75 years  

Department for International and Comparative Education 1985-1995

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Dr Pat Pridmore : lecturer 1989 – present, PhD student 1991-1996

Pat recalls the challenges of being a PhD student whilst also a lecturer in the department.

"It is impossible for me to separate out my experience as a part-time PhD student in DICE from the role I played as a full-time member of staff in the Department. The downside of this dual role was that I had to cram most of my research studies into weekends and public holidays, with fieldwork in Botswana being done in short bursts and one longer trip during the August vacation period. The upside was that I was able to make immediate use of the understanding and insights coming out of my research to greatly enrich and enliven my teaching. In addition I was most fortunate in having access to the Child to Child Trust housed just a few doors down the corridor from my office which provided me with an unrivalled resource of literature and expertise to tap for my study.

The need to keep a publication record so that I could be included in the Institute’s submission for the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) meant that I had to draw on my PhD research to publish papers long before the thesis was completed. This certainly slowed me down and at times took me off at a tangent from the main thesis - but it also concentrated the mind and helped me to crystallise some of my earlier ideas and findings.

Just occasionally my dual role as lecturer and student caused unexpected difficulties. For example, on one occasion, as a student I sidestepped a discussion in which the group was set the task of identifying the inadequacies of their supervision. This seemed inappropriate given that my supervisor was also a colleague. Overall however, I remember my time as a student/staff member of DICE as a period of enormous personal and professional growth - together with the inevitable pain and pleasure which went with such growth. Most importantly, it laid the foundations for my future work in what emerged in 1996 as the Education and International Development Group (EID) and for the work that I continue to undertake in what since 2002 has become the School of Lifelong Education and International Development (LEID)"

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Compiled and edited by Clare Bentall and Angela Little. First issued Spring 2005.