Continuing the Scholarly Habits After Graduation

Continuing the Scholarly Habits After Graduation

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2656-9.ch022
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This chapter offers advice to new doctoral graduates about continuing the scholarly habits instilled by the doctoral program. The scholarly lens developed in the program can be continuously used and developed long after commencement. Advice is given on how to think about continued research and dissemination of the results of the new research. This advice applies to doctoral graduates in any work context, whether in pre-K-12 schools, working at a college or university, or any other educational context.
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The Scholarly Habits

No matter what role you choose to take in the time after completing your doctorate, the lessons of the program can be applied. In my opinion, the most important of these lessons to carry on are the scholarly habits. Every quality doctoral program will endeavor to instill in you the habits of:

  • 1.

    Studying your work to identify things that might be improved

  • 2.

    Reading research and practitioner journals and books relevant to your work with an eye towards solving the identified needs

  • 3.

    Applying new ideas learned to your work

  • 4.

    Studying your application of the ideas

  • 5.

    Sharing the results of your studies with colleagues

The first three are very natural to those who succeed in a doctoral program in education. The last two must be purposefully designed and planned. The data driven decision-making so popular in schools today requires a careful research study each time you apply new ideas. Use what you learned in the doctoral program to design the study before you begin implementation. What comes next is the sharing of your results. The technical name for this is dissemination.


Choosing Your Audience And Writing For Publications

Now that you have engaged in scholarly activity and begun to share the message, here is a question you should NEVER ASK yourself. Is this really worthy of publication? If it has been valued when you have presented it two or three times, then you already know the answer. Your colleagues want to know. As a professional courtesy, take the next step to share it with a larger audience through publishing. You already know the message and the type of person that wants to receive it. Now you have to find out what kind of journals those people read. You probably already know quite a few journals from your experience as a doctoral student, so narrowing the filed to a short list of journals should not be a challenge. If you are not sure, ask your university librarian in charge of supporting the education department. They can help you hone your list. Now flip through recent copies of the journals on your short list. Which one publishes articles that are most like the message you want to share and how you intend to share it? That is now your target journal.

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