PhD Oral Exam - Shea Wood, Individualized Program
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
This study examined how theatre and performances based on lived experience can be used as a tool within family life education (FLE) and foster transformative learning in the witness. FLE is a type of adult education that aims to provide individuals and families with knowledge, skills, and resources to assist them in living healthy lives and addressing the challenges that affect families throughout the lifespan. Transformation can be initiated in FLE programs when the learning methodologies encourage personal, critical reflection and emotional engagement. Therefore the goal of this research was to explore the elements that could be included in performances based on lived experience to evoke emotion and foster personal/critical reflection in the witness.
This qualitative research utilized a grounded theory approach to collect and systematically analyze data to construct theory grounded in the data. Specifically, this study involved presenting a performance piece based on the lived experience of being a child in a family struggling with alcoholism, and collecting data from the witnesses in order to gain insight into the human experience of witnessing this performance piece based on lived experience, and the elements of the performance that witnesses identified as important and useful in fostering transformation. The results of this study generated recommendations for the creation of performances to be used within adult learning, applications to the context of FLE, and possibilities for future research.