Research Poems – What Are They Up To?

Researchers in education tell me about their poems. I only have to mention that my research is in poetry education and before you know it I’m being asked about publication and performance, and what I think of rap. I go to conferences and there’s an education researcher freestyling about their topic. I open an education thesis in the library and there’s a poem half way through its reflexive workout. Surrounded by research poems, unsure what to make of them, I figured I’d better investigate.
So, what exactly are research poems?

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The PhD Experience as an Apprenticeship into Academia

When I first started my PhD back in 2012 I wasn’t sure whether I would return to secondary school teaching afterwards or stay in academia, looking back I suppose I didn’t really know what it meant to be an academic. But throughout the three years of my PhD I had the opportunity to contribute to different research projects, to publish, and to teach; although it might seem like a bit of a cliché to say that the experience was an apprenticeship into academia, for me, that’s exactly what it was. It didn’t take long for me to realise that this was what I wanted to do with my life. So here are a few personal reflections on what I feel were the most influential factors in progressing from the PhD, to a postdoc position on the MEITS project, and ultimately into a lectureship.

Don’t Compromise: Nothing Less Than an “Enjoyable” Viva!

Just after submitting the soft-bound copies of my thesis, I started to feel anxious about my viva voce. I was worrying about the result I would get after five years of hard work for my PhD in Cambridge. But, almost everyone that I talked to seemed to have experienced a level of anxiety with regard to their viva examination as the situation could be difficult and quite unpredictable.

The Road from Pilot Research to Fieldwork

About a month ago, I embarked on the second phase of my PhD journey and started my fieldwork. The pilot I carried out last summer helped me immensely in shaping up my research questions and strengthening my research instruments and my overall research design. However, it is only now, after starting my fieldwork, that the full realisation of the benefits of piloting have dawned on me.

 To give some background, my research aims to critically understand the teaching and learning for children with special educational needs and disabilities within mainstream classrooms in India. This blog post is a reflection on how my pilot research helped me in shaping my research design and helped me to plan my fieldwork.

Research for Change: Inclusive Quality Education for Children with Disabilities

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) state that “no one should be left behind”. SDG#4 on education addresses both rights to education – through access; and rights in education –  specifically acknowledging that education must be of quality. In our recent report, Inclusive Quality Education for Children with Disabilities, we argue that if children with disabilities are to be fully included in quality education we must focus on the interlinked aspects of rights, resources and research.

My #PhDshelfie: Michelle

Hi, my name is Michelle and if I have any special talent it is approaching burnout and staying on the brink of it for far too long. For those who don’t know, “burnout”  is a term coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, to describe the effects of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions, such as doctors and nurses. Today it is used to refer to the phenomenon in professions across the board, with main signs and symptoms falling into three main categories: exhaustion, alienation from work-related activities, and reduced performance. These signs can be both physical and emotional and are starting to be more recognized as a problem within academia.

Raising the Bar? Why PhD Students and Postdocs Publish and Perish, and How They Could Publish and Flourish Instead (Part 2)

I propose here that to publish and flourish the focus must shift from our obsessions with metrics to our contributions to knowledge. The metrics are merely (or at least should be) by-products of the research process. To flourish within this crude system, let me offer some tips on getting published frequently and publishing well to thrive in your first postdoctoral years in academia.