I first gave serious thought to converting to a Master’s degree in Psychology of Education when I worked at a Pupil Referral Unit in St Werburghs, Bristol. I started to connect various behavioral patterns and cycles of thinking in young people that were effectively blocking their own learning and social development.
As a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) my job was very hands-on and I was the first person to interact with pupil’s volatile and emotionally-charged behaviors. However, I never felt sufficiently qualified or equipped to be able to assist the pupils. I intended to use the Master’s course as a platform to allow me to work at a more psychological level rather than from within an educational role to which I am accustomed.
Although the course was challenging, it fuelled my thirst for knowledge and opened up to me the vast amount of psychological theory that surrounds individuals, education systems and the policies that control them within our society. It allowed me to gain further insight into how all these mechanisms work collaboratively in order to promote success within each individual. It also highlighted the amount of variations within the social, cultural and economic environmental factors that can influence the development of a young person. I have always been fascinated by the unique interventions that take place on a daily basis that can help to shape the way that an individual can form their own self-concept and how that is reflected in an educational setting or the wider community.
As part of my Master’s dissertation, I conducted a unique study that investigated whether entrainment (also known as audio visual stimulation), had the potential to increase our productivity in relation to idea generation. This was my greatest achievement as I have never had to do a scientific research project with statistics etc. To my amazement, I achieved an A grade for it and am now considering using this as a starting point to get it published. This is something that I would never have dreamed I could possibly do.
When I started my course I never imagined the amount of hard work and determination it would require and the sheer fascination and excitement I would feel towards the subject matter. There were times when I struggled and these were made so much better by the amazing tutors and administrative staff who knew what to say to keep my motivation fuelled.