Using the labyrinth as a metaphor for this PhD provides a logical stopping point for reflection at the center of the labyrinth since arriving “at the center is the opportunity to commit to the new phase, the return commences it” (Senn, 2002, p. 137). I envision the extended literature review as a critical document of reflection from the center of the labyrinthine journey since it presents my research outline prior to establishing the plan for my dissertation research. The literature review will directly link and support my research proposal, and as such, will outline my readiness to begin the outward journey from the center of the PhD labyrinth. Therefore, the extended theoretical, conceptual, and methodological analysis is explored in the Center of the Labyrinth section of the comprehensive portfolio.
In this section of the comprehensive portfolio I highlight three scholarly tasks that provide evidence of deep understanding of concepts, theories and issues in my field of study – Cognition and Learning. In the scholarly tasks I have selected for submission, I reveal my ability to analyze, synthesize, and critique research literature within the four technological types posited by Foucault (1988) – technologies of production, technologies of sign systems, technologies of power, and technologies of the self.
The documents I have selected include: a) extended literature review, as shared in the Center of the Labyrinth, b) peer-reviewed publications, and c) funding applications. While these are highlighted in the body of this text, I have included additional scholarly products in the appendices that provide evidence of critical thinking. These include: conference contributions (Appendix C), teaching contributions (Appendix D), service to the Faculty of Education (Appendix E), membership and volunteer service work (Appendix F), and professional experiences and development as presented in my curriculum vitae (Appendix G). As I share these scholarly tasks, I will draw links and connections to my proposed area of study for this PhD research. Guba and Lincoln (2005) suggest that visual, verbal, and aural representations can create messy texts that break the boundaries and decenter conventional social science narratives. It is in this messiness that I will model my ability to “experiment with narratives that expand the range of understanding, voice, and storied variations in human experience” (Guba & Lincoln, 2005, p. 211).