Database Dissertation Search and Research

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Research and its documentation begin with the search of related topics and earlier works with related information. This constitutes the literature review upon which the researcher may base his/her work of research. There are various resources both modern methods (online searches, experimentation et cetera) and traditional methods (library research on secondary sources such as books) that can be applied while conducting research. In this paper we review online database based research on dissertations in various fields of study.


The search was conducted on one of the popular online databases-ProQuest. The first search entailed the mining of dissertations that may contain information related to the process of mentoring, the dissertation process and the role played by the dissertation committee in these processes. The search yielded seven pieces of scholarly work, and the closest in relation to the topic was selected, and this was a piece of work by Lynn Debra Kirkley. The piece was authored in 1999 by Lynn, who is from the North Texas University as Doctoral of Philosophy holder. Her work is titled Mentoring doctoral students in nursing education: Processes, perceptions, problems and prospects.


This dissertation describes the relation that constitutes the mentoring process, which takes place between the chairs of the dissertation committee and the students pursuing nursing at the doctoral level. A total of 22 public universities gave response by providing details about the students in their doctoral programs. The survey conducted used questions of an open ended nature and demographic questions as well to gauge the committee chair-student relationship. These relationships were measured based on the Major Professor mentoring scale. The survey encompassed 269 students and an 86% percentage of responses were obtained. Thereafter, an analysis was conducted to find out what defined these observed relationships.


Typically the sampled were students averagely 44 years of age, mostly Caucasian, married and with children. Most of them working whilst pursuing their PhD. Programs were selected depending on location and most of them traveled an averaged 85 miles to campus. Typically the committee was chaired by full, associate or tenured professors aged 46-70 years and of Caucasian origin, with most of them being married and carrying out research projects under funded programs. A large number of the candidates surveyed stated that they had known their chairs for about five years. The study findings indicated that mentoring was common in most of the student-committee chair relations.


The relations were dominantly positive, however; there were few reported weaknesses. The relationships had for composites: role modeling, support in dissertation work, scholarly coordination and collaboration as well as psychosocial support which was identified as the component of the relation. Role modeling got the highest positive support. Second in rating was dissertation and psychosocial support. Scholarly support was rated neutral, and may thus have been less frequent an interaction.  Variables in demography were not used as predictors of the mentoring scores within this work (Lynn, 1999).


The second search sought to identify three scholarly pieces of dissertations that relate to special education and related learning disabilities. The first identified work was by Menzies et. al (2010) and it was titled Systematic screening to preventive measures to avoid the development of behavior and learning problems: considerations for policy makers, researchers and practitioners. The work was sourced from The Journal of disability policy studies  from volume number 21; issue number 3, Page 160. This article discussed the significance of conducting systematic screening as a means to assess K-12 academic performance and behavior as a means of detecting students with behavioral and emotional disorders prior to their worsening in order to initiate remedial processes that can stop the advancement of these problems in to states where they may need special education under emotional disturbances class.


The processes importance is emphasized within the integrated, comprehensive, and tiered model of preventing such problems. The dissertation presents screening tools under current application in measuring the two elements over a period of time. It also highlights challenges and problems that may be related to these tools application. The findings are specific in defining the use of the measures in evaluating the general levels of academic performance over time and in identifying the students that require different levels of preventive measures. The work also offers responsibility and considerations that should accompany the process for the involved parties such as policy makers, practitioners and researchers (Menzies et. al (2010).


The third work sourced from ProQuest on special education and related learning disabilities was authored by Graetz et. al. in 2010 and it is titled Do special education interventions improve learning of secondary content? A Meta-Analysis: contained in the Remedial Special Education volume number 31, issue number 6, Page 437. These authors of this work gave a description of the research results from a synthesis conducted on content scope instruction in offering instructions to disabled students. The research work identified 70 study cases within its literature review work, and these were coded on the basis of certain variables and examined.


The study involved 2400 students, and it included interventions which involved study scopes such as English, Science and Social study. The interventions employed included graphic organizers, study aids, computer aided instruction, mnemonic based strategies-just to mention but a few. The findings offered an effect size of 1.0, and thus indicating that there had been a huge effect across the span of the studies. The work further concludes by offering the related implications for the research and practice that may be applied in the future (Graetz et. al. in 2010).


The third work sourced from ProQuest on special education and related learning disabilities was authored by Turnbull in 2009 and it was featured in the Learning disability quarterly, volume 32, issue number 1 in pages 3 and 7. The work was titled Todays policy contexts for special education and students with specific learning disabilities. The work reviews the changing policy landscape using the Russian doll allegory. It extensively reviews the IDEA act Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and how it affects the students that may have these disabilities.

It shows how the policies implemented under the act have worked against its good intentions of classifying the students according to disabilities in order to attain good education delivery. The author further shows how this scope of education delivery cannot be contained within the NCLB and IDEA definitions and provisions. Basically, the whole work calls for a review of policies relating to the delivery of special education and the classification of students. The work argues its where there through exposing the challenges and problems posed by the current provisions in policies formulated (Turnbull, 2009). 


References

Graetz, E. Berkeley, S. Mastropieri, A. M. and Scruggs, E. T. (2010),. Do special education interventions improve learning of secondary content? A Meta-Analysis: Remedial and special education, volume 36, issue number 6, Page 437.< http://proquest.umi.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/pqdweb?did=2203430911&sid=2&Fmt=2&clientId=52110&RQT=309&VName=PQD>

Lynn D. K. (1999),. Mentoring doctoral students in nursing education: Processes, perceptions, problems and prospects, retrieved on 27th December, 2010 from http://proquest.umi.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/pqdweb?did=727693261&sid=1&Fmt=2&clientId=52110&RQT=309&VName=PQD.

Menzies, H. Oakes, W. Lane, L. K. (2010),. Systematic screening preventive measures to avoid the development of behavior and learning problems: considerations for policy makers, researchers and practitioners. The Journal of disability policy studies volume number 21; issue number 3, Page 160 < http://proquest.umi.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/pqdweb?did=2203445371&sid=2&Fmt=2&clientId=52110&RQT=309&VName=PQD>

Learning disability quarterly, volume 32, issue number 1 in pages 3 and 7.< http://proquest.umi.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/pqdweb?did=1654032161&sid=4&Fmt=3&clientId=52110&RQT=309&VName=PQD>

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