Does theory matter? Reflection, transformation and agency after receiving a doctoral award
Issues in Educational Research
Institute for Educational Research
School of Education
This reflective paper critically examines the ruminations of the author after receiving a doctoral research award, to make better sense of what happened at that time and to support responsibilities when working with higher degree research students at a teacher education institution in Western Australia. Using autoethnography, the author reexamines the transformation and agency experienced during and post of the award, to facilitate academic identity. Through reflection, questioning of beliefs and seeking enlightenment, the impact of the author's lived histories are brought to light, allowing sense making of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral circumstances. By pulling apart the tensions between a world view, previous experience and identity, the paper helps to disrupt the author's perceived dissonance between epistemology, theory and methodology. The paper supports the erosion of personal doubts and promotes growth as an early career researcher.