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A kitten in the garden! My 1st Doctoral Symposium

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Working Towards a Doctorate

Having had a very stimulating three days attending University of Hull’s Doctoral Symposium “Operationalising Postgraduate Research:real journeys, real voices,digital worlds” #DSHull I slept late this morning.

Sitting at the kitchen window eating a leisurely breakfast I saw a cat walking down the garden path, behind her were 5 very small, and very cute, kittens.  It was obviously their first trip into the outside world, from, what we later discovered ,was their nest under our shed . They looked too small and too fragile to be out at all, but they were having a wonderful time, playing and falling over each other, each taking care of the next and the mother protecting them all.


That was most of the rest of the day gone, kittens being irresistible.

I’m sure you are wondering what this has to do with a Doctoral  Symposium?

I’ve been reflecting on the experiences I have had over…

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These are a few of my favourite …. blogs

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You may use blogs to explore all sorts of idiosyncratic interests such as raindrops on roses, or whiskers on kittens if you wish.  This is a legitimate use. In this post I want to offer a few of my favourite blogs that I think might be of use for Doctoral researchers. I have tried to keep this as broad as possible – given that we all come from dramatically different educational contexts.

As well as providing conversational scholarship, a blog post is a perpetually open text, we can add, delete or change the history of the blog at will. With the blog time is always being re-written. If I note other useful blogs that I think colleagues may like, I shall edit them in … or write a new post.

So – for starters – these are my favourite blogs that I think you might enjoy:

This blog offers advice and guidance about academic writing. Anything from writing field notes, to writing on a day-to-day basis for your Doctoral Research. I quite like reading about the big themes of academic writing as well as the mundane details of academic practice. Pat’s blog gets the balance right in my view – between autobiography and analysis. Lots of really useful advice.

Mark’s blog might not be for everyone. But, although he has only just completed his PhD he has a very well established reputation in how academics can use social media. He is also a sociologist. This is my disciplinary home so I admit to being biased. He’s not for everyone and writes very little about education. But for everything else social theory – this is the go to blog for inspiration. He also offers an excellent account of academic blogging.

Eddie is the principal of a 6th form college, I include his blog as an example of an established professional with an institutional  reputation to defend. The blog offers more the PR and represents his broad view on the world. In this post, he is politely political without compromise to either is personal or professional integrity.

Andrew blogs about his research. He’s a prolific writer whose focus is on good governance in schools. This is his official blog that traces the unfolding of his ERSC funded research project School Accountability and Stakeholder Education (SASE) from its inception in 2012 to its conclusion on February 2015. He’s not a light read but for the school based researchers, he’s very interesting. This is a great example of blogging while researching.