It`s July, it`s the beginning of the summer vacation and I find myself relaxing out in the sun with The Oxford Handbook of Quantitative Methods! I`m reading a chapter about research on “special populations” and I think I might have to write and share a summary. But first - what lead to this?
I have now finished the first year of my Masters in Intellectual disabilities at the Department of Special Needs Education at the University of Oslo. Leaving my job in special education to go back to school was a big leap. Now one year has past and going back to the University turned out to be exiting, challenging and enriching in so many ways. The studies are booth interesting and meaningful, and getting to be part of the DSL+-project is in addition an amazing opportunity.
I was offered the job as research assistant a couple of months into my first semester. Now I`ve had some time to get to know the project and the people contributing in the project. Being part of a research team like this has a steep learning curve and the need to learn more is always present. At the same time this ”need” has roots in an eagerness to learn and understand more about an important and meaningful area of research. Knowledge about research methods within the behavioural sciences is important when working with earlier research done in the area of Down syndrome and language development as well as when conduction new research. Publications regarding different areas of importance for language development in children with Down syndrome are part of the groundwork of the project. One of my tasks as a research assistant is reference work with regards to these publications. In addition I get to contribute with some writing of my own.
Now we are doing preparations for the piloting of the intervention. This is something I`m really looking forward to be working on this autumn. My master thesis will be based on data collected during this piloting. The Department of Special Needs Education just opened for the opportunity to write the Master thesis as an article with an extended abstract. So for the time being the plan is to go for this option and (hopefully) be able to publish my article. The job in the DSL+-project has in this way had a big impact on my studies and perhaps also on my vocation after my studies.
With wishes for a great summer vacation!