Reflexivity in professional doctoral research

Joan Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A wide number of doctoral programmes are now available to students in education and each of these programmes is underpinned by particular pedagogical norms and particular assumptions in relation to knowledge and learning. Using post-structuralist thinking, this paper explores the effects of the specific doctoral technologies of decision-making, participative learning and reflexivity in shifting previous identities. Introducing and re-examining reflexive data which was initially gathered and analysed within professional doctorate research the paper illustrates how reflexivity in writing might be used as an active attempt to think differently and make permeable hitherto taken for granted conceptualizations. It is suggested that doctoral learning of this kind provides new tools for thinking and new discursive resources for both thinking about and living out identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-460
Number of pages12
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • professional doctorate
  • active learning
  • post-structuralist
  • reflexivity
  • the self
  • identity


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