oa Journal of Education - Research learning

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



The article maps the process of research learning, that is, that domain of learning which novice researchers (such as doctoral students) experience in the complex process of becoming researchers. This exploratory qualitative study foregrounds the voices of the students and their accounts of research learning. The article questions the efficacy of the traditional �how to write a doctoral dissertation� guidebooks and suggests that there are no clear steps to be followed in the writing of the proposal and that the journey each student traverses is filled with obstacles, reversals, breakdowns and, yet, progression. What could be gleaned from this study is that research learning is even more complex than we anticipated, and that making firm statements about �the right way� to prepare doctoral students might in fact be the first error in seeking to improve the learning and support of novice researchers.

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