The time has finally come to pursue my PhD. I know, starting grad school when I’m almost 40. I’m crazy.
This past year has presented me with some rather unanticipated changes to my career. I’ll spare you the details of these changes, but I have really been evaluating the work I have done in education over the past few year around the Flipped Learning concept. Although I am proud of that work, I am also aware that much that I have done has been underinformed, underresearched, and underdeveloped. I have concluded that I have a lot more to learn if I expect others to continue to look to me for advice about how to operate their classroom. I am grossly deficient in my understanding of historical and current learning theories and practices, and it would be irresponsible of me to continue on my current trajectory.
I also greatly miss teaching science. Ever since the Flipped Learning explosion began I have been slowly drifting away from science education toward Ed-Tech. It has been an enjoyable trip, but my heart lies in the science lab, not on the iPad cart.
It is for these reasons that I applied to a few doctoral programs this year, and I am happy to report that I have been accepted to a PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction in STEM Education at Texas Tech. What I really appreciate about this program is their clear understanding that STEM education is simply an acronym that describes four disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) that can be integrated with one another rather than yet another educational silo that happens to have 3D printers and a Maker Space. I also love that this is a hybrid program that involves much of the work being completed from my home in Pittsburgh with some regularly scheduled on-site work in Lubbock, TX over the next four years. Not the most desirable commute in the world but the convenience of doing the rest remotely will make the travel worth it.
While I work on this degree, I plan to continue to travel, provide PD to schools, and speak at conferences about my past work. I hope to use these opportunities to develop my ideas, incorporate what I am learning in the PhD program, and do a little research along the way.
Thanks for reading this update, and I covet your support of the next four challenging years.