"If a college that's in the middle of a STEM curriculum revision swaps stories back and forth with a college that's already finished with a similar one, what happens?"
That's the informal version of my (probable) dissertation research question. The more formal version (with more questions!) is: "How do STEM faculty make sense of their experiences during a curricular change process? How does engaging in cross-institutional mentorship impact their sense-making? How do practices of transparency support this sense-making mentorship?"
And I think I have an idea of how I want to do it. At the moment, anyway. This is all early-stage, subject to change, thinking out loud, and so on -- but rough beginnings are still beginnings, and if I'm doing radically transparent research, I ought to release early and often. With that in mind, here's a draft of what I'm thinking might turn into my proposal; it's all of 3 pages long, and I'm not yet completely happy with the voice (I want to write more informally, but I haven't figured out how to rewrite this less stuffily without losing specificity), but look: it's a first version.
You'll notice that I'm still working on selecting sites, so the 2 schools involved are called "School A" and "School B" (not very imaginative, I know) -- there have been conversations, but nothing is final, and I haven't yet asked if it is ok to write publicly about the conversations I've been having, so I won't yet. That's one of the lines I'm walking here; in general, I'm not releasing the names of the people and institutions I'm talking with until they give me their explicit consent to do so. Also, I'm logging the time spent on my dissertation work on a spreadsheet, in case you want to see more fine-grained detail on what this PhD thing takes.
Without further ado, the proposal:
As always, I'd love thoughts/ideas/feedback. In particular, are these questions important questions to answer? Is this an important problem in Engineering Education? It doesn't matter how well I plan and execute if my end goal is useless once it's reached (Richard Hamming's talk on "You And Your Research" is a good read on that topic). Basically, I'm curious whether people give a damn.
So if you do, let me know if you want to -- but if you don't, please please let me know now. I am particularly interested in negative feedback and people who think I'm doing the wrong thing and people who disagree with me and think I'm blind and foolish, because that is what I'll learn the most from.