Formidable Challenges and Supportive Communities: The EdD Experience

After completing my MEd (Master of Education) in my Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year, I swiftly began to miss being actively engaged in educational research. I had already begun to ponder about undertaking a professional doctorate in Education (EdD) when I attended the first annual EdD conference at Cambridge in June 2015. I had been completely inspired by the energy and passion of the educational professionals that presented and attended the conference. Following this, I was able to gain some further insight from EdD students that were balancing their studies alongside teaching successfully.

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Going Alt-Ac After a PhD in Education

I spent most of my PhD worrying about what I was going to do once I finished it. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but I just could not find the place to do it. My research focuses on the intersection of human rights and education and I wanted to keep on working on both aspects of it. This was a nightmare in terms of job hunting. Human Rights Education is quite a new field so there were not many positions available – only one since 2014, to be precise – and positions in education faculties had little or no connections with human rights at all.

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Seeing Sacredness: Dissemination and Ceremony

I have recently returned from my doctoral fieldwork in Northern Canada. My research includes six Anishinaabe secondary school students who attend an Anishinaabe-controlled school. The students attending this school live in four different self-governing Anishinaabe communities contending with the ongoing consequences of colonization, including; displacement from tribal land, rural isolation, food scarcity, dependency on natural resources, and wide-spread environmental pollution.

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Race, Education and Empire: A Research Collective

We are living in a world marked by rising populist and xenophobic movements, political conflict, and increasing austerity. Global conflicts, the rise of the “far right” and the legacies of colonialism and imperialism are re-inscribing race and racism into contemporary society.  People of colour are recast into positions of marginality whilst systemic inequality and oppression are regularized – posited as the status quo.  These realities have long defined and continue to shape our world.  

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Thoughts on Methodology

As I come to the end of my first year of the PhD and to the stage of handing in my first-year report, I wanted to share my thoughts on developing the methodology for my research. I should say, before commencing, that my methodology is a work in progress, and that I have a sense that it will not become ‘fixed’ for a little while to come.

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“Do You See What I See?” Prompts From a Mother

I was born and raised in Peshawar, a small city in the north of Pakistan. It is heart-breaking that Peshawar once known as “the city of flowers” has been torn apart in the name of terrorism. In 2014 a blood curdling attack on a school left the city in the state of mourning that has taken a long time to fade away. The strength of the mothers who lost their children in that attack and their desire to keep sending their children to school has inspired me to do what I do today. I am a PhD researcher at the Faculty of Education at Cambridge and my work focuses on mothers in Pakistan and the influence they have upon their daughters’ education.

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Returning to University and the Exhilarating Task of Research

Google was founded in the year that I first matriculated at Cambridge as an undergraduate.  We were looking forward to the Millennium, still a couple of years into the future.  When I arrived, my stereo was my only electronic equipment (I bought my first mobile phone after I’d graduated); and induction meant heading to the College bar to find second- and third-years to assure you that you didn’t need to go to all your lectures (you don’t).  Homerton, where I am now, wasn’t yet a Cambridge College.

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Tips and Tricks for PhD Students: The #PhDlifehack

This week a new cohort of PhD students is about to embark on their doctoral journeys in Cambridge. Although this is surely an exciting time, filled with many hopes and expectations, starting a PhD can also feel scary and overwhelming – How should you organise your work? Are there any tools or strategies that could be particularly helpful in staying on top of things? And how do you build good professional relationships during the PhD? With some of these questions in mind, we asked current PhD students and academics for advice and encouraged them to share their best #PhDlifehack with us on Twitter.

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