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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Discussing AERA

Well, yesterday I had a conference experience that I have never had before - I was a discussant at AERA. It was actually the first time that I was a discussant at any conference. I joked during the session, that when I found out that I was going to be a discussant, a friend at UGA asked if I was going to be a nice discussant or a mean discussant. Unfortunately I knew exactly what she was talking about when she referred to the mean discussant.

In any regard, it was an interesting experience. The five papers that I had to discuss were all interesting, which made it easier to read and then discuss them.

During the session I tried to tie the five papers together thematically - and I also tried to bring in an article on the topic and the from other AEARA sessions that I had attended earlier in the conference - and then mentioned the one or two things about each paper that jumed out at me while I was reading it (trying to focus upon things from the paper than may not have been in, or a focus of the presentation) and provided then with a suggestion for next steps or what I would be interested in hearing their further ideas on.

My discussion was well received, with two people from the audience asking me to e-mail my summary of the session to them and two of the paper presenters asking for a written copy of my notes on their paper. So overall I was pleased and it is an experience that I would do again.

Tags: AERA 2006, , graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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