The final product of Master’s Studies is a scholarly paper called a thesis and based on reseach conducted by a student. General topic of my thesis is massive departure of teaching staff from public schools in Kazakhstan. Last year I did research proposal on this topic, and having penetrated deep into the problem related to this I decided to continue investigating the issue in my thesis.
If I were to identify the most challenging part of thesis writing I would choose a literature review. First, there was a lack of literature on the topic reporting about studies conducted in Kazakhstan. Frankly speaking, I didn’t manage to find anything somehow related to the area of my focus; therefore it was identified as a huge gap in literature. Second, I had no idea of how to organize a bunch of resources I had found into coherent and logical writing piece. Finally, I divided literature into two chunks according to two research questions that had been formulated. Research questions were the following: -What factors influence teacher departure from public schools to NISs in Kazakhstan? -What are the motivations of teacher retention in public schools in Kazakhstan? Thus, first body of sources was a description of studies that scrutinized factors of teacher massive departure from mainstream public schools, whereas second group of articles explored motivations of teacher retention in the same kind of schools.
A literature review reflects how the research I am conducting fits with studies that have been done earlier.Besides, the important part of literature review is to find scholarly and reputable articles related to my thesis topic, therefore I have searched ERIC, Sage Journals, and EBSCO databases looking for peer-reviewed papers based on primary data. For the past two weeks I have been working on selecting papers that can be added to ones I have already reviewed. I have had fifteen articles from the last year research proposal, and have recently found about ten more studies. Next step is to review the recent sources and assign them to a relevant chunk of my literature review. However, I believe it is an ongoing process, and I can always refer back to my review if there are any relevant papers.