What is it about?

This poem explores the aspirations, anxieties, and challenges of a graduate student learning how to be a qualitative K12 education researcher, while attempting to reconcile her personal ethical commitments with the realities and limitations of fieldwork. Prior to the text of the poem, there is a brief introduction that describes how the poem came to be and the artistic choices embedded in it.

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Why is it important?

This paper may resonate with and support graduate students in the process of establishing their identities as researchers. The poem may also help give faculty advising/instructing graduate students a way to connect with and support them as they work through the challenges of graduate education. Finally, this poem raises questions about the research endeavor, writ large, that problematize current understandings of the ethical implications of education research.


Writing and performing this poem helped me discover much about the kind of researcher I am and am not. The writing, rehearsal, and performance processes helped me clarify my own ethical and artistic research commitments, which have been guiding my work ever since. I wish that I could have read this poem when I began graduate school, because it speaks to so many of the challenges of an early-career graduate student.

Karenanna Creps
Michigan State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Get Published, Now: An Introduction to Qualitative Education Research (QER), Qualitative Inquiry, March 2018, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1077800418767205.
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