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.
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.