At a crossroads

Having recently moved onto my second year of my EdD I realise that the focus of my thesis should be taking shape and major decisions being made.  This is where I find myself at a bit of a crossroads.  I know the definite focus of my thesis will be based on ‘class’. 

As a mature, working class female making her way through HE, I find that I have some issue regarding academic confidence, particularly evident as I progress through the EdD programme.  My previous post taken from my recent reflection assignment bares this out.  The reflection module made me face up to my academic inadequacies and it allowed me to visualise a future where I could, or not, overcome my shortfalls.  As a result of my soul-searching I have decided that I want to delve deeper into the area of class and question its impacts on individuals learning at a higher level, namely working class and mature learners in HE. 

I have recently considered an autoethnographic piece as I feel that the trials and tribulations that I have experienced throughout my academic journey reflect the many articles on class, belonging and HE I have read; Diane Reay being a predominant author.  Therefore, I feel that a ‘from the horses mouth’ approach will add to the knowledge pot on class and education.  Not only that but it may have the influence to inform current teaching and learning practices in primary and secondary education, and in a variety of institutions delivering HE. 

My dilemma: 

Do I conduct a complete autoethnographic piece?


  1. Will this method be valued as much as primary research? 
  2. Will I have enough to discuss?
  3. Will it add enough to the knowledge pot?
  4. Will it make much of a difference?

Do I split the thesis in half and do an autoethnography piece and primary research involving a variety of mature working-class learners in HE?


  1. The thesis is 50,000 words and my concerns are that by conducting the split method, it may dilute the findings.

At the moment I am favouring the half and half approach as I do want my voice to be heard and my experiences to be shared however I also would like to reach out to others to understand if they have similar internal issues as I have. 

If you have any thoughts or advice, I would be very grateful.