Dr Winston Bigford, EdD Education, 2015

Winston BigfordCurrent role

I am working for Sandwell City Council

Why did you originally apply to the University of Birmingham and School of Education?

Whilst working as a teacher I was curious and concerned about why particular sub-groups of pupils outperformed others. I was aware of many of the hard-worn explanations and some of the solutions posited which have yielded little or no results. I decided to embark on the EdD because I believed it would enable me to fully immerse myself in the field of race, ethnicity and education thus gaining a deeper understanding (whilst also satisfying my curiosity) of the discrepancies in academic outcomes among different sub-groups of students. The qualification has also broadened the opportunities available to me in the job market.

What are your fondest memories of the school and university?

I was apprehensive when initially interviewing students during the data collection stage of my research, however, this process produced some of the most enjoyable, productive and memorable moments of my research journey. The students were always enthusiastic, courteous and extremely helpful. Giving them the opportunity to have their voices heard whilst they (relatively successful students) spoke about feelings of disenfranchisement from school was both thought-provoking and illuminating.

What did you think of the learning experience? Did you find your degree challenging or easy in any way?

I was able to gain advance skills and in-depth knowledge in the field of education particularly in relation to inclusion and educationally disadvantaged. The taught modules gave me the opportunity to interact with experts in the field and with other students who were equally passionate about educational issues. My supervisor was extremely supportive and helpful and I always received continual support from staff within the department of education.

What advice would you give any current students who are studying for an EdD?

Doing an EdD is a life changing experience. It gives you an in-depth understanding of your area of interest, it stimulates you thinking, stretches your mental capacity and is rewarding. However, it requires perseverance and total commitment, you will have to invest a significant amount of your time and effort into it (especially during the writing up stage). If you are doing your EdD part-time as I did, you should re-evaluate your work-study-life balance every once in a while.

Find out more about the EdD in Education