EdD – workshop weekend 1

This weekend I took part in the first workshops of the Doctorate in Education (EdD) which I have started at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Anglia Ruskin University. Friday night was predominantly an education to the programme, and today (Saturday) was the first ‘proper’ workshop. As it is a professional doctorate, the programme starts with a cohort phase. My 2016 cohort consist of a group of 7 including me, with a wide variety of backgrounds and previous qualifications.

The first session revolved around the concept of educational research: What is is? Who does it? Why is it done? and What are some of the issues around it? Due to the wide range of backgrounds in the group, this led to an interesting discussion on what the goal of educational research is, and we came up with a fairly lengthy definition with some extra features.

what-is-educational-research
Outcome of the discussion of what educational research is. Copyright ARU EdD cohort of 2016.

The second session addressed what it means to be (a) professional. This was a difficult concept, mainly because the term professional, and the associated term professionalism, had different meanings for people in the group. However, we all came to a consensus that professionalism is the more encompassing set of behaviours, values and actions which one needs to display in order to be a professional. On the other hand, what makes a professional was not as easily defined. In order to investigate this further we were asked to produce a short autobiographical piece on how we have developed as professionals to date, followed by more discussion. This made me realise I have come quite far in a fairly short period, and that I have made some unconscious decisions which led to where I am now.

Today has been an intense, but enjoyable day, and I feel I have made the right decision enrolling on the EdD. I look forward to the next workshop weekend, and have some good ideas for the first formative report in preparation of that weekend.Lots to think about, and a massive chunk of reading to do, but I look forward to exploring my own professional practice more over the next few weeks.

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Jeremy Fox seeking grad students for Fall 2017 — Dynamic Ecology

I’m currently seeking 2-3 graduate students (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) to start in Fall 2017! My work addresses fundamental questions in ecology and evolution, ranging from population ecology to macroevolution and using different approaches depending on the question (theory, experiments, comparative analyses). I’m open to inquiries from students with a broad range of interests, but I’m […]

via Jeremy Fox seeking grad students for Fall 2017 — Dynamic Ecology

Amazon CreateSpace publishing

book_coverI have had a play around with Amazon CreateSpace self-publishing platform, using my MSc dissertation as a manuscript, and am now the proud author of a self-published book. It is available on Kindle and in hard copy in a few days. The process was pretty straight forward, so I am definitely keeping this in mind for future projects. I am not sure how much value it carries towards my academic career, but I feel self-publishing is a way of sharing information which would otherwise just gather dust.

A good post on the topic of academic self-publishing can be found here. It is worth a read, whether you agree with the concept or not. I kind of enjoyed the process of creating something new, and am happy my early research is now available to the whole world, rather than just the student who happens to come across it in the Writtle University College library.

New addition to the collection

Today I received a copy of Boyle and Charles’ Curriculum Development. For now it will have to go onto the reading pile for the summer, but a quick flick though has already shown some very useful sections which I can take forward as an undergraduate course manager and curriculum developer.

More on this at a later point.

Curriculum Development book

Boyle, B. and Charles, M. (2016) Curriculum Development. London: SAGE Publications, pp.222, ISBN 978-1-44627-330-2.

Organised crime against the academic peer review system

organized-crime4
This is what I think about when I hear “organised crime”.

The following is an excellent read on how the academic peer-review system was abused and cheated, and how a journal editing team takes responsibility, investigates and is completely transparent.

Cohen et al. (2016) ‘Organised crime against the academic peer review system‘. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 81(6), 1012-1017. DOI: 10.1111/bcp.12992

It is a pity this happened, but by going through this route, the academic community can learn from their mistakes, and hopefully make the chance of this happening again smaller. You can never completely prevent these things from happening, because organised crime will always try to find new ways of cheating the system. However, as the authors quite rightly state, a select minority should not be allowed to make life more difficult for the well-intended majority.

Thanks to Terry McGlynn at Small Pond Science for posting about this.