.
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