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Student Profiles


Luz Moreno (PhD) from Mexico came to Cambridge because of its outstanding tradition of rigorous research. It was a unique opportunity to work with students and professors from diverse disciplines and perspectives all over the world. Research in education can inform policy formation and educational practices in contexts of poverty and inequality. It is enriching to learn from people from different sociocultural contexts and be able to compare the situation of my own country and continent. It is interesting to see that regardless of the so called "degrees of development" of our countries, the educational problems that we face are essentially the same.

Ziyin Mai (MPhil Research in Second Language Education) from China. From academic reading and writing to critical thinking, from contrasting theories to practical field work, it felt like an academic re-birth. The supervisors were highly experienced researchers and supportive teachers. I was in culture shock at first and made a lot of mistakes but I learnt from them and loved the feeling of getting better every day! It is a challenging course but you will gain a great a great deal from it: through the lectures, supervisions and the seminars. Students are given autonomy and learn from each other. Be prepared to cry at the beginning and laugh at the end. You won't regret it.

Michael Fordham (MEd Researching Practice) is a Senior Teaching Associate at the Faculty. He completed the Cambridge PGCE in 2006 and taught in local schools until 2013. He saw the MEd as an opportunity to continue research while at the same time establishing his career in the classroom. An ability to theorise, analyse and evaluate are key components of the MEd, and it enabled me to feel secure in applying these critical frameworks to both my professional practice and academic research. The History Elective, in the middle of the course, gave me the chance to discuss issues with history teachers from other schools. Having completed the course, I became a mentor for PGCE students on the Secondary History course and applied for a part-time PhD. The MEd opened doors.

Rob Neale (part time PhD) is working part time as a Mandarin Chinese teacher at a secondary school in Sheffield while studying for his PhD. He is funded by the ESRC. My research is on why the acquisition of Mandarin tones is so challenging for Anglophone learners. Having taught full-time I have appreciated being able to step back and carry out my research. Chinese teachers at UK schools form a very close knit community and I have presented at a workshop about my research at the Annual Chinese Teachers’ Conference. The Faculty is a very welcoming place with first class facilities and high expectations. You will be stretched academically and encouraged to carry out ground-breaking, pioneering research.

Esinam Avornyo (PhD) from Ghana completed her MPhil in Cambridge in 2014 and continued to do her PhD. Her PhD work, which extends and builds on her MPhil research, focuses on play and learning in the Ghanaian early years classroom. She is funded by the LEGO Foundation.
It is exciting to be a graduate student at Cambridge and especially to be a member of the Faculty of Education. The Faculty is a remarkable place where you can be sure to receive all the necessary support. With well-experienced supervisors and an amazing library team, who are committed to seeing you succeed, you will definitely overcome every academic challenge.

Melise Camargo (full-time PhD) is from Brazil and completed her MPhil in Educational research in 2012. Doing a PhD in Cambridge is very challenging but an invaluable experience at the same time. I first came to Cambridge because of its academic tradition. When I arrived here, I realised that there's much more into it. You have the opportunity to meet people from everywhere in the world (and learn a lot with and from them!). There's always something happening in every department of the university: seminars, talks, plays, lectures, concerts, parties, which gives you a different perspective and enriches your student experience even more. As my research is about assessment, I am also collaborating in the new Post-graduate Certificate course on Assessment and Examinations as a tutor and supervisor. An advice: Enjoy the opportunity but don't forget to work hard – time passes much faster than you think!

Jonathan Prestwich, MEd Perspectives on special and inclusive education. The course at Cambridge also offered lecture times that were convenient, and most importantly, a weekly timetable with other students, that is, NOT distance learning. From the course I gained a deeper knowledge of working with people with learning difficulties of varying severity and profundity. As well as this I have gained an insight into a hitherto uncharted area, that of research, particularly educational research. This has been most enlightening.

The tutors are very supportive and want you to do your very best. All the facilities and the library are first rate. I have much greater confidence in how I am teaching

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