Dr. Hilra Vinha
The Open University
|Citation indices||All||Since 2009|
Previous update: Southampton, 01 September 2011
I am starting a new job today. My first one as a doctor! I started today as a research fellow in a research project funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (RES-000-22-4423). The principal investigator is Professor Melanie Nind, and the research fellow was originally Dr. Helen Graham. I will be continuing the work she started. To learn more about the project please read the INCLUSIVE RESEARCH page.
Earlier update: 28th July 2011
First published: 2006
I am delighted to say that the author of this modest blog is now officially and definitively a doctor of philosophy, a.k.a. a Ph.D! Yesterday I had my graduation ceremony and received my so desired and worked-for certificate. I believe that there are several aspects about my journey towards this award that define me and that are worth sharing here. Therefore, I will list those aspects as follows:
* started my course already expecting a baby and carried on with my studies while being a full-time mum of two small children;
* during the process became a single mum;
* found a range of supporting services at my university, which enabled me to carry on;
* had the most amazing relationship researcher/supervisor one could wish for;
* was sponsored by a university studentship throughout my course;
* had a small but effective network of people who cared about me and gave me practical help that enabled me to meet my goals;
* have grown enormously through this whole experience; and
* I am a keen adviser to anyone willing to learn from my mistakes and achievements!
First published on 30 Nov 2006
Last update: July 2009
I am glad to say that I have grown so much since I started this blog/journal back in 2006. This journal has been a great source of learning and reflections for me. I am very happy to see how I managed to keep it all the way through. It has been such a great companion.
In practical terms, now I am about to start my final year, being actually my fourth year. Due to the characteristics of this journey, I have to admit that this is still a great achievement. Talking about achievements, I can proudly list the last ones that are keeping me smiling right now:
- Completion of my ethics protocol and successful submission of it
- Gaining access to a special school
- Completion of the pilot study
- Drafting of three chapters of my thesis
- Writing up of the results of the pilot study
- Taking part in the organisation team for a conference at my uni
- Presenting a paper at this conference
- Having a paper accepted for a conference at the Open University
- Presenting that paper in Milton Keynes
- Writing up of a preamble for my upgrade document
- Submission of the document [bang] on time
- Having the upgrade VIVA
- PASSING the viva!!! (hooray!)
This last year was extremely significant to my studies and to my personal life. I am now confident to carry on the final stage of this research.
A key thing in all this process has been the support of my Supervisor Melanie Nind, without whom I could never do any of the above.
I am currently in the beginning of my third year and despite some personal challenges I faced in this period, I managed to submit my Portfolio and my second year final report was approved. Recently I completed the first draft of the Introduction Chapter and made modest but consistent progress in the Methodology Chapter. Now I am working on the Ethics Protocol to enable me to start the fieldwork. My next big target is to be ready for the upgrade (likely in the spring).
I am an MPhil/PhD student, in the very beginning of my research.
I recently finished Peter Clough/Jenny Corbett and am currently reading Julie Allan – and taking notes – having meetings with my supervisor fortnightly, and attending to a Research Training Programme once a week.
My research topic embraces three main correlated issues:
The current research major questions are:
·Is Inclusive Education as beneficial to mainstream pupils as to SEN pupils?
·Is Inclusive practice an interdependent learning partnership between all students?
·Are mainstream students satisfied with their inclusive experience?
The research intends to take up the advantages of the use of narratives and biographical research into this investigation, in order to uncover untold “truths” about the constraints to the main focus, which is to promote Inclusive Education, furthermore a widely inclusive society.
Although the research is fully conducted in English, this is not the researcher’s first language. Therefore, the language is a matter in the body of this work, especially considering the research purposes, and the methodologies intended to be used. This journal is also a space to learn and exercise thinking and expressing thoughts in English.
Speaking a second language isn’t just a matter of grammar, spelling or any structural element. It is about meaning, symbolizing, remembering, and furthermore belonging.