qualitative research proposals

Struggling with writing a research proposal for my MA thesis.

I intend to do qualitative research, design research to be precise. As the deadline has shifted to Saturday to submit it, I decided to do a bit more research on how to write a proper qualitative proposal first.

Came across this website, with lots of links to various resources on qualitative research:


Some of the links are not working unfortunately, but still it gives a good overview and starting point.

Via that site I came across another interesting URL that shows a course outline on qualitative research and has URLs on various topics in this. http://www.columbia.edu/~dk206/5510/cSyll.html

Managed to find a URL on there with a link to Ann Brown's paper on Design Research in PDF format.

adult education cross-cultural

Doing some more research today on this topic.

Reading on the theories of Malcolm Knowles the "father" of the androgagy. His theories were quite refreshing of his time and actually seem to be related to the constructivist theories that are forming the paradigm of 21st century learning.

Came across an interesting researcher in this field who has critiqued some of Knowles' principles: Dan Pratt (http://www.edst.educ.ubc.ca/pratt.html#Sample).

Was happily surprised to find that he is doing research on adult education and cross-cultural learning, specificly comparing Chinese and Western ways of thinking about teaching and learning.
It's a field of research that highly interests me.

I'm also interested in the socio-constructivist paradigms and see how they can be applied to adult learning, which is a highly under-researched field. Socio-constructivism, situated cognition and communities of practice are the latest developments in the educational field, and so far mainly applied in school settings (primary and secondary education).

And how IT developments such as blogging can be integrated into learning systems and used as a personal reflection tool. But more on that in later posts.

Only in China


Watched the show with this title last night on CNA. 

They interviewed an Austrian woman who started her own dancing school in China. Well actually can’t really say she was Austrian. She had this amazing traveling life since she was 2 years old. She has lived in so many countries and finally ended up in Beijing, China 6 years ago working in advertising for a large MNC. But she mentioned that even though she has never lived in the same country for longer than 9 years so far, she sees herself getting old in China, because it’s such an amazing country with so much culture to be explored.  

There were a few things that particularly struck me in this very casual interview. In the first place, the interview was held completely in Mandarin and I admired her level of Mandarin. At the same time I was happy to realize that I could follow and understand about 80% of the conversation without need to look to the subtitles too much. And shamefully found that my Mandarin has been stagnant for too long and might even have lost some of it due to lack of practice the past few years.  

Secondly, I was struck by the courage of the woman who gave up her steady job at a MNC to set up her own dancing school (one of her hobbies) in a country like China. Not an easy thing to do! I admire people who follow their dreams and also try to follow my dreams. Which made me reflect again whether I’m actually doing this at the moment. The honest answer to myself was yes and no. Yes, I’m following my dream – working for myself, studying something that I’m interested in. But No at the same time too – I’m still not seriously trying to find a job as a parttime lecturer at one of the poly’s, and I also still have a dream that I want to settle in
China ultimately. The latter has been put on a longer term planning though – I’m quite happy with my life as it is now in
Singapore and grown tired to keep moving around. Another factor is my two cats that make me slightly less mobile – not immobile, but I don’t want to move here then there and back again anymore. So, the cats are just an excuse, but it probably defines a new phase in my life in another way.

who am i?

Dear reader,

At the start of the seventies I was brought into this world in a little village in the south-west of the Netherlands. I was a quiet little girl back then, always reading books to escape to different places. In the nineties I moved to Amsterdam to study and started exploring the real world out there. After I finished my studies I started my working life and soon decided that the Netherlands was a bit too small for me and I landed a job that brought me to Asia. Worked in different countries in Asia for a few years and felt so much more at home there than I did in my "home-country" that when I was posted back to work in Holland again I decided to quit my job, and move to Asia. I managed to find a job in Singapore pretty soon after that and staying there since 2000. On and off I have been living in China too, with Hangzhou and Shanghai the main places. If ever I have the chance I might move there. China is a country that has always fascinated me and I have a bunch of good friends there.

Professionally I have been working in the Information Technology field, mainly in the software side of it for the past 10 odd years. Currently I'm doing a parttime MA course in Instructional Design and Technology to gradually shift my career towards the educational field – though not necessarily as a teacher. I'm interested in the use of technology to facilitate teaching, as well as promoting the socio-constructivist learning paradigms in eductation. My earlier studies were in Computer Science, major in Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Engineering. Looking at it from all these different angles, it slowly starts fitting together as a whole. I'm very interested in new means of communication, and how society is changing its unwritten rules in this respect. That's one of the reasons I started blogging (a bit later than I planned though) end of last year. My initial blog is a local Singaporean blog-engine, Moblog.com.sg which has the features to send MMS blogs, SMS chats, etc. My moblog is used for my daily rantings, trivial things, tickle tests, etc. Some photographs to be found there as well, but I'm not intending to keep updating them there. My photographs are currently all over the internet at various places and soon they will all be available on www.biancamedia.com.

My name is Bianca, which means "white" (symbolic meaning: pure, innocent – uhm uhm not saying that's me).I have 2 cats: Sammy, a male gingerstripe and Niuniu, a female darkgrey Singapore breed. I often feel that in one of my previous lives I must have been a cat, I like their independence, which doesn't mean they are not affectionate (they are very much in fact) and their ability to play with anything if they feel like having some fun. So, hence my nickname: whitecat.

I must warn you dear reader that sometimes I can be very long-threaded…. this is probably inherit to my personality type, which is INFP according to the MBTI test and 4w5 in enneagram. I'm a Saggitarius / Pig in star signs. In numerology I’m an 11 (or 2 if you follow the 9 number system).

Last but not least my hobbies: photography, food (cooking & eating), reading, language (I'm very interested in all sorts of language and communication means), outdoors sports (walking, hiking, swimming, kayaking). That's just some of my main hobbies – this can vary sometimes….

So, since I already have blog, what am I going to use this one for? Well, I haven't decided yet, but most likely I will use this blog for my personal philosophies, perhaps to jot down my thoughts on my dissertation that I'll be starting soon, and book reviews (if I finally find time to do some more reading for my personal pleasure again).

Welcome to my blog!

— bianca