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Title: Being a student again: a narrative inquiry into the transition experiences of Latin American postgraduates at a UK university
Author: James , Gwyneth Miriam
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 9860
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Learning from my students is the particular privilege of my being a teacher. Through them I have gained much insight into how they fare while studying for their Master's degrees in a country and culture very different to their own and this led to my research puzzle here: what are Latin Americans' experiences of studying and living here in the UK and why have they not been researched? In order to research these experiences, in particular those of their transition, I needed an appropriate methodology - narrative inquiry. This interpretivist perspective foregrounds the telling of stories as a way of giving meanings to our experiences. It also emphasises my reflexivity as the practitioner researcher in this context. Writing about five Latin American students' experiences, as well as my own research journey, I have been able to incorporate more creative styles of writing than that more typically associated with social sciences to construct narratives which aim to provoke empathy and resonance in the reader. In joining me on my research journey, readers are invited to not only bring with them their own interpretations but also their responses. What I have learned is that previously I have acted on perceived experiences of the Latin American students I teach - here revealed as erroneous - rather than their actual ones. I have dived into these five students' worlds and surfaced with a new understanding that although previously successful in their chosen professions, none has had a smooth transition to studying again and thus has a unique transition experience. This has both transformed me and impacted on aspects of my teaching. Without such reflective practices and informed understandings of our students are not bypassing the potential for a more responsive, diverse and colourful teaching and learning environment?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available