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Planning Educational Research: A Collaborative Workshop at ELTE

It sometimes happens that what we imagine of our PhD journey is not how it ends up being in reality – this was the starting point provided by the host and one of the main organisers of the Planning Educational Research workshop, Saule Anafinova, the second year international doctoral student at ELTE. The workshop that happened on 14 December 2017 at ELTE Budapest brought together first and second year international doctoral students at ELTE with three EDiTE ESRs for a four-hour session that was an outcome of several preparatory meetings and discussions. The aim of the workshop was focused on understanding the challenges and bottlenecks of planning doctoral research and as such it offered space for a dialogue in ways to overcome them. This type of doctoral meeting will now be established as a regular practice each semester.

Prior to the event, seven ELTE doctoral students were separated into three groups and paired with EDiTE researchers, Tamás Tóth, Andras Fehervari and Helena Kovacs. Each group met on their own and, as part of their preparation, discussed the potential issues and analytically observed their research roadmaps. The three ESRs were involved in their capacities to facilitate the small team discussions and share their experiences of creating project proposals and how they battled some of the problems throughout their research.

The format of the workshop followed an interactive design through which, instead of classic PowerPoint presentations, the doctoral students provided a background to their dilemmas allowing more time for reaction and discussion. Furthermore, an online platform padlet allowed for dissemination of a vast number of useful references that was made available to all participants. Overall, the participants expressed their high satisfaction with the event as well as the groupwork support prior to the workshop.

Twists and Turns: EDiTE Doctoral Workshop at ELTE

 

On Tuesday, 21 November in Budapest, ELTE’s Doctoral School of Education has organised an EDiTE doctoral workshop under the title Twists and Turns of PhD research. This event followed a slight experimental note by inviting four EDiTE Early Stage Researchers, namely Deisi Yunga, Tamás Toth, Andras Fehervari and Helena Kovacs, and four Hungarian doctoral candidates, Ivett Kovács, László Horváth, Ágota Szücs and Kinga Káplár-Kodácsy. Split in two groups (2 EDiTE and 2 Hungarian doctoral students per group) the young researchers present their research to the audience from the Department of Education. Apart from providing the opportunity to present the research, the aim of the workshop also involved the intention to create peer-to-peer learning format, share methodological dilemmas and receive feedback from established academics.

The presentations in each of the two groups were closely followed by two senior researchers and one methodological expert who provided valuable input on the progress and the quality of the research. Prior to the workshop, the presenters drafted an abstract of the research and were asked to elaborate on three dilemmas that they battle while working on their research, namely content-, methodology- and design-related problems and questions. After the presentations, and the Q&A session addressing specific points in the presentations, an entire session was allocated to discuss dilemmas proposed by the young researchers.

The fact that doctoral research does involve twisting and turning was indeed evident through the session discussing dilemmas and questions and the senior ELTE researchers tried to provide useful input for young researchers who were also at different stages in their academic work. EDiTE Technical Secretariat, Judit Saád and Kinga Káplár-Kodácsy, made sure that the event was well-coordinated and smoothly implemented, and overall the satisfaction by those involved and the success of this event provided a good reason for Twists and Turns to be repeated in the nearby future.

A Fresh Update to the Knowledge Horizons at Masaryk University

It is always good to update and expand methodological knowledge in doing research. The EDiTE Early Stage Researchers and their PhD colleagues from the Department of Educational Sciences had a fortunate opportunity to attend a methodological workshop organised by the Masaryk University on October 9 and 10, 2017.

The workshop was facilitated by Professor Angelika Paseka from the University of Hamburg and through their two-day journey the group has covered topics of school development and use of innovations in schools. In particular, the focus was an effective application of focus group discussions as a methodological approach and documentary method in data analysis. Part of the workshop also elaborated on possibilities of extracting metaphors from the participants of the focus groups and techniques of macroscopic and microscopic two-step data analyses. The most interesting detail of the workshop was the idea of five building block of learning, namely Irritations, Resistance, Community of Experience, Experimentation and Search for Language. This input created an intensive exchange of opinions among all participants.

Throughout the two days of workshop the sessions were implemented in an interactive way, in form of group activities and discussions which supported a holistic way of sharing and gaining knowledge. It comes without saying that this methodological workshop made a useful input for the EDiTE researchers as it broadened the horizons of their methodological knowledge and capabilities.