Posted by: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard | 3 March 2008

Slow progress on my coursework…..

I’m taking a long time to finish my Human Development and consciousness knowledge area (KA 702). There are several reasons for this. I’m conducting a research project for my final in-depth paper. It’s a mini-dissertation. The literature review for the paper includes reading about ten books. So far, I’ve read four. I also have a lot of articles I want to reference. Haven’t started them. I have 4 of 6 interview participants lined up, but still need to receive the digital voice recorder that I ordered on Amazon almost three weeks ago (I think the P. O. lost it). Once I have that, I’m ready to go with the interviews.

At Fielding Graduate University, our coursework progress is entirely student-directed. It is up to us to contact faculty and negotiate contracts with them to satisfy our KA requirements. One of my roadblocks this past month was that the Fielding email system was capturing my emails to faculty and placing them in a spam folder. This wasn’t supposed to happen because my email is registered with Fielding’s email system as a verified email address. But it did and I didn’t realize it until I called one of the faculty members after waiting three weeks for an answer to my emails!

After that was fixed, I opened two new contracts: “KA753B – Research Design” and “KA717 – Organizational Studies.” The faculty member for my research design KA won’t be able to start working with me until the end of April because he has too many open contracts right now. This is unfortunate since I’m starting my first real research project right now.

I’m really excited about the topic I have picked for my Organizational Studies KA – In-depth paper, which will examine ideas related to aesthetics within the organizational domain. I will explore questions and ideas such as:

  • What can we learn about organizational dynamics and leadership from ensembles of musicians?
  • Is intimacy between members of a string quartet required for performing together in perfect synchronization? Does this concept translate to high-performing teams in a business setting?
  • Developing harmonious teams – using the symphony or string quartet as a model for leadership teams

When I submitted the idea to my faculty mentor, she invited me to present at a seminar that she is leading at Fielding’s summer session on Music, Consciousness and Society. Unfortunately, I have a conflicting conference on those dates and won’t be able to participate. Bummer…

For those of you who are curious about what is contained within a Fielding KA contract, I’ve attached the one for KA717 – Organizational Studies. You’ll see how much work is involved for each KA, since it’s for 10 credits.




  1. Dorianne,

    Well, just keep producing fine documents like this one, and I’ll keep stealing ’em. 🙂

    Seriously, I like the way you framed the issues you want to study in KA717. This is a great model contract, one I’ll use when I create my learning contract for this KA.

    Your friend,


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