Becoming a master of education: a case study of part-time students undertaking continuing professional development

Thesis


Cottle, Vanessa 2019. Becoming a master of education: a case study of part-time students undertaking continuing professional development. Thesis https://doi.org/10.48773/926w2
AuthorsCottle, Vanessa
Qualification nameEdD
Abstract

This study is an exploration of students who study part-time to achieve a Master of Education award in the context of continuing professional development. Particularly interesting to this study is identity development and the effects on confidence/self-esteem as MA Education Students’ cope with the interacting dimensions of personal, professional and study contexts.

The research found a triangle of tensions between professional, personal and developing postgraduate identities to be at the heart of transitions into becoming a postgraduate student. Students’ investments of finance, time, cognitive effort and reprioritisation of lifestyle is made without guarantee of return. They experience low professional self-concept; they are daunted by self-doubts about meeting the demands of master’s study; troubled by imposter feelings and preoccupied by their professional identities. However, confidence and self-esteem improve as study progresses and by harnessing personal qualities, and some support networks, students overcome barriers to achieve positive outcomes, which for some can be transformative.

An interpretivist methodology has been adopted using a case study approach with data collected from MA Education students at one post-1992 university. Twenty-five students were included in: two focus group interviews (each of five participants); five individual interviews and ten students participated in a series of four sets of email questions posed at regular points in one year of their degree. Braun and Clarke’s (2013) approach to thematic analysis was adopted and themes emerged inductively.

There are several recommendations arising for both practice and policy. For practice all aspects of curriculum design and delivery must be mindful of the professional and personal qualities, not just student academic competencies, which contribute to masterliness. However, programme and module specific induction must include strategies to encourage students’ envisioning of their possible selves as student in order to grow their confidence and self-esteem as students. Lecturers must be mindful about the motivations behind part-time, higher level study for continuing professional development and the factors which constrain deep learning. Recommendations for wider policy relate to urging government and educational leaders to validate the value of educationalists, of all types. This should be achieved by fully resourcing accredited master’s study in both practical and financial ways.

KeywordsTransition; motivation; learning; self-esteem; support; identity; postgraduate; masters;
Year2019
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.48773/926w2
Web address (URL)hdl:10545/623837
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File Access Level
Open
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Open
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2019, 07:29
Publication dates25 May 2019
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