Jane Scarsbrook, MA Education
Like many busy professionals, the biggest challenge to Jane Scarsbrook's ability to study at postgraduate level was her busy schedule
Her spare time was at a premium due to her job as an Advanced Skills Teacher, so LSBU's ability to tailor courses to very specific needs proved to be absolutely invaluable.
Professional development needs
"LSBU offered a course designed specifically to suit our staff's professional development needs" says Jane. "We were able to study after school on-site because the tutors travelled to us. It meant I was able to learn alongside my colleagues and we were able to match our research projects to the school's development plan. It meant that the work we were doing for our Masters was also having an immediate impact in our jobs, enhancing the experience of our pupils."
The course fitted around Jane's needs so well that she was even able to take a promotion to Deputy Head in her stride without compromising her studies. "I really appreciated the opportunity that LSBU gave me," she says. With the support of my school, "I was able to study in a way that complemented and improved my practice as a teacher and school leader in London."
Concentrating on research
As a result of the success she enjoyed on her Masters degree, Jane was awarded a Studentship by Cambridge University, enabling her to enroll on a full-time PhD in Education. "I've taken a sabbatical from my role to concentrate on my research," she says. "I'm looking at how children use language to reason about shape and space in maths, and ways that teachers can maximize opportunities for children to use imaginative and heuristic approaches."
Importance of partnerships
Jane hopes to use her teaching, leadership and academic experience to benefit London children, either by working as a school leader or in an academic capacity, developing maths pedagogy – and she cites her time at LSBU as a major factor in taking her career in such an interesting direction.
The experience I had of undertaking action research on the MA at LSBU really inspired me to consider the importance of partnerships between schools and research institutions when it comes to developing reflective and evidence-based practice.