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Studying for MA whilst teaching full time...your experiences please?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jdm14, May 12, 2012.

  1. My school has been approached by the local university to try and recruit staff to complete a masters with them. I am interested but am hoping to hear from those who have done it/ currently doing it...I am predicting that at times it will be quite stressful, more interested in how it has impacted your practice/ salary/ future job prospects. Many thanks in advance.
  2. My school has been approached by the local university to try and recruit staff to complete a masters with them. I am interested but am hoping to hear from those who have done it/ currently doing it...I am predicting that at times it will be quite stressful, more interested in how it has impacted your practice/ salary/ future job prospects. Many thanks in advance.
  3. I did my MA part time over 3 years whilst teaching full time, and with a young family. I really enjoyed it. Yes, there was a workload for the MA, but it wasn't too difficult to juggle, but I had to prioritise carefully and made sure that most of my MA work was done during the school holidays.
    Has it impacted on my practice? Hmmm, hard to say. I loved the academic reading I did (and still do) as part of my MA, which really opened my eyes to some innovative practice and which led me to question much of what is required / stipulated at my school, but therein lies the problem. My MA has turned me into a questioner - I evaluate more and want to understand the reasons behind practice and assess impact etc. My school is very prescriptive and does not look outwards for new ideas. This has meant that I am often very frustrated and viewed as a troublemaker when I seek to understand the reasoning behind things or when I question the benefits of some practices on teaching and learning. My headteacher turns his nose up at my thinking and obviously thinks my thesis and academic reading are useless, and not applicable to "real life" in schools. However, I think that is probably just my school!
    Has it impacted on my salary? Not at all. In fact, since I paid for the whole thing myself, it's left me with debt.
    Has it impacted on my future job prospects? I don't know yet. I'm still a relatively new teacher and haven't changed schools since I finished it. (I was already 2/3 of the way through it when I started at my current school and, as I say, my current HT certainly wasn't impressed or swayed by it.)
    Would I do it again? YES! Wholeheartedly!

  4. Hi
    I also completed my MA last year whilst working in reception class full time. I also loved the reading and research. As long as you pace yourself and use the holidays it can be done. I do agree with elizabeth though - I too find myself questionning everything and have very little respect for OFSTED or new Government initiatives that have no real grounding. However, my Head is brilliant and I am allowed to try anything new as long as I can justify it.
    The MA carried me through threshold so it has had an impact on my salary (though I may have got through without it, it did make it easier). I paid for the MA myself so I suppose in real terms no profit as yet but hopefully...
    Would I recommend that you go for it? Absolutely yes! The more teachers we have who continue to question the ridiculous amount of Governmental invovlement in education the better!
  5. Elizabeth and Liliput, can I ask the title of your MA? What I mean is, what kind of things did you research? Were there any particular books or resources you found of interest?
  6. Mine is MA (Education: Leadership and Management)
    I chose to take a leadership and management pathway, but there were others on offer. I can also drop the L&M bit and just call it MA (Education) if I want.
    I looked at formative assessment for my thesis, carrying out some action research in my class and doing quite a large-scale survey of schools in the authority.
    However, throughout the three years, I wrote dissertations on coaching and mentoring (and had coaching and mentoring accredited training as part of the module); personalising learning; inter-and intra-professional working; team work; leadership and management styles and change management.
    For each module, we were encouraged to try and make the focus fit either our work place or something we were already doing, or something we were really interested in/passionate about.
    I spent more time looking at peer-reviewed journal articles and academic papers than books, and if you start the course you will be given access to online university libraries and VLEs where you can find what you need. The books I found most helpful were those on organising my MA and writing the RMA (Research Methods Assignment) which was the part I found toughest. The RMA is all about the methodology and epistemology of research, which I found fascinating but difficult to get to grips with.

  7. That's really interesting. Thanks, Elizabeth. I'm considering options myself and it's really good to read about others' experiences.
  8. Elizabeth where do you do your MA?
  9. It was with Staffordshire University
  10. nottingham Uni off er MA during the summer hols. I started by going to the uni two nights a week for 10 weeks in Jan and two assignments written for june. In teh August I went to tw full time summer school units and essays were due Jan and april. brill....online access to reading is fantastic...........I may be getting my Deputy headship on Monday next week from it

  11. dc521

    dc521 New commenter

    I found the experience of my MEd (same as a MA but the OU gave me the option to call it a Masters in Education) rewarding, stimulating and also had some impact on myself in the classroom.
    I do constantly ask if the latest 'idea' is statutory or based in research. However, that keeps people on their toes. I have the knowledge to argue my case (yes, Ofsted inspection teams can be shot down in flames when you're on the warpath and armed with research) but the MEd gave me the skills, ability and confidence to tackle problems.
    Balancing work, study and life is a tough act. I would suggest you need to look into the requirements for assignments (how many per module), how long the course lasts (mine was 3 years part time and I found I could manage it), compulsary modules and options available. Ask about library resources you can have access to, tutor contact, when tutorials are run and costs per module.
  12. Hi
    My MA is Professional Development: Early Childhood Studies.
    All modules were work related and although were themed - action research, social policy etc we had a free reign to choose the actual topic on which to produce the essay/assignment.
    Any books on action research would be helpful but others were all assignment based.
    This one is an easy read and has some helpful hints in it:
    Good luck.
  13. Many thanks for all your comments [​IMG]
  14. slugtrial

    slugtrial New commenter

    I can't tell you how impressed I am by the responses to OP. I teach on a Masters programme for serving teachers. It pleases me no end that some of us in teaching are still keen to question and challenge. The HTs who go on about 'the real world' having nothing to do with the outcomes of academic research are the very ones who have allowed a culture to develop where their 'world' is one where we all take our lead from OFSTED.... then grumble about it. These people are followers, not the leaders they claim to be. Often (but not always) they will not have MAs themselves, so expect some jealousy. 'How dare you be better qualified than me? I am the Head!'
    It can come as a blow to some when you point out that the latest, reincarnated fad has been proven to not work. But if it's in a tick box, it must be done.
    I have the utmost respect for the teachers who come to our sessions after a long day at school. If you think you have the energy, then sign up. The more of you that do, gives us a better chance of having a professional voice... not just the uninformed opinion of sycophantic technicians.
    Good luck!
  15. I am in the exact same position, did you start your MA? I want to get it done before the work load starts getting higher after this my NQT year. Any advice? What about funding? Any news would be good, Jimmy

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