Women Entering Graduate Studies Essay

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Stephanie Laymon EDUC817-B03 February 12, 2012 Article Critique 1 Instructor - Joy Hervey, Ed.D. The qualitative case study of multiple participants in this article focuses on the experiences of four women who are re-entering a university setting in order to obtain doctoral degrees and the importance of the case study method in women’s issues. The beginning of the case study explains that the four women were chosen because they are all married and have children in addition to their obligations as doctoral students. The study was guided by three questions referred to as “grand-tour” questions (Padula & Miller, 1999). These questions focused on women in psychology doctoral programs and their decision to return to school, describing reentry experiences, and life changes resulting from the decision and subsequent experiences. Additionally, the authors utilized census data over time to support the need for the study citing rationale that increasing numbers of women between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-four have returned to institutes of higher learning to obtain doctorates (Padula & Miller, 1999). The authors focused on both the exploratory and descriptive case study methods for multiple reasons (Padula & Miller, 1999): First was to address an issue with no previous study and to increase understanding of the challenges and rewards facing women who return to graduate school. Second was the desire to study and report the phenomenon of the participants’ point of view concerning the re-entry. This was followed by a focus on answering questions of “how” and “why” regarding this phenomenon. Lastly, the case study was bounded by the participants as the unit of analysis, the context which specifically focused on returning to school in the psychology doctoral of a specific university, and women who were married with
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