New Orleans, Louisiana
February 20, 2022
February 20, 2022
July 20, 2022
Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions
Writing a doctoral dissertation is a daunting task under the best of circumstances. Students must organize and synthesize their research and academic knowledge to make a compelling case for why their research matters and why their results are sound. In STEM education, a significant part of the dissertation is an extensive literature review leading to a conceptual or theoretical framework that guides the research. Enculturation into doctoral work in education research typically includes learning to use academic language and to eschew personal anecdotes in favor of published research findings. Yet most education researchers ground their interests in problems they have observed or experienced. That is, our lived experiences drive our research interests. For those within the dominant culture, others have likely observed, studied, and published about the same problem and situating the lived experience within prior literature is relatively straightforward. For those outside the dominant culture, there may be few prior studies addressing the observed problem and those studies that are tangentially relevant may miss key constructs of interest. In this paper, we challenge the cultural norm of allowing prior literature as the only acceptable form of evidence when establishing the context and framework for a study. Moreover, we posit that disallowing lived experience as a valid form of evidence in contextualizing a study has the potential to do active harm to emerging scholars from marginalized groups. Since it is nonetheless important to make connections to existing literature and to become part of the scholarly conversation about STEM education research, we suggest ways to balance these forms of evidence.
Bufford, S. M., & Damas, S. A., & Voigt, M., & Gallagher, E. (2022, February), Lived Experiences and Literature Reviews: Leveraging Experiential Knowledge in STEM Education Doctoral Studies Paper presented at 2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity) , New Orleans, Louisiana. https://peer.asee.org/39128
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015