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BELMAS Research Bursary Recipient Rachel Minett Completes EdD

01.12.15

We would like to congratulate Rachel Minett on the completion of her Doctor of Education (EdD) for which she was awarded a BELMAS Research Bursary. BELMAS Bursaries are designed to promote advanced study and research that contributes to the production of theoretical and professional knowledge and understanding about practice in the UK and Internationally.

Here are a few words from Rachel on her studies:  

It feels like a great accomplishment to have completed my EdD (University of East Anglia) and I am very grateful for the research bursary provided by BELMAS. After completing a part-time MEd at the University of Cambridge in 2008 I was truly hooked on educational research and keen to pursue it further. I decided to complete an EdD part-time as this would allow me to continue working in education and use my professional knowledge as a starting point for my research. Although the EdD was challenging at times, I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to investigate an interesting topic in depth and to develop my qualitative research skills.

I studied 5 years part-time whilst working as an Advanced Skills Teacher in a secondary school and subsequently as an adviser for a Local Authority (as well as having a baby halfway through!). Studying part-time has its advantages and disadvantages but without my professional experience I don’t think I would have had quite the same interest and insight into the research topic. I would recommend an EdD to any practitioner who is considering studying at doctoral level.  As with any study at this level it takes a lot of hard work and commitment, especially when juggling work priorities too, but I found the experience to be very positive and fulfilling. Completing the research has deepened my understanding of teachers’ experiences and the impact of school leaders and government agendas upon them.

My thesis focuses on the sources of teacher efficacy beliefs, using a constructivist grounded theory method. Although teacher efficacy beliefs have been found to influence professional commitment, job satisfaction, student achievement and teacher performance there has been little research focusing on the sources of such beliefs. The findings of my study indicate that verbal persuasion in the form of lesson observation feedback is a particularly salient source and it is suggested that this may be due to the increasing accountability culture in English schools. The study contributes to our understanding of how teacher efficacy beliefs are influenced by contextual factors, in particular the impact of government agendas, and suggests some implications for school leaders and future research.

To view Rachel's thesis, click here.

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