I work at the University of Hertfordshire teaching medical education to postgraduate students. My clinical background is in paramedicine, and this was the subject of my first degree. I have always been interested in teaching others, so completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education at the University of East Anglia (UEA). This allowed me to access a Master of Education degree, which set a good grounding for my Doctorate in Education (EdD).
I started my EdD at University of East Anglia in 2008 and from the start; the course team were incredibly supportive. I didn’t think I was the type of person to undertake a doctoral degree but I believe the UEA creates an environment where anyone with passion for learning (and with hard work of course!) can do a doctorate. However, the degree never felt ‘easy’, it was challenging but incredibly useful in building my knowledge as an educator and academic. I chose University of East Anglia because of my own background at UEA and I was so interested in the psychology aspects of my doctorate, I went on to complete a Master’s in Educational Psychology at University of Cambridge.
In addition to the course team, I felt my fellow students bonded well and supported each other during the early stages of the degree. It helped that we all felt apprehensive about the process and it was useful to discuss issues with my peers. Of course, my supervisory team were key to the process and my principal supervisor was always approachable and available (even just to bounce ideas of!).
I would whole-heartedly recommend the Doctor of Education at University of East Anglia. I think that the university motto ‘Do Different’ is particularly apt for this course, I felt actively encouraged to think and do differently!
I studied mathematics in the University of Thessaloniki, Greece and graduated in 1977. I have been a teacher of mathematics in the state secondary education schools of Greece since 1982. Since then, I have obtained a Master of Science degree in the didactic of mathematics and was appointed as a school counsellor (supervisor) of mathematics in the prefectures of Heraklion and Lassithi in Crete.
My professional status not withstanding, I was always eager for more higher academic study and development. Therefore a meeting with Prof. Elena Nardi, during a seminar of hers for secondary mathematics teachers at the University of Crete swiftly led to my enrolment in the EdD cohort of 2008. Given my professional obligations and commitments, the part time EdD turned out to be the best choice for me as it was very accommodating of my ever-changing personal and work circumstances.
My encounter with the other members of the cohort was short (2008-2009) but I experienced a warm atmosphere and I remember these days with a degree of nostalgia. I felt the presence of the same family-like warm atmosphere in the PGR room during the time I was writing and correcting my thesis.
I enjoyed every moment of the 2008-09 taught programme elements and every lecture was a valuable contribution in its own respect to my scholarly development. But my joy and delight culminated as I completed my research thesis under the guidance of Prof. Elena Nardi and Dr. Irene Biza. My two supervisors, both extremely intelligent and unbelievable capable, guided me safely past many challenges, to my final goal and I am indebted to them.
Based on my experience, I would strongly recommend the UEA Ed.D programme to any professional wanting to pursue further research, both in general and specifically in mathematics education.
I really enjoyed my EdD, my supervisors were fantastic and I made friends with many that I still keep in touch with. My supervisors, (Dr Paola Iannone and Professor Elena Nardi) were invaluable sources of knowledge and support.
My major motivation to do the EdD was to extend my academic knowledge of teaching Mathematics and apply it directly to my classroom practice.
Before joining the EdD course at UEA, I was a classroom teacher, with no experience of research to inform my actions and I was terrified of higher level research but decided to give it a go, and was given some encouragement from the course leaders. I learnt quickly from them that it was my own project and it was up to me to manage it, plan holidays, time off work, do research and this released all the pressure. I did the EdD on a part time basis since I had a full time job as a teacher yet I managed to complete it within 4 years.
The research I did during the EdD course at UEA helped me to generate new knowledge that has been applied in many schools in the UK and also in East Africa where I did the research. As the Head of Mathematics Department in my school, I am not a middle manager but I would like to get back to UEA for post-doctoral work.