Karl Durrant, Professional Doctorate in Education
After completing an educationally-focused MA in London, Karl Durrant felt there was still room for him to grow academically and professionally
“I didn’t think that a PhD was the right path to me, but felt that the EdD Professional Doctorate in Education could give me what I was looking for,” Karl explains. “LSBU was recommended to me, and I secured an interview with Professor Stephen Lerman. He was so supportive of what I wanted to achieve that I knew straight away that LSBU was the right place for me.”
A supportive environment
With a busy career and a family life to juggle, that supportive element would prove to be invaluable to Karl as his studies progressed. “I was teaching basic literacy and numeracy, but as I applied for the EdD, I was promoted to working in the educational quality and standards department at my college,” he says. “It was difficult to start with, balancing all my commitments, but the support from academic staff, supervisors and other learners at LSBU was invaluable.”
Karl credits that supportive nature with helping him get to grips with the academic reading that he initially struggled with. “Although my lecturers and supervisors were respected academics, I found everyone to be friendly and down to earth,” he says. “They were in no way elitist, and always placed me and the other learners first. I felt supported, and that I could really learn at LSBU."
It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific moment, but I felt as though I turned a corner, or a light bulb had been switched on – and the academic reading I had initially struggled with became something I wanted to do. In many ways, it became part of me.
Karl credits his EdD with helping him to evolve his role in the college where he works – the largest work-based learning provider of specialist construction education and training in Europe. “I’m now responsible for the professional development of around 150 teachers working on six campuses across Britain,” he says. “My time at LSBU helped me to develop a new informal approach to supporting vocational teacher professional development, which I now use to support the teacher development process. It’s also helped to forge links between our college and other organisations in the industry.”
Karl feels that many of the skills that he uses in his role now were honed during his EdD. “My networking, reading and presenting skills all improved during the course of my studies, and are invaluable in my current role. Without my EdD, I certainly would not be in the position I am today. It built my confidence to the point where I now believe I will succeed."
Karl’s advice for those considering an EdD is to make the most of the chance to learn from academics and fellow learners alike. “Work hard,” he says. “Attend every seminar, every taught session and take every opportunity to discuss your ideas, however daft they might be! There will be up days and down days, but it will be worth it in the end – it’s a great journey!”
Read more about studying EdD Professional Doctorate in Education.