Managing Contested Issues of Representation in a PhD Dissertation

Hanrahan, Mary U. (2000) Managing Contested Issues of Representation in a PhD Dissertation. In Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), 1-5 December 2000, Sydney, Australia.


This paper looks at contested issues around representing learning in a PhD dissertation, and the controversial structure that resulted, in one particular case. During her PhD Mary constructed a partial explanation for unsatisfactory learning in science, using a cross-disciplinary body of literature (including that relating to critical literacy teaching, second language learning, social and cognitive psychology, and sociolinguistics). Taken as a whole, the literature seemed to suggest that deep learning and change depend to some extent on the nature of interpersonal relationships in the setting, and (tacit) cultural as well as rational factors. The dissertation explored the nature of learning and change in two rather different contexts, science education and a PhD and proposed that such processes involved a complex of interrelated cognitive, social and biological aspects. This proposition had significant implications not only for teaching and learning science (Hanrahan, 1998a) and similarly for research methodology (Hanrahan, 1998b), it also challenged some of the epistemological assumptions and generic conventions underlying expectations about dissertations.

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ID Code: 1109
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: PhD, dissertation, epistemology, learning, research, methodology, science education
ISSN: 1324-9339
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Epistemology (220304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Australian Association for Research in Education
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 19 May 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:24

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