UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The dissertation research requirement in secondary reading Jeroski, Sharon Frances McKinnon


In examining the dissertation requirement in secondary reading procedures followed included (a) identification of abstracts in "Dissertation Abstracts International" (Volumes 20 to 36, June 1961 to July 1976) relating to the field of secondary reading; development of classification parameters; rewriting and condensation of each abstract into an enriched annotation; arrangement of the resultant body of annotations within the classification scheme; and generation of Keyword in Context and author indexes (b) tabulation of the demographic variables of year of completion, degree awarded, institution granting degree and sex of author; and of content variables including type of research, educational domain, content classification, number of pages, data analysis techniques and data gathering techniques, and (c) bivariate analysis with data realigned and contingency tables developed and analyzed using Pearson's chi-square to examine the relationship of date of completion, degree awarded and sex of author to selected content variables-Literature reviewed in several areas including the process of graduate education, focusing primarily on the dissertation requirement; the communication and dissemination of research results; information science research on tools used in providing access to document collections; and content analysis methodology provided the conceptual framework and supported design and methodological aspects developed for the study. A body of 567 dissertation abstracts relating to secondary reading since 1960 was identified, empirically classified by content, and enriched annotations written for each of the studies. The resultant annotated bibliography, organized by content classification and within content classification by year of completion and accompanied by computer generated Keyword in Context and author indexes is appended. An average of slightly less than six keywords per document provide entry to the collection. Univariate analyses of the collection in terms of ten demographic and content variables reflected the diversity of interests, research methodology and design encountered in secondary reading, consistent with the view of secondary reading as an emerging field. Bivariate analyses, in terms of three demographic variables, indicated year of completion as maintaining the strongest relationship with the content variables considered. Conclusions emphasized the diversity of the dissertation collection; the limitations imposed by reliance on the secondary source ("Dissertation Abstracts International") abstracts of uneven quality; trends toward a greater number of Ph.D. Degrees and female authors; continued emphasis on the cognitive domain and reliance on standardized tests; no relationship between degree granted and content variables except for content classification; the utility of computer generated Key Word in Context indexes; and the potential use of the annotated bibliography. Recommendations included improvement and standardization of abstracts submitted to "Dissertation Abstracts International"; provision for making the annotated bibliography available in the open literature; and provision for alternate vehicles of announcement of completed dissertation research. Further research in the area was suggested including examination of dissemination of dissertation research in the open literature of the field; further content analyses of dissertation research in additional fields; identification and synthesis of substantive conclusions emanating from dissertations and consideration of these in relation to the current state of art in the field; application of citation analysis to dissertations to consider the degree to which extant literature has been utilized by dissertation authors; and a broad indepth study of the status of the Ed.D. Degree.

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