Master of the House?

OK. Now, I’m half way through my Master of Education at the University of Melbourne. It’s research approval time. Mistakenly (naively?), I thought this process would be quick and easy. Nope! Dead wrong! Just submitting my form for approval has nearly killed me! Why didn’t anyone warn me?

In summary, my submission included completing a 15-page form in 9pt font, five attachments, four meetings with my supervisors and a flurry of emails, around a dozen re-drafts, umpteen proof-reads and 30 hours of my time over the course of five weeks! From here, my application will come back to me in a couple of weeks with suggestions for changes (hopefully minor ones) and then it’s off to the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee for approval to do research, which may or may not get approved first time around!

My research topic in case you are interested? “The impact of new and emerging technologies on the teaching and learning of Drama”. So, Drama will suddenly be using forums, blogs, chat rooms and listening to teacher podcasts!

The bad news? I haven’t even written a single word of my thesis yet and I’m already exhausted!

The good news? Seriously, everything about the Education Faculty at The University of Melbourne is so professional. The staff are very helpful, people seem to know what they’re doing, the coursework I have undertaken over the past couple of years has been nothing short of first-rate and the lecturers were top class academics in their field. A special thanks to Dr Kate Donelan and Richard Sallis for their endless assistance.

So, whilst my research approval process was an enduring one (and it’s not over yet), my focus has now been gathered and I would still recommend doing a Masters to any teacher. Interestingly, on that note, recently our school Principal encouraged her staff to improve their qualifications by offering to financially subsidise anyone considering doing a Masters at uni this year (in any area, not just in Religious Education ’cause we’re a Catholic school). Now, you’d think this would see a small but steady stream of interested people in her office, wouldn’t you (especially with a staff numbering over 100)? Nuh! The group of mostly young staff I regularly ‘hang out’ with were offended, found the offer elitist and one or two of them even formally complained that the offer implied you have to get a Masters in order to be a better ‘class’ of teacher!

Seriously guys, the only ‘class’ in education should be the one sitting in front of you!

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