Journey into Doctoral Candidacy: A Grounded Theory Study of Doctoral Qualification Exam Process


Burakgazi S. G. , YILDIRIM A.

CROATIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION-HRVATSKI CASOPIS ZA ODGOJ I OBRAZOVANJE, vol.19, no.1, pp.63-92, 2017 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.15516/cje.v19i1.2017
  • Title of Journal : CROATIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION-HRVATSKI CASOPIS ZA ODGOJ I OBRAZOVANJE
  • Page Numbers: pp.63-92

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the process doctoral students go through in qualification exam. Within a grounded theory design, a series of in-depth interviews were carried out with six doctoral candidates to inquire into their thoughts and experiences. Data collection started four months before the qualification exam and ended approximately a month after the exam had been taken. A total of 127 pages of interview transcripts were produced as a result of interviews. The data from these interviews were analysed in three stages: (1) initial coding and theorizing; (2) selective coding and theorizing; (3) theoretical codes. The theoretical codes were generated from the codes using the constant comparative method. The analysis revealed five interrelated phases students go through in the qualification exam: Ambiguity and procrastination; Getting lost and finding ways; Getting on with the unavoidable: taking the exam; Relief or burnout after the exam, and Looking back with mixed feelings.