Three semesters at NUGSE are over for me. Now I am in the process of working on my final project – master thesis. It was not easy for me to choose the topic of my dissertation. While attending lectures by NU GSE professors every semester, I kept changing my mind about what I want to explore in my research study. Finally, during the fall semester of 2015, I decided to work on the issue of mentoring beginning and newly appointed teachers in Kazakhstani schools. The topic of my dissertation is “Mentoring experience: beginning teachers’ and mentors’ perspective”.
I ended up having a very strict supervisor, which I find useful since she pushes me in the process of writing the thesis. By the end of November, we were supposed to have written first three chapters of the dissertation: Introduction, Literature Review and Methodology. The main challenge for me was the Literature Review chapter. I have read a number of articles on mentoring, tried to analyze them and then put it all into a fifteen-page chapter. It is not difficult to organize the literature, the main issue is the ability to analyze it critically. I still do not understand how to make the literature review not a descriptive narration but a critically analyzed argumentation. I hope that by the time I am to finish writing my thesis, I will have a decent literature review chapter.
In December, I went “to the field” for data collection. I found interviewing quite interesting this time. All of my respondents were so eager to participate in my study and gave me extended answers to the interview questions. Now I have enough data to analyze for the Findings and Discussion chapters of the thesis. Right now, I am in the process of transcribing the interviews, which is not an easy thing to do. It is time-consuming and requires a lot of patience to re-play the recording over and over again. By the end of March, I am expected to start writing the Findings chapter. Until then, I plan to work on “polishing” the first three chapters of my thesis.