Category: beginnings

Week 1 Down!

Well week 1 of graduate school is officially over.  I attended my first classes, taught my first classes, and am working on adjusting to my new schedule for the next 15 weeks (4-5 years).  My overall impression based off of week 1…. I love it!! This has been something I’ve wanted to do for years.  The best thing about it is I really like what I’m studying.  I think that was one of my biggest concerns before applying to grad school.  I wanted to find something that I would really love.. not just like.  Well I’ve found that.  My department is awesome, my program is awesome, the people are awesome and Virginia Tech is awesome.

It’s also great to be back in a classroom.  I’m teaching Engineering Exploration.  It’s an introductory level engineering class every freshman engineering student takes at VT.  My hope is that students learn about engineering, the design process, and gain an excitement for engineering.  Do I expect to thrill and entice every student into becoming a world-class engineer?  No… but I hope to impact as many students as I can.  Teaching is truly a passion of mine.  Something I will do for the rest of my life.  The only thing that will vary is the capacity in which I can teach at any given time.

Here’s one of the things I learned this week.  When I read it, it made so much sense to me and helped me understand who I am.  I have a pragmatic worldview.  I see the world, notice it’s “problems” (aka.. things that could be done better) and want to fix them.  Internally more than I even realized, I want to fix the problems.

Here is a bit from John Creswell’s book titled Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches;

“….for many, pragmatism as a worldview arises out of actions, situations, and consequences rather than antecedent conditions (as in postpositivism). There is a concern with applications—what works— and solutions to problems (Patton, 1990). Instead of focusing on methods, researchers emphasize the research problem and use all approaches available to understand the problem (see Rossman & Wilson, 1985).”

So where do you fit in philosophically?

Postpositivism
Constructivism
Advocacy/Participatory
Pragmatism

See which one resonates with you. It may explain some things.