Becoming a Scholar - Cross-cultural reflections on identity and agency in an education doctorate

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Edited by Maria Savva and Lynn P. Nygaard


As someone who left school at 16 years of age, and with serial experience both of being an adult returner and subsequently, over many years, teaching this ‘species’ of student, I found a great deal in this book immensely resonant. A number of the syndromes described by its contributors are ones I know very well indeed; I have been personally affected by them, and have frequently supported, as best as I can, others being made anxious and unsettled by them: ‘imposter syndrome’ and lack of confidence come especially to mind. Their effects can be particularly concerning at the doctoral level, given the intellectual challenges of what is entailed in working towards a doctorate, and the very distinctive nature of the educational milieu in which individuals suddenly find themselves.

I believe, therefore, that what the editors and their collaborators have given us is a volume that, I will predict with confidence, is destined to become a highly significant resource in higher education. In saying so, I do not have in mind a readership consisting only of those individuals assessed as being ‘international’ as they embark on professional doctorates in education; in my view a number of other constituencies stand to benefit greatly from the book’s publication. I do not want to distract attention away from the book’s prime concern, the experience of international students on an education doctorate (EdD) offered by a UK university. However, I have been repeatedly struck by the relevance to other constituencies in many of the contributors’ reflections.

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