I am actually quite happy that I ended up taking the refresher course on qualitative research methods. While the concepts weren't new to me, I did love the opportunity to actually work on part of my dissertation proposal and receive some feedback before I actually start the seminar in which I develop the first good draft of my proposal (EDDE 805). I also liked being the same course as members of other cohorts. This gives me both an opportunity to see what's a little down the road for me, by observing and talking to people in the cohorts ahead of me, and it gives me an opportunity to relive some of the things that I already went through these past few years, via cohorts that started after my own cohort started.
So, this summer I worked on getting my research methods chapter done. Well, there is much more to be done (can't base a research methods section only on one textbook!), but the foundations and rationales are there. I ordered a couple of books on Case Study as a method since that's where I am heading at the moment, which I will use to bolster this chapter either in the fall, or next spring as I am taking EDDE 806. The current version of the chapter is 15 pages. It expect to the adding 5-6 more pages of background once I get to reading the additional books on case studies, so that page count seems respectable. I think anything beyond that is just overkill. There is no reason for a dissertation chapter on the research methods that is more than that.
One of the interesting pieces of feedback I received had to do with potentially having to discuss (in my methods section) why I didn't pick other methods to explore my problem. It appears that the constitution of my committee will ultimately be the deciding factor as to whether or not I need to say why I didn't pick ethnography, discourse analysis, phenomenology, or any other method to explore my questions. At this point in time it seems rather odd that I would be asked to say why I didn't use other methods. It makes sense to defend why I picked the case study approach as it provides a boundary and a rationale for my choices. However discussing other methods in details and why they don't work seems rather pedantic and unnecessary. Your thoughts?
Now, time to go off and start my literature review for chapter 2 of my proposal...