Why am I doing a PhD?

My boss asked me (and our research group) this very question almost 12 months ago. The answer is, as always complex.

Being a teacher is a job that is about passion. Passion for my own learning and that of others. It was never about money (teachers and academics are unlikely to be millionaires), it was about working with people, helping people and getting personal fulfillment from the occasional triumph or breakthrough. I have for many years forged my career as a teacher and teacher trainer. From my first year of teaching I presented at teaching conferences, which eventually lead to my current work as a tutor. I have completed other studies, slowly building my credentials so that I was able to enroll in a PhD. Much of this study was part-time, balanced with full-time (and eventually part-time) work. This wasn’t an overnight decision. It wasn’t because I am a refugee from the classroom.ย  It is a calling, a yearning to explore and understand more about learning, both my own and that of others. I had hoped to complete a PhD long ago, but life, unexpected opportunities and shifting priorities pushed this pursuit further away.

Then suddenly, late last year, it felt like the right time to begin this large ‘study phase’ of my life. I was hearing the same things from friends, family and even in blog browsing. I was seeing certain themes and buzz words jumping out at me. The ‘topic’ had found me! It was effectively jumping in front of me waving its little arms. I picked it up and I was inspired to get back in to researching education and learning.

It is not about money. It is about knowledge. Being able to explore ideas and research real life classrooms and interactions. Being able to read research and listen to other people’s ideas. Being able to develop an understanding of the unknown and piece together from this jigsaw a way to explain this ‘unknown’ to others. Perhaps even discovering something new to help students and teachers in their learning journey. This is what is exciting: writing a thesis that will contribute to a large body of educational debate.

Why am I doing a PhD? Because I am passionate about Education.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lorri Shaw
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 19:29:06

    I love this part:
    “The โ€˜topicโ€™ had found me! It was effectively jumping in front of me waving its little arms.”
    How could you NOT pick it up ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done for seeing the signs and going for it!



    • ftrap
      Jun 02, 2011 @ 20:43:59

      Thanks for the support Lorri, you were instrumental in the Universe calling. And Yay for being my first commenter ๐Ÿ™‚ There should be some sort of prize…..LOL



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