I have been a teacher in FE for 17 years and a Teacher Educator for 8 of those. I have a passion for learning and there have been few lulls in my life where I have not been formally learning. On completion of my Masters in Education, I pledged that was it, but a year later I found myself applying for the Professional Doctorate in Education at Plymouth University. I decided to do this mostly for my own personal development, but studying at this level, or any level for that matter, also has a positive impact on my professional development and what I can offer to my students, colleagues and college.
When I applied I had a fairly good idea of the area of study I wanted to pursue for the thesis stage of the programme. However, since the first module I am very prepared for this to change as the programme tutors challenge you to think about education in a multitude of ways which challenge any preconceptions you might have and give you new ways to conceptualise issues. However, being a busy teacher with an ever-increasing workload, I decided that I would try to use each module as a way to investigate different aspects of my thesis topic from a range of theoretical perspectives to help me formulate my ideas and theorise the topic, so, when the thesis stage comes around I will have had a variety of opportunities to explore the topic using a range of theories – that’s the hope anyway! The postgraduate conferences are a really valuable insight to what other students at different stages of the programme are researching, but also a useful forum to share and get feedback on your own research. The programme tutors are also extremely supportive and offer expert supervision throughout your studies.