Breaking down the boundaries between work and study

Posted by pt91 at Jun 08, 2012 01:36 PM |
Professor Hilary Burgess to give University of Leicester public lecture on 12 June

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 8 June 2012

The impact on the professional lives of people who bridge the gap between the world of work and university will be examined by a Leicester education expert.

Professor Hilary Burgess, Director of Studies in the University of Leicester's School of Education, will present her research on part time professional doctorates at her inaugural lecture 'Border Crossings: Journeys between Work Place and University'.

Professor Burgess led a study into the experiences of part-time doctorate students from a range of professions including teachers, higher education staff, dentists and nurses.

The participants were taking doctorates in education and health at the University of Sheffield, Middlesex University and the Open University - typically lasting from four to six years - while remaining in their workplaces.

Professor Burgess’s lecture will uncover some of the benefits and pressures experienced by those who study while continuing in their day jobs.

Professor Burgess said: “The potential change in identity of doctoral candidates as they progress through their learning journey may lead to great strides in personal skills development - for example written communication and verbal reasoning - and more general attitudes and aptitudes valued in academia such as ‘criticality’.

“This lecture reports how the situated nature of their learning created many interesting work place dynamics and brought varying responses to their hard earned professional knowledge. For some it was about a reaffirmation of their professional values for others the management of a new ‘critical edge’ in their working relationships.

“There was some evidence of lack of acceptance among colleagues, which could lead to difficulty in influencing change within their organisation, and a potential fracturing of the employment relationship.

“The specific professional practice oriented doctorate they have undertaken ought to ease knowledge transfer, facilitated as it is by the ‘situated’ nature of their study. However, this is not always the case and suggests that there is a need for a closer examination of doctoral study as a whole - including the PhD - and the boundary crossings of students between university and their workplace settings.”

The lecture will be held on June 12 from 5.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester, and is free and open to the public.



For more information, please contact  Professor Hilary Burgess at or on 0116 252 3661.

About Professor Hilary Burgess

Professor Hilary Burgess joined the University of Leicester in September 2010 as Director of Studies in the School of Education. Before taking this post, Hilary worked for The Open University where she was Director for Postgraduate Studies in the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET). Hilary has worked as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education for Westhill College in Birmingham, and has taught in primary schools in Coventry and central London.

Hilary’s research focuses on schools as learning communities and mentoring in primary and secondary schools. She supports a wide range of doctoral students on both the PhD and EdD programmes, on a range of topics surrounding Continuing Professional Development and Mentoring.

Hilary is the Chair of the National Doctorate in Education Director's Network and a Council Member of the British Educational Research Association.

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