Data collection was the most challenging aspect of my doctoral journey as an African immigrant student due to a highly unpredictable research environment. This article reports on my doctoral fieldwork experiences in one Canadian province’s public secondary schools. The purpose of the article is to highlight data collection challenges and supports in qualitative research. Several barriers to doctoral fieldwork are evidenced in the article, whose successful navigation was enabled by an empowering spiritual experience and supportive and engaging supervision. Doctoral data collection narratives may not appeal to every reader, but their academic and therapeutic significance should not be underestimated.


Canada, Church, Doctoral Fieldwork, Education, PhD, Zimbabwe

Author Bio(s)

Lawrence recently completed his PhD in Educational Studies at St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: nyikalo@yahoo.com.


Many thanks to my doctoral supervisor, Dr. Anne Murray-Orr for her unwavering support. Also, I wish to thank Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation for supporting my doctoral studies.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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