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Critical Realist Autoethnography in International Scholarships Impact Research: An Illustrative Proposal

Almassri, Anas N.

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Abstract

International higher education scholarships can be an impactful tool of development. They have demonstrable potential to advance the knowledge, skills, and networks of individuals, who may then be able to use these outcomes in making significant contributions in their workplaces and societies. This evolving theory of change has rightly guided the growing body of academic research and professional evaluations in this area. However, this academic and grey literature tends to limit investigations to the post-completion stage, often focusing on exploring impact through such neoliberal indicators such as economic return, career progress, and links to the foreign country of study. This exploratory scope and methodological-theoretical design demonstrably limit the extent to which scholarships impact may be understood in terms of its emergence or appreciated in terms of its manifestation. I try to respond to this limitation in this paper; I pilot a critical realist autoethnography methodology in explaining how two recent graduate scholarships have impacted me. The study makes three contributions to this area of research and practice. Empirically, it extends support for current research findings in the area by offering the first scholarly account of a Palestinian's scholarship experiences and impact. Drawing on empirical findings, it demonstrates that scholarships impact is a dynamic, contingent, and co-constitutive process. Methodologically, it illuminates the practice of critical realist autoethnography in both exploring and explaining this process of scholarship impact. Practically, it proposes this alternative conceptual-methodological approach may be a powerful tool of evaluating—and simultaneously optimizing—scholarships impact.

Citation

Almassri, A. N. (2023). Critical Realist Autoethnography in International Scholarships Impact Research: An Illustrative Proposal. International Journal of Educational Research, 122, 102254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2023.102254

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 25, 2023
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 2, 2023
Journal International Journal of Educational Research
Print ISSN 0883-0355
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 122
Pages 102254
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2023.102254
Keywords Education
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1875041

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