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Running head: SELF-REFLECTION

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Electronic Portfolio Assignment:


Self-Reflection
EDUC 6326 Educational Research and Scholarly Writing Section KS56
Dr. L. S. Spencer, Ed.D.
May 9, 2016
Carolyn Elizabeth Barrette

Running head: SELF-REFLECTION

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Self-Reflection

When I read the EDUC 6236 course description prior to taking it, I was very enthusiastic,
eager to further develop my skills in scholarly research and writing. In retrospect, the Academic
Research and Scholarly Writing course has proven to be all I hoped forand more. I deeply
appreciate the opportunity to practice and learn, learn and practice both vital components of the
academic workbench. I commenced the semester eager to delve into academic exploration,
acquiring practice in the most effective and thorough methods for 21st century research. I found
the practice of concept mapping particularly compelling; prior to this course, I had used it in only
a limited fashion for project planning and vision statement development with non-profit
concerns. Taking the method into the academic research arena has opened doors to new levels of
thinking and composing. The value of doing so has been apparent (even transparent) in editing
my course papers and proved instrumental as I re-tooled my final paper for the class.
My goal for this final submission was to create and submit a paper that most
comprehensively captured both the research in and my current opinion on a field of passionate
interest, academic shaming. It was in envisioning, then writing the persuasive paper for EDUC
6326 that folding in the premises of the course's expository paper took shape. In my experience,
the topics of each paper -- academic shaming and teacher bullying -- are often bidirectional
sequiturs, one partnering the other in often predictable and very unfortunate patterns. To
juxtapose and blend the two topics seemed a natural direction to take and I am pleased with the
results thus far. (I still consider it a work in progress.) A third piece of similar writing proved
useful in meeting my research and writing goals. As I pursued the opportunity to apply for the
University of St. Thomas' Ed.D. in Ethical Leadership program this spring, part of the
application process included writing about the passions that brought me to UST's School of
Education and Human Services in the first place. The fruits of writing from both the mind and

Running head: SELF-REFLECTION

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heart often include enriching self-discovery, further crystallization of one's ideas/values/opinions,


and brainstorming potential opportunities. Adding conclusions and next steps developed in the
Ed.D. application to the combined expository/persuasive document brought deeply held beliefs
and hopes into sharper focus.
Not only did the exercise allow me to refine my findings, opinions and vision, it helped
me distill my goals for entering a doctoral program and to convey them in a more directed,
articulate fashion. In addition to the intangible rewards, I received word this week extending a
warmly welcomed offer to enter UST's Ed.D. program, a treasured tangible reward as well. My
enthusiasm truly knows no bounds. The gifts of thinking via the medium of paper -- actual or
electronic -- is likewise boundless. I am aware more than ever before that writing is an everevolving process. One is never truly finished with perfecting the writing craft. The always-indevelopment characteristic of the writing growth factor is part of its charm (and, admittedly, no
small measure of occasional frustration). A favorite and prolific fiction writer, the late James
Michener, once commented that he felt his skill was not in writing, but in re-writing, particularly
with the input of valued peers. I have cited Michener's words to many of my own students as
encouragement to stay engaged in the writing process. It is a difficult, often grueling
exertion...one that can last a lifetime and perhaps even past one's lifetime. (Michener is a fine
example of that truism as well.) Academic doomsdayers at times predict that the art and science
of writing is becoming lost, or worse, obsolesced. I choose to hope for and predict a different
outcome. High caliber writers are not easy to find, true. But I continue to encounter and work
with eager, energetic authors for whom writing is a noble vocation a vocation taken quite
seriously.

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This course has given me a long-awaited opportunity to again pick up my writing polish
brush. I profoundly appreciate your tutelage and guidance, Dr. Spencer, and remain very grateful
for a very rewarding course experience.