Tag Archives: phenomenology

The Lived Experience of Mid-Life Scholar-Practitioners

This original research study examined the lived experience of mid-life professionals who recently earned a PhD and did not subsequently take up an academic post. Data is based on recorded and transcribed interviews with three participants.  Due to the limited number of participants this IRB approved research was considered a pilot study.

This research addresses a timely and socially relevant topic.  The rising costs of earning a doctoral degree, along with the increasingly limited opportunities for PhDs in higher education, lead some to suggest that there should be fewer PhDs awarded.  Others argue that vocational opportunities beyond academia need to be more fully considered.  Yet both contrasting positions neglect to consider the social contributions and personal experience of PhDs beyond vocational benefits.  While there is a growing body of literature that defines scholar-practitioners and examines how they contribute to professional projects, there is limited research on the social and psychological aspects of the scholar-practitioner experience.  Data is based on recorded and transcribed interviews with three participants.  Due to the limited number of participants this IRB approved research was considered a pilot study.

This research addresses a timely and socially relevant topic.  The rising costs of earning a doctoral degree, along with the increasingly limited opportunities for PhDs in higher education, lead some to suggest that there should be fewer PhDs awarded.  Others argue that vocational opportunities beyond academia need to be more fully considered.  Yet both contrasting positions neglect to consider the social contributions and personal experience of PhDs beyond vocational benefits.  While there is a growing body of literature that defines scholar-practitioners and examines how they contribute to professional projects there is limited research on the social and psychological aspects of the scholar-practitioner experience.

 By focusing on PhDs who have recently earned their doctorates and continue to work in non-academic roles, this study elucidates insights beyond the vocational value of earning a higher degree.  The process of earning the PhD was ascribed to be a life changing event that continued beyond the degree completion, facilitating fuller-self actualization, richer everyday living, and a deeper relationship with self. The results are intended to inform educators, graduate students, and other PhDs. 

 Several weeks ago, the results were presented at SPHS (see http://sphs.info ).  Presently, the manuscript is being prepared for journal submission.  But the conference paper can be found at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269701505_Original_Research_The_Lived_Experience_of_Mid-Life_Scholar-Practitioners_A_Phenomenological_Pilot_Study

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