I’m not working in a school this year (for various reasons) so a few months ago I decided to indulge my zest for learning and return to postgrad studying. This was prompted by my interest in evidence-based educational practices, the discussion of which was raised in volume by the publication of Hattie’s Visible Learning. (I also have to thank David Didau for his always thought-provoking, sometimes irritating, regularly enlightening and ultimately invaluable inspiration over the years.)
I first applied to Bath Uni for their EdD program as I liked the built-in guidance to narrow your research focus and their summer institutes (despite being a distance program).
As I waited, I continued exploring possibilities and – as a result – also applied to RGU’s MSc Applied Psychology course. This is a postgrad conversion for those coming from a background other than a Psychology undergrad.
UEL’s Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology masters also caught my eye. What attracted me was the coaching aspect, the high ranking of their research and the fact I’d come out of it ready to practice rather than having to undergo further training (an important consideration at my age).
Having received offers from all these programs, I was then forced to prioritise and consider my goals carefully. In the end, I am going with RGU’s Psychology as it’s BPS accredited, should provide a solid foundation for future studies, and opens avenues the other programs do not – the most important of these being the possibility to continue toward chartered psychologist, should I ever want to. The way I see it, I can always do a coaching course down the road (if it still holds my interest – currently high), and defer the EdD entry for now. The advantage of that latter step is that I can enter the program with a clearer idea of what I’d like to research (undoubtedly related to psychology), as my thoughts on this are somewhat vague at the moment.
Not teaching this year, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to start preparing for the RGU’s MSc September start date with these courses:
- University of Amsterdam’s Quantitative Research Methods via Coursera (I took the assessment route and it was tough!) completed
- University of London’s SOAS Understanding Research Methods via Coursera (good for a general overview and very accessible) completed
- University of Toronto’s Introduction to Psychology via Coursera (the most entertaining course of the lot thanks to Steve Joorden‘s personable delivery) completed
- Saylor Academy’s Psych 101: Introduction to Philosophy (comprehensive and well put-together) in progress
Anyway, I’ve started this blog to keep track of my studies. For now, it’ll be used to reflect as I try to apply psychology concepts to the actual practice of learning. (For an example of what I mean, see the mnemonics for biopsychology here.) I’ll also use it to highlight those aforementioned ‘No Way!’ moments as they happen; I’m sure as the deadlines start looming and the pressure increases, it’ll be a good way to keep me positive about my decision to put myself back in the game with this creaking ol’ brain.
Let’s see how it goes.