The following is an outline of my research plan. A copy of my plan along with full disclosure statements is also available: Informed Consent Form for Participation in Research.

Literacy Histories and their Effect on Learning and Teaching

University of Pristina, Kosovo

Dr. Richard C. Raymond, Head, Department of English, Mississippi State University; Fulbright Scholar, University of Pristina, January-June, 2012

The purpose of this research is to determine how the literacy histories of students and professors in the Department of English at the University of Pristina have influenced how students learn and how professors teach. The researcher will also inquire to what extent the civil war in the 1990s has influenced each interviewee’s sense of purpose as a university student or as a professor. This research will be part of a six-month stay at the University of Pristina, where the researcher will serve as a Fulbright Scholar, a position that will include teaching and professional service as well as research and writing. See attached Fulbright application.

This research will include a two-part procedure: a survey filled out by participants, followed by an interview with the investigator. The interview will give participants a chance to expand on their answers provided on the questionnaire. The investigator will record the interviews with participants who give him permission to do so; all participants, even those not recorded, will complete a consent form, giving the investigator permission to quote their responses from the survey and from the interview. Each participant will also have the option of responding anonymously and being quoted anonymously. The researcher hopes to secure at least five professors and ten students as participants.

The survey will take 30-60 minutes to complete, depending on the level of detail the responder chooses to provide. The survey will include these questions:

Reading and Writing

  1. How did you learn to read and write your native language? Use the space below to answer this question. Begin with your earliest memories of learning to read and write, describing the various stages that led to mastery. Feel free to describe the teaching processes of people—teachers, parents, siblings, friends–who tried to assist you in acquiring literacy, but do not feel obligated to name these persons. Also, please explain how these teaching and learning processes shaped your attitude toward reading and writing and your preferences for reading materials (e.g., literature, non-fiction, history, science, etc.).
  2. How did you learn to read, write, and speak English? Use the space below to answer this question, focusing, as you did in question #1, on stages of learning, learning procedures, teachers.

The Civil Conflicts in Kosovo in the 1990s

  1. Use the space below to reflect on your primary memory of the warfare in Kosovo in the 1990s, particularly as these struggles affected you or your family.
  2. Explain how this memory has affected your sense of the power and limitations of written and spoken language in recording past events and in shaping future events.

Effects of Your Literacy History and Kosovo’s History on Your Attitude toward Learning and Teaching

  1. If you are a student at the University of Pristina, use the space below to reflect on how your literacy history and the history of Kosovo have shaped your attitude toward learning, studying, and obtaining a university degree, as well as your professional goals.
  2. If you are a professor at the University of Pristina, use the space below to reflect on how your literacy history and the history of Kosovo have shaped your attitude toward teaching as well as your professional goals.

The interview for each participant will take 30-60 minutes, depending to what extent the interviewee wishes to expand on the answers provided on the survey. The interviewer will encourage each participant to expand on answers that aroused his curiosity, but he will respect each participant’s right to decline on providing greater detail.

For additional interview questions that will be used as possible, see Interviewing Questions.

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