Happy Doc Student Podcast

#25 Applied vs. PhD Degrees (what's the difference?) AND Bonus Nuggets of Wisdom with Dr. Rebecca Wardlow

April 28, 2021 Heather Frederick, PhD Episode 25
Happy Doc Student Podcast
#25 Applied vs. PhD Degrees (what's the difference?) AND Bonus Nuggets of Wisdom with Dr. Rebecca Wardlow
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Happy Doc Student Podcast
#25 Applied vs. PhD Degrees (what's the difference?) AND Bonus Nuggets of Wisdom with Dr. Rebecca Wardlow
Apr 28, 2021 Episode 25
Heather Frederick, PhD

Applied vs. PhD Degrees and Other Nuggets of Wisdom

Dr. Rebecca Wardlow has her EDD in educational leadership and spent over 20 years as a K-12 educator, first, starting out in the classroom as a first-grade bilingual teacher working her way through administration roles, all the way up to being a principal. She then completed her doctorate and is now mentoring graduate students through the doctoral process.  

Applied vs. PhD

How they are the same

·       Terminal degree (you can’t go any further)

·       Result in a “doctorate” so both lead to the title “Dr.”

·       Equally rigorous

How they are different

·       PhD is a Doctorate of Philosophy (and then you specialize in a field – like Education, Psychology, Business, etc.). It has a more RESEARCH / THEORY / often STATISITICAL focus. 

·       An applied degree (EDD, PsyD, DBA, etc.) is focused on APPLICATION.

Examples
Education: PhD in Education vs. EDD (applied – Doctorate of Education)
Psychology: PhD in Psychology vs. PsyD (applied – Doctorate of Psychology)
Business: PhD in Business vs. DBA (applied – Doctorate of Business Administration)

Think of it like two sides of the same coin. We need each other. One is not better than the other (please read that twice; bonus points if you say it out loud).

Please take time to ensure you are pursuing the program that is the best fit for YOU and YOUR GOALS.

Tips for becoming a doctor

1.     Make sure you even want and need this degree - more on that here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/8169838

2.     Ensure you are in the program that aligns with your goals (applied vs. PhD)

3.     Pick your general topic early on and research, read, and write in that area as you progress through your program

4.     Start focusing around year 3 – brainstorm with faculty (pick a topic that aligns with your goals, but isn’t too close to home)

5.     Be open to massive amounts of feedback  - more on that here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/8063165

6.     Read, read, read to become an expert so you can identify an area for further research – more on that here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/7455607

7.     Always maintain a scholarly voice, free from bias (remember: you are not set out to prove anything, but design and implement a research-based study/project).

8.     Be flexible 

9.     Ask questions

10.  Don’t forget “It’s 5:00 somewhere!” Relax and have fun taking it one bit at a time. 

Recommended resources : https://www.expandyourhappy.com

 Get the article: The Doctoral Journey - 12 Things You Should Know (that they probably won't tell you!): https://www.expandyourhappy.com/HDSP121

Support this free content and buy Heather a yummy green tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/expandyourhappy

Show Notes Transcript

Applied vs. PhD Degrees and Other Nuggets of Wisdom

Dr. Rebecca Wardlow has her EDD in educational leadership and spent over 20 years as a K-12 educator, first, starting out in the classroom as a first-grade bilingual teacher working her way through administration roles, all the way up to being a principal. She then completed her doctorate and is now mentoring graduate students through the doctoral process.  

Applied vs. PhD

How they are the same

·       Terminal degree (you can’t go any further)

·       Result in a “doctorate” so both lead to the title “Dr.”

·       Equally rigorous

How they are different

·       PhD is a Doctorate of Philosophy (and then you specialize in a field – like Education, Psychology, Business, etc.). It has a more RESEARCH / THEORY / often STATISITICAL focus. 

·       An applied degree (EDD, PsyD, DBA, etc.) is focused on APPLICATION.

Examples
Education: PhD in Education vs. EDD (applied – Doctorate of Education)
Psychology: PhD in Psychology vs. PsyD (applied – Doctorate of Psychology)
Business: PhD in Business vs. DBA (applied – Doctorate of Business Administration)

Think of it like two sides of the same coin. We need each other. One is not better than the other (please read that twice; bonus points if you say it out loud).

Please take time to ensure you are pursuing the program that is the best fit for YOU and YOUR GOALS.

Tips for becoming a doctor

1.     Make sure you even want and need this degree - more on that here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/8169838

2.     Ensure you are in the program that aligns with your goals (applied vs. PhD)

3.     Pick your general topic early on and research, read, and write in that area as you progress through your program

4.     Start focusing around year 3 – brainstorm with faculty (pick a topic that aligns with your goals, but isn’t too close to home)

5.     Be open to massive amounts of feedback  - more on that here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/8063165

6.     Read, read, read to become an expert so you can identify an area for further research – more on that here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/7455607

7.     Always maintain a scholarly voice, free from bias (remember: you are not set out to prove anything, but design and implement a research-based study/project).

8.     Be flexible 

9.     Ask questions

10.  Don’t forget “It’s 5:00 somewhere!” Relax and have fun taking it one bit at a time. 

Recommended resources : https://www.expandyourhappy.com

 Get the article: The Doctoral Journey - 12 Things You Should Know (that they probably won't tell you!): https://www.expandyourhappy.com/HDSP121

Support this free content and buy Heather a yummy green tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/expandyourhappy

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:00:00] I think historically, perhaps when an EDD or a PsyD or DBA or some of the other doctorate of nurse practitioner, some of those were newer degrees, maybe not as known as a traditional PhD. They weren't necessarily considered to be equal or equivalent are as beneficial. And I hope and believe that that mindset has changed.

The degrees are equally respected in the field and you can get to where you want to be with either one of those degrees.

Heather Frederick: [00:00:34] You're listening to the Happy Doc Student Podcast, uh, Podcast dedicated to providing clarity to the often mysterious doctoral process. Do you feel like you're losing your mind? Let me and my guests show you how to put more joy in your journey and graduate with your sanity, health and relationships intact.

I'm your host, Dr. Heather Frederick. And this is episode 25. Today, I am so excited to invite Dr. Rebecca Wardlow to the show. She has her EDD in educational leadership and spent over 20 years as a K-12 educator, first, starting out in the classroom as a first grade bilingual teacher working her way through administration roles, all the way up to being a principal.

And then decided that she wanted to follow a lifelong dream that she had of completing her doctorate. And she is now mentoring graduate students in a number of different educational programs. Rebecca it's such a pleasure to have you here today. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:01:39] Well, thank you, Heather. What an honor to be a part of your podcast and to have an opportunity to talk about my own passion of supporting doctoral students.

Heather Frederick: [00:01:49] So one of the things I want to start with, because people always have questions about this. What is the difference between an EDD and a PhD in education? And maybe you can tell us a little bit about why you chose the EDD.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:02:03] Fantastic question. And one that I get asked very often from students, from advisors and from other folks.

And I love that I work in a field that has options for students; that we're able to allow them to select in many instances, between a focus on a PhD program versus an EDD program. And basically in a nutshell, a PhD program, which is a doctorate in philosophy with a focus on education. It's going to be more of a research oriented degree.

It's for folks that maybe want to continue to work in a research capacity, once they've graduated from the doctorate program. Maybe they're interested in working in a research center, working on educational policy, really diving into what is known about education, how do we apply the various theories in education and how those things relate in a research type setting?

When we talk about an EDD, a doctorate in education, it's more of what we consider an applied degree. So it's looking at current real world problems in education and working backwards to kind of find the solution to those problems that may be encountered. And it's also applying theory, previous research and what we learned and what we know about education, but more in a workplace environment, more applied.

So when, a student is looking at the differences and, and trying to make decisions, a lot of what I want them to think about is where they want to be in their future what's the environment they most want to work in. If they're looking at perhaps working as a superintendent in a school district or another public administrative role, an EDD may be the way that they're most interested, they may want to get out there and kind of solve the problems and use research to find the solutions.

If the goal is to continue to work in higher education, to perhaps to work as a faculty member, they may want to consider the PhD and really get that grounding in both theory and research methodology and feel very, very comfortable in that world. So it's partly about the program themselves and what the courses are and what they're interested in and then primarily about where they want to be when they complete their degree.

Heather Frederick: [00:04:23] So to be clear, cause I know some listeners are confused, both call themselves a doctor, right? Whether it's EDD or PhD?

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:04:31] This is very, very true. Yeah. 

Heather Frederick: [00:04:34] And they're both terminal degrees. So you can't go any higher. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:04:39] This is true, also when you've completed one, you've completed your doctorate.

Heather Frederick: [00:04:44] I always say you're at that highest rung of the educational ladder at that point, right? There's not another rung to climb. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:04:49] Exactly. Nope. Not at that point. 

Heather Frederick: [00:04:52] So they're equal, but they're different.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:04:55] Exactly. 

Heather Frederick: [00:04:56] And so I love that you talked about looking ahead and where the student wants to be post-graduation because I know my degree is in psychology and there's a PhD in psychology and PsyD, right?

A doctorate of psychology, very similar kind of parallels to the educational field. And what I've found is that sometimes people don't take time, really figuring out where they want this degree to go to make sure they're on the correct path. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:05:22] And I'll admit that I very naively  started in my EDD program without really knowing at that point what the distinguishing factors were either.

I was very fortunate to have been recruited by a woman who became a very strong mentor of mine into a new program that was being developed and launched in the San Diego area. And it was the first year and the first cohort, was at an established university that also offered a PhD in education, but she really sold me on the EDD.

And I was fortunate to be in a cohort of other public educators that were very much goal-oriented in the same way I was. And so it was the perfect fit, but it wasn't because I was as methodical about researching options as I probably should have been in hindsight, but I was very fortunate that I was in the program that I was in and it turned out to be a great fit, but yes, absolutely considering where you want to be as important. 

Heather Frederick: [00:06:15] You know, it's interesting. I kind of have a little bit of a similar story in that I didn't realize a PsyD was an option and my mentor had recommended a PhD in psychology and not unlike you, it seemed like a good fit. And I went for it and it all worked out.

But nowadays with there being so many options, especially online, sometimes I've seen people maybe just, you know, clicking on an ad in Facebook and talking to an enrollment advisor, next thing they know they're in this program and they, they come to a residency and then you and I meet them and they didn't even realize they had options so 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:06:45] 100%  I do. I meet those students often. And there are times when we discuss enough to perhaps have an opportunity to even change their program from one to the other. And I think, historically, perhaps when an EDD or a PsyD or DBA or some of the other doctorate of nurse practitioner, some of those were newer degrees maybe not as historically known as a traditional PhD. They weren't necessarily considered to be equal or equivalent or as beneficial. And I hope and believe that that mindset has changed in the last 10 or 15 years. And I do believe that the degrees are equally respected in the field and that you can get to where you want to be with either one of those degrees.

Heather Frederick: [00:07:32] But you know what, Rebecca, I think that is such an important point because I'm right there with you. Of course, when there's something new, it kind of needs to, you know, stand the test of time for people to understand. And sometimes when something's new, it's a little different and a little scary, especially in academia when we're used to doing things a certain way, but I have absolutely had people ask me, but isn't the PhD, the better degree?

And I hope that we're. distilling that stereotype, that false belief. These are both rigorous scientific degrees that just simply have different outcomes, right? Different goals.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:08:09] 100%. And the rigor and the final, whether you call it a project or a dissertation or whatever the nomenclature is at a given institution, there is going to be the same rigor and requirements and expectations for a published document at the end, that will be, you know, very consuming, but very important. 

Heather Frederick: [00:08:30] I like to picture it as it's two sides of the same coin. We need the people pursuing their PhDs to drive theory and research, and then we need the people going after the applied degrees to take all that theory and get it out into the real world. So we really can't exist one without the other. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:08:47] It's absolutely true, and I think the introduction of the EDD has drawn more people into this academic world in this more of a terminal degree interest because it is that applied degree. And so my hope is that we'll get more educated, more research oriented folks that are out there also as practitioners.

Heather Frederick: [00:09:08] So let's switch topics here to something you and I had been talking about before we started recording. And that is so you've got the Student, they pick the EDD or the PhD. They decide which track is going to be more aligned with their life goals. And they do their core courses or content courses. And then it comes time to work on the dissertation doctoral project, you know, depending on their program.

And this is an area where you love to work with students. So tell me what happens at that stage and what people could expect. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:09:37] Well, it is an area that I absolutely love. And just this week, I've had several zoom meetings with some new students that I've just taken on as our chair. And just that introductory zoom meeting is a lot of fun.

And as we begin to talk and as I get to know them, you know, the first thing I'm going to ask them about, is what their passion is, what is it that they love? What is it that they have a tremendous curiosity about, that they really want to dive in and learn more about? Of course it needs to be related to their field and it needs to be related to what they've been studying, but it's really a chance to think about yourself as becoming the expert in that area of focus.

And so it really, it's, it's fun to just start brainstorming with them and to talk with the students about what do they love, what are they passionate about? What are they interested in and what do they think they want to spend the next, however long it takes really learning about and diving in and getting to build their expertise around?

We also talk a lot about, it needs to be something that they already have a familiar basis with. It's not a good time to decide you're going to learn quantum physics in your doctoral program at the end of your dissertation. You know, it really needs to be something that you know about, that you're familiar with perhaps in the area that you're working in, that you really do want to build your own expertise in.

So we kind of try to find the commonality in those areas as we begin to talk. 

Heather Frederick: [00:11:12] Let's dig a little deeper into some of those points you just made because I have worked personally with a lot of students that do get to that stage and they do want to pick a topic where they have no experience or very little experience.

And that is definitely one of the tips I try to give students early on in their program is at least identify a general area. You know that you're interested in because by the time you get to this stage where they're working with you as the chair, if they're starting from scratch, that could really extend the amount of time it's going to take them to create this product.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:11:45] This is absolutely true. And although you may not be assigned a chair until later in your program, it is absolutely essential. And so beneficial to begin to think about your focus area, your passion area, and what it is that you might want to research. As you're building into your classes and to take the classwork and the assignments that you're given as an opportunity to delve into the literature in that area, and to learn as much as you can, as you're building towards completion of your coursework.

I often talk with my students about it being a funnel. And you're going to start with this very broad topic, which is your area of interest. And you're going to be narrowing it down to this very narrow focus area, as you get into your actual research questions and what it is you're really going to be investigating.

But starting with an exploration at the top of the funnel is crucial. And the sooner you begin that the more likely you are to be able to narrow that funnel when it comes time to really select your discreet topic. 

Heather Frederick: [00:12:50] So just for fun, cause I know a lot of people struggle with, Oh, they're telling me I need to know my topic now, what did you do your project on?

And can you give us an example of like what a broad area would be? So people can kind of visualize this funnel. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:13:04] Absolutely for my topic I was at the time  an elementary school principal. I really loved my job. I was very passionate about it. I'd been in that role for a number of years and had had some great, great experiences.

So I knew I wanted to do something around school leadership. And I also had observed in my own school district that there was really there had become this revolving door of principals. And I quickly became the senior principal in the district, even after just a few years. And I was finding that the longevity of principals in our district was anywhere from two to five years and that they were kind of being, you know, to be very blunt about it kind of chewed up and spit out by the system, by the parents, by the teachers, just, you know, the environment was a very tough one.

And I wasn't witnessing success with my colleagues as much as I believed that I should have. So that kind of led me to, well, okay. Here's my focus. I'm interested in school leadership. Here's an identified problem. There was too much transiency in, in the field and, and in the profession and specifically in what I was witnessing within my own school district.

So then I began to look at well, what happens? How do principals become successful? How do leaders succeed in this type of a difficult environment? And what kinds of programs are helpful? At the same time, I had an opportunity to be trained, to work as a coach with new administrators. So I was able to kind of take my real world experience of the job I was doing and some of the extra training and extra experiences I was having, with my identified area of school leadership and mesh that to look at the problem that I was seeing, which was this lack of retention of professionals in the field or this quick turnover. And so it really became an opportunity for me to really do a deep dive into the role of mentoring and coaching of new school leaders.

And so that was what my dissertation topic ended up being about. And I had an opportunity to do mixed methods. So I had an opportunity to both interview new administrators, but then also to use some surveys with the teachers at the school, with the administrators themselves, as well as with the mentors that were working with them to see: Can we see an actual change in behavior and a change in teacher perceptions based on principals being coached?

And so it was really, for me, it was fascinating. For others they may think, Oh gosh, I can't even imagine doing anything like that, that's so boring. But it was very applicable and very important and it was work that I was able to then apply both to my position and work with my school district. 

Heather Frederick: [00:15:56] It was meaningful to you

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:15:58] very meaningful.

Heather Frederick: [00:15:59] It allowed you to become an expert in this area and effect a real change. So you had this general area of educational leadership, and then as you're taking your courses and you're learning about theories, you can kind of look at it through that different lens. So that by the time you were assigned your chair, you at least had a general idea.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:16:20] Exactly how it happened. It definitely stayed at that top of the funnel of educational leadership and school site leadership specifically for probably the first two years of the program. And then by the third year, I really had defined what my interest was and how I could bring it all together. 

Heather Frederick: [00:16:37] And I think it's important to remember the programs are set up so that you don't necessarily want to be tied to this specific area right away in your program.

Right. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:16:46] 100%. And that's the other caution that I have with my students is, you know, at that very first meeting, if they present with this is exactly what I'm going to do, and this is how I'm going to do it. And this is what it's going to be. I get very concerned. Many times, especially early on when we're working with students in the kind of those planning phases, I'll get the things like, well, I'm going to prove that service dogs help veterans with PTSD. Well, if you already believe that, you know something and that you're just setting out to prove it, that's probably a very biased take on the research you believe you're going to be doing. So first, getting my students to step back and understand that most likely their project isn't going to prove anything.

And secondly that if it's an expected and known outcome than  perhaps that research isn't necessary. 

Heather Frederick: [00:17:45] Yeah. Anyone out there listening, if you go to a faculty member and say, you're setting out to prove something, know that we hear that like nails on a chalkboard. Red flags are waving, because the whole point of these projects are to go in with this open mind, this curiosity that you talked about and discover something.

I will even go so far as to say to students, we never really know the truth. We either find evidence for, or against a certain way of thinking, but we never really know the truth. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:18:17] And if you go in with a belief that's, that's one sided or that biased, you may not ever find the research that has the opposite viewpoint.

And it's very, very important that you go in with both an unbiased viewpoint and an openness to what you find with the research, whether it supports your hypothesis or it disputes it. That open mind and that ability and importance of balancing your perspectives is crucial to a successful project. 

Heather Frederick: [00:18:49] Let's talk about this open mind and just a little bit different of a way, because earlier you said you, you definitely recommend picking a topic that you're passionate about.

And I agree with you in that you spend so much time with this project, that if you only kind of like it, you're going to burn out fast. But when we talk about this idea of bias, what I have also seen is people picking, maybe something that's too close to home. So for example, in your example, if you had been one of those principals who had been kind of chewed up and spit out, maybe that wouldn't have been the best topic area for you.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:19:25] Exactly. That is such an important perspective and so important to understand that that being unbiased also means not being the participant in the research and being open to the viewpoints of others. 

Heather Frederick: [00:19:42] So that's something that I always will recommend, people talk openly and candidly with their chair. If they're picking a topic that could maybe uncover some of their emotional wounds, right, if they're picking a topic that's related to a trauma, for example, because they've been traumatized, that's something to share with your chair so they can help you work through whatever bias may be coming across in your language, or even maybe gently recommend that this is maybe not the best topic for this project, because it is going to be so intense and does require that very, I call it, you know, I'll tell some of my students, you are a great writer, but this needs to be dry, unbiased, like strip out all those words that make it beautiful and make it, you know, a great article in people magazine or something, but we're talking black and white, somewhat linear here.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:20:37] Absolutely. And that is probably yes, one of the most noted things is some of the very best writers are probably not the right  right academic language. So it is a very, very different writing skill. It's a very important writing skill in that it is academic language and it's very, very research supported language and, you know, reflecting on my own journey.

I remember vividly one of my very first papers that I got back from then my professor, who then went on to become my chair. And one of the first things she said in the paper was "Says, who?" And I had very, very proudly started out with lots of assertions about things that I knew were true because I was a principal and I knew how difficult the job was.

And I knew how mean parents were. And I knew. And as I started spouting those assertions, she very quickly wrote in the margin, "Says who?" And that's always been a very concrete reminder to me, that until you're the published researcher and you're the expert in your field. And you're the one who's doing the research and citing the work, it's not about your opinion. It's about the views of the expert and the views of the researchers who've gone before you. So that's always stuck in my mind and that's something I always try to distill it to my students as well. 

Heather Frederick: [00:22:00] And it is something that you have to practice, especially if you're a mid-career professional and you do have all this life experience.

And then the onus is on you to go to the research and uncover every different perspective out there that exists, synthesize it and present it in a way that your reader would never know how you believe.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:22:21] Exactly. Exactly. 

Heather Frederick: [00:22:24] That can be tricky if you pick something a little too close to home. So just a word of caution. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:22:29] Yes, such a great point.

So you want the passion, you want it to be an area of interest, but you don't want it too close to home. I think that's really wise advice. 

Heather Frederick: [00:22:40] So any other tips as people are getting ready to embark on the research aspect of their program? 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:22:48] I think that it's just so crucial that you do get just inundated in the research in the literature and knowing what's out there.

I mean, there's a million other pieces of advice Heather, that I could continue on. But, you know, as you consider your topic and as you begin to narrow the focus and think about, you know, what is the background? What is the problem you want to be solving? What is it that you're looking for? What is it that you want to answer?

What are your research questions and what do you know about this area? What do we not know about this area? All of those things are, are things to be thinking through. And then, you know, it gets far greater depth when you start talking about the methodology and the participants. 

Heather Frederick: [00:23:30] Yeah. Talking about the methodology and how you're actually going to do this research is a little putting the cart before the horse. Right? You're going to be spending massive, insane, like mind blowing amount of time in the library first. Right? So just like when you have a student that says, I know I want to prove this, I get nervous when someone says, I know I'm doing a qualitative study and I say, there's no way you can know that.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:23:54] Yes. I had a student just this week telling me that she was doing a quantitative study about attitudes towards COVID. And, you know, as we talked through it, we kind of came around to the idea that it's not going to be a quantitative study, but yes, when they come in saying, this is a topic, this is a style of research and this is what I'm going to do as you said, it's kind of a red flag, but you want to back up a little bit there.

Heather Frederick: [00:24:18] Yeah. There really is a process of like you were saying, researching this, becoming an expert, figuring out what we don't know. And then once it's clear and you and your committee have agreed this is your question, the method will be fairly clear what you're doing. I've seen a lot of students say, I want to do this type of research because they think it will be quote unquote easier, or maybe statistics is scary to them. Right? And so they decide ahead of time, I'm going to use this method, but we don't know if that's going to fit with what you discover when you get in the literature.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:24:51] Right. Right. And I have to say that, you know, we don't always set it up the easiest process for the students either when we ask for chapter one and for them to identify their research methodology and all of these things prior to chapter two, which is more in depth than with the literature review. So again, staying open-minded as a student and recognizing that you may go back and revise what you thought was going to be your methodology.

As you move through the process. And so I think the other advice for any student who's embarking on this is to just understand the flexibility needed and to be kind to yourself and kind to your committee and chair, and understand that, you know, feedback may be tough. There may be times that you need to shift or adjust, but that's all part of the process and you learn as much from those those shifts and changes as you do from the completions. So,

Heather Frederick: [00:25:44] It definitely is an iterative process. And, you know, I wasn't planning on going in the conversation of the chapter one, chapter two, but I definitely have seen students get stuck at chapter one because they haven't immersed themselves in the literature, which is chapter two.

And so they struggle, struggle, struggle with chapter one and sometimes I've even stopped and said, okay, stop we're stopping chapter one. Write chapter two, because then chapter one's going to make more sense to you. So this idea that things are going to unfold in a way where it's, sometimes it's going to feel one step forward, two steps back, and it might not happen in a one, two, three fashion for you.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:26:22] That's absolutely true. And I will share that my program had us start with chapter two. We wrote and had chapter two approved prior to writing chapter one. And it actually did create a very, very easy opportunity then to write chapter one, because we had such a great depth of knowledge in our specific areas that we were researching.

Heather Frederick: [00:26:43] So every program out there is different, but if you find yourself struggling and your program set up a way, that doesn't seem to be working, maybe chat with your chair. What we're basically suggesting based on our experience is once you have a solid grasp of the literature, and you have read, now here's another question, Rebecca.

Sometimes people say, can you tell me about how many articles I'm going to have to read? What do you say to that question? I'd love to hear what you say.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:27:06] I say more than a hundred, you know, more than you think, more than a hundred,  focus on the last five years, unless it's a seminal work, which I think students also struggle with that concept.

Yeah, we get so eager to find anything that's been written about our topic that we forget that 25 years ago is a long time and that perhaps especially in education and in most fields, the world has changed a lot in 25 years. And what we may have believed was true 25 years ago is very different today.

So, you know, you can't really quantify it. It depends on, on the area, but exhaustive literature review 

Heather Frederick: [00:27:45] More than you would think for sure. 

More than you would think.. 

And now things do change so quickly when students will get so excited finishing their proposal and I'll say, now don't forget, new articles are coming out all the time.

So you will be in the library checking until you defend.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:28:02] Exactly. But that's the exciting part. There is new information and it's so readily available to us. You know, as compared to the days of when it was a card catalog and the library journals and for days on end. So the virtual libraries and the being able to be online 24 seven is a lovely thing.

Heather Frederick: [00:28:22] Yeah, it is. It is. I know sometimes I feel like we must sound like those stories where people would say we used to have to walk to school in the snow. Right? We had to Xerox the journals. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:28:33] Exactly. And it was on microfiche. 

Heather Frederick: [00:28:36] You know, I remember the microfiche too. So Rebecca, you had so many great suggestions.

I'm wondering before we sign off, do you have a favorite quote that you share or final words of wisdom that if you knew, you know, there were a bunch of EDD and PhD students out there listening, what would you want them to know? 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:28:58] Well the quote is five o'clock somewhere. That's probably not the inspirational quote that you want me to be sharing, but,

Heather Frederick: [00:29:05] Well, there's going to be a lot of work and don't forget to play.

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:29:10] That is very, very important advice. And you know, I often coach my students, you take it one bit at a time. Whether it's one page one, paragraph, one diagram, one article that you're going to read tonight, whatever it is, it's small, small chunks and milestones, and it does all come together in the end. So keep the faith, trust the process.

Hang in there. And your chair is your friend reach out, ask questions, look for guidance from them. 

Heather Frederick: [00:29:43] Yeah, it does take a village to get a doctoral student through the process. And we've all been there before. So hopefully listening to us chat has been inspirational and cleared up some of the mystery for you out there.

And Rebecca,  looking forward to chatting with you again on another episode soon. 

Rebecca Wardlow: [00:30:01] I certainly hope so. It's been a pleasure, Heather.

Heather Frederick: [00:30:05] If you love listening to the Happy Doc Student Podcast, would you mind supporting me? The best way you can do this is by sharing your favorite episodes with a friend or two, or heck maybe three.

All episodes are available on most podcast directories, my YouTube channel, and my website to make it easy, I'll pop these links in the show notes below. Now, if you really want to show me some love, then visit my website, ExpandYourHappy.com where you can buy me a yummy green tea and check out the resources I recommend. Until next time, here's to more joy in your journey.

Oh, Hey, one more thing I do need to remind you that the information, opinions and recommendations presented in this podcast are for general information only. .