Topic: Writing a dissertation research proposal: Nuances, imperatives, and possibilities
The session discusses academic steps in thesis proposal writing to provide graduate students a sense a theoretical, philosophical and methodological grounding. The purpose is to provide tools to respond to what a student wants to study, how and why? Among the thematic areas covered in the session are formulating the statement of a research problem, defining a study’s major learning objectives, framing research questions, and finally identifying methodological approaches to seek answers to stated research objectives.
The session will also explore what students need to look for in a review of related literature and texts for their proposed study, and the specifics of the application of theory/theories, including convergences, synergies and implications for methods and data collection techniques.
The session will pay particular attention to the question of ‘concepts’ and/or ‘conceptual frameworks’ and the links with theoretical and/or discursive frameworks. It is explained that in the design of a thesis research proposal, students need to make visible the theory/theories envisaged in their work and how the theory helps inform engagements of the research questions, data collection methods and techniques, as well as data analysis and interpretations.
Furthermore, this session will explore how to write a strong research proposal that articulates approaches to data analysis, why and how the approach chosen best suits the proposed research study. The political, ethical and other social implications of proposed study need to be articulated in the proposal along with other considerations (e.g., significance of study, limitations and delimitations of study, time schedules and the outline of possible chapters for the future dissertation). An overarching goal of this academic session is to provide students with relevant tips for writing a good research proposal.
About the Speaker
Professor George J. Sefa Dei
Ghanaian-born George Sefa Dei is a renowned educator, researcher and writer who is considered by many as one of Canada’s foremost scholars on race, anti-racism studies, Black and minority education, African Indigeneity and anti-colonial thought.
He is a widely sought after academic, researcher and community worker whose professional and academic work has led to many Canadian and international speaking invitations in US, Europe and Africa. Currently, he is a Professor of Social Justice Education & Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Professor Dei is the 2015, 2016, 2018-19 Carnegie African Diasporan Fellow.
In August of 2012, Professor Dei also received the honorary title of ‘Professor Extraordinarius’ from the Department of Inclusive Education, University of South Africa, [UNISA]. In 2017, he was elected as Fellow of Royal Society of Canada, the most prestigious award for an academic scholar. He also received the ‘2016 Whitworth Award for Educational Research’ from the Canadian Education Association (CEA) awarded to the Canadian scholar whose research and scholarship have helped shaped Canadian national educational policy and practice. He is the 2019 Paulo Freire Democratic Project, Chapman University, US - ‘Social Justice Award’ winner.
In April 2021, Professor Dei received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators [ONABSE] for long-standing work promoting Black and minority youth education. Also, Professor Dei in October 2022, was named by Silvertrust Media as one of the 100 most influential Black Canadians nationwide. Professor Dei has forty-four (44) books and over eighty (80) internationally refereed journal articles to his credit. He has supervised over fifty (50) PhD candidates to successful completions most of whom are Professors in Canadian, US and international universities.
He has been appointed as an External Examiner for over 63 PhD dissertations in universities globally. In the last few decades, Professor Dei has collaborated with a host of African university faculty and student colleagues assisting in mentorship, collaborative writing and publishing, teaching and research. Since 2008, Professor Dei has been an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for School and Community Science and Technology Studies (SACOST), University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. Currently, Professor Dei is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Educational Research and Innovation Studies (IERIS) of the University of Education, Ghana [UEW].
Finally, in June of 2007, Professor Dei was installed as a traditional chief in Ghana, specifically, as the Gyaasehene of the town of Asokore, Koforidua in the New Juaben Traditional Area of Ghana. His stool name is Nana Adusei Sefa Tweneboah.