Get Your Geek On: Doctoral Focus

Doctoral Focus written by Tracy Wilson

This posting will discuss why I enrolled in the Ph.D. program for Educational Psychology, what I am trying to become, and how I will accomplish my objective.

Why are You Here?

I have always been fascinated by human behavior.  I worked in the field of child welfare from 2005 until 2014.  My specialty was interviewing sexual abuse survivors and preparing them for court.  I also served as a mentor to new employees.  Due to the nature of my career, I enrolled at the University of North Dakota’s (UND) online Forensic Psychology Masters program in 2009 and graduated in 2011.  I was promoted to the director of the department and I thought that my graduate studies prepared me for catastrophe, but I was sadly mistaken when my unit faced a child abduction.  Child welfare lost its luster and I resigned.

In August 2015 I was offered an adjunct faculty position with my undergraduate alma mater and I have fallen in love with the profession.  With Capella, I chose Educational Psychology with a concentration in Psychology Teaching and Instruction because educating college students is my passion.

Learning methods in prominent contrast with past experiences

Each person learns differently, utilizing different skills sets to understand and implement concepts (Rolfe & Cheek, 2012).   My personal learning style involves a pen in my hand or keys at my fingertips.  I also integrate auditory and visual learning into the way I process information.  Additionally, collaboration with peers assists me in learning and retaining information.

The scholar-practitioner model has its roots in theory, research, and implementation (McClintock, 2004).  This model is somewhat new to me.  As a graduate student, I was taught theories proposed by others and applied them.  For example, during the onsite-capstone course at UND, my team was asked to compare and contrast Rape Trauma Syndrome and PTSD, choose which diagnoses we agreed with, and then present the rationale to the class.  We formed our argument based on current research but did not propose any new theories.  I am certain that the scholar-practitioner model is in stark contrast to my previous experiences.

What are you trying to become?

Attaining a Ph.D. will not only be a personal triumph, but tenure would finally be attainable and my dream of being a full-time educator at the college level would become a reality.  I will be an expert in my field and can make contributions to the educational community.  I would also be able to wield theory into practice as I continue teaching, assisting my students in reaching their own career goals.

I have always used a student-centered model and have recently incorporated a transfer-of-learning component.  I want to expound upon this by completing research examining whether the incorporation of transference skills actually enhances student performance.  As a doctoral learner, I can do that.

How Will You Accomplish You Goal?

To accomplish all of the above, I must prioritize.  In fact, I am trying to work weeks ahead in this course.  I make lists and plan accordingly.  When I check off something on the list, I move onto the next task.  The is one of the many strategies I employ to maintain focus.

Another way I will accomplish the goal of completing this program as well as to obtain a position in higher learning is to stay positive.  Within the last week, I have lost count as to how many times I have considered quitting the program.  However, when I stop, take a breath, and think, I see the big picture.  The only way I am going to obtain all of the things I see in that picture is to use determination and strength.

Time management will be essential for completing the Ph.D. program.  I also think that the lists I mentioned above tie into effective time management.  Sacrifices will have to be made.  I will have to allot time each day to focus on my studies.

For me, failure is not an option.  Although I have given thought to throwing in the towel already, I will not.  A Ph.D. is something I have talked about since I was in undergraduate school.  Now with a position in higher education already, I know that the path is clear.  Therefore, it is safe to say that courage and vision will also play a role in this process.

I will complete the required coursework for not only this course, but future courses.  Eventually, I will take my comps and then finish my dissertation.  The only way I can do this is to grab the determination that I know lies deep within.  Then, and only then, can I reach my ultimate goal of becoming a tenured professor.

In conclusion, embracing my personal experiences, understanding and using the scholar-practitioner model, knowing what the primary goal is, and having a plan to work toward it will empower me to be successful as I take this path.  The responsibility lies with me.  It will take time, patience, and commitment.  With the support of peers, instructors, family, and friends, I know that I can complete this journey successfully and then move forward in my career aspirations.

References

McClintock, C. (2004). Scholar practitioner model.  In A. Distefano, K. E. Rudestam, & R. J. Silverman

(Eds.), Encyclopedia of distributed learning (pp. 393–397). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rolfe, A., & Cheek, B.  (2012).  Learning styles.  Innovait, 5(3), 176-181, doi:10.1093/innovait/inr239

 

Scholarly Features: Instead of Fading Away

I have decided to post some of my Ph.D. discussion boards and essays. Instead of simply fading away for the next four years, I would rather share some of my scholarly writing. It may be dry for your taste, but perhaps it won’t be. You may be interested in aspects of a Ph.D. program as well as various topics regarding educational psychology.

I am scheduling the posts for Tuesday. They will take the place of the “Teaser Tuesday” slot. So, get ready to get your geek on 🙂  Keep in mind they will be written under my given name, not my pen name.  That will help me avoid plagiarism issues.

Surprise! Tuesday Guest Post: Wendy Unsworth

Wendy Unsworth is the author of mystery and psychological suspense. She has also written a series of chapter books for young children and has enjoyed the challenges of these very different genres.

Wendy has lived in Ndola Zambia, Nairobi Kenya, in a 17th century Cornish cottage, Lincolnshire and Lancashire in England and now divides her time between Scotland and the wilds of Portugal. In between packing and unpacking her passions are writing, reading, travel, her cat Cleopatra and, of course, her family.

The Berriwood Series of novels follows the lives of ordinary people in a pretty little backwater of the Cornish countryside. This is a place of tranquility, where everyone knows everyone and nothing much ever seems to happen, until…

Amidst  this quiet, idyllic background of rural life Wendy likes reveal the darker side of life, to pitch her characters against the odds, to test their nerve  and see how they react!

There have been two titles in the Berriwood series so far-

The Palaver Tree Following a personal tragedy, Ellie Hathaway takes a teaching job far away from the safety of Berriwood, in the sub-Saharan country of Ducana. She has never done anything so daring before but she believes she has no need to worry, the wonderful headmaster, Gabriel Cole will guide and protect her. Nothing could possibly go wrong while he is around…

But, as Ellie slowly discovers, she is not the only one Gabriel is ‘protecting’ and whose interests does he really have at heart?

From a sleepy English village to the heat of Africa, the truth is out there and someone has to find it.

The Palaver Tree is available for download here:-

getBook.at/Palaver

In Beneathwood ,

Beryl Carroll has lived in Berriwood for most of  her life. It has been so long that people tend to forget she came to the village a young and frightened runaway and no one, not even her husband Gordon, knows exactly what happened to her before she came looking for him.

But someone knows, someone who blames her for her past transgressions and someone who would dearly like to make her pay. Just as Beryl and Gordon prepare to move in to the lovely old house at Beneathwood,  the time for revenge has come.

  Beneathwood is available for download here:-

getBook.at/Beneathwood

 

Dirty Work is the third title in the series.

Appearances can be deceptive.

Take the Duke twins. Pete lost his IT job almost two years ago; he is best known in his native village of Berriwood for his tendency to be found propped up against a bar somewhere… or under it. It has been a tough time for Caroline, Pete’s wife,  but at last, it seems, he is turning his life around.

Nathan is the success story of the family, the darling of the local amateur dramatic society who gave it all up for his high flying directorship based in London. But his wife, Marcie hates the lonely days while he works away and forgetting her birthday is the last straw.

When Nathan invites Caroline and Pete to a surprise birthday dinner for Marcie, to make amends, Caroline has her reservations. She knows if anyone is going to spoil the family party it would be Pete; he has done it plenty of times before. What she doesn’t anticipate is that her husband won’t even be there and that one of the four will very soon be dead. .

Dirty Work will be available for pre-order on Amazon from 15th May 2017 and published on June 16th 2017

All three books in the Berriwood series now have brand new covers to celebrate this latest release

Wendy can be found at her website  wendyunsworth.wordpress.com where she loves to welcome visitors.