Sample Statement of Purpose for Doctoral or PhD studies
My ultimate goal is to complete my doctorate so that I can teach future teachers, conduct research within the classroom, and make a contribution to the improvement of mathematics education. Over the past fifteen years, my journey towards this goal has been circuitous at best. It has carried me through many schools and multiple states, presenting opportunities to work within every grade from kindergarten to college. My compass has guided me to discover methods to improve my craft as a teacher and the role that research plays toward that end. Writings such as The Teaching Gap, by Stigler and Hiebert (1999), helped fuel this interest. Ideas such as the lesson study model and others provided the chance for me to focus my pedagogical lens. Collaboration with pre-service and practicing teachers helped me see the need to bring research back to the classroom and to lead teachers toward a better understanding of math. By completing a doctorate, I plan to improve my own proficiency in mathematics and math education so that I can help bridge the gap between research and practice.
As an educator, one hopes to continually make decisions that positively impact student learning. Researchers hope that this decision-making process includes the ideas and lessons learned from educational research. Practitioners realize that there are myriad decisions to make every day, ranging from curricular choices, to classroom management, to assessment strategies, to choices of presentation and pacing that address different learners. The demand to simultaneously manage all of these decisions in a thoughtful, reflective manner requires more time than is available. First-year teachers are often so overwhelmed that mere survival is considered a victory. More experienced teachers hone their skills in the hopes of focusing their energy on decisions that have the greatest impact on student outcomes. So how does educational research impact the majority of current teacher practices? Unfortunately, many practitioners indicate there is little to no impact at all.
For many teachers, research does not seem to factor into their decision-making process. Dr. Judith Sowder (2000) writes, “Many teachers and policy makers believe that most research has little relevance to the decisions they must make” (p. 106). Research is often seen as impractical or written in a form that is not accessible to many teachers. Sowder cites an article by Kennedy (1997) in Educational Researcher, stating that teachers often feel research does not answer the questions they have; nor does it adequately consider their constraints. All of these hurdles limit the connection between research and practice.
During my tenure as a math department chair and as a district math resource teacher, I found this aversion to research a prevailing mindset. Less experienced teachers were often so overwhelmed with the daily pace that they simply wanted tips on classroom management and survival techniques. More experienced teachers usually resisted using research for one of three main reasons. First, they had endured too many poorly run professional development activities in which research seemed impractical. Second, they felt their “curricular tool bag” was full, and they no longer needed to grow pedagogically for their students to achieve. Lastly, even if they felt they might benefit, they often felt overwhelmed by the amount of material to wade through and underwhelmed by the resources they had to assist them in the cause.
We hope that our students will gain a proficient understanding of mathematics. Yet to afford this opportunity, we expect our teachers to comprehend what mathematical proficiency means. In Adding It Up (2001), Kilpatrick, Swafford, and Findell describe this proficiency as containing five different components: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition. Exploring these ideas with teachers, I realized that many considered proficiency simply to mean procedural competency.
Others would create a dichotomy between conceptual understanding versus calculational fluency. My interactions with teachers taught me the necessity of reflecting on these and other mathematical ideas through collaboration and discourse. The reality is that this is not a simple task, and it demands that teachers explore their own understanding of mathematics. If we can expose teachers to the process of using research early in their careers, we might create a habit of mind that affords future classroom success.
Paul Tough, in his book Whatever it Takes (2008), describes the approach taken by Geoffrey Canada, a social activist, who felt driven to break the cycle of poverty for children in Harlem. As the president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Canada has taken the radical approach of trying to change everything in these children’s lives, starting with how parents interact with their children during the first three years of life. As documented in the book, one of the biggest factors that influences the future success of these children is the amount of time their parents spend reading to them. This early exposure to reading pays incredibly large dividends toward their future readiness and success in school. I believe this same early exposure can transfer from toddlers to teachers. We need to improve the connection between research and practice, and this connection needs to be instilled early.
I believe in starting at inception as well, and inception for teachers begins during their pre-service college experience. I hope to find ways to help teachers utilize and improve their pedagogical content knowledge. If norms can be created with pre-service teachers that help them link ideas from research to facilitating their success in the classroom, then it is possible that research can become a regular resource for problem solving. Simply put, I realize the benefit of research in education and I am ready to start building the bridge.Do you like this story?
Relevant pages for Phd
IIT Ph.D Admissions 2012 | IIT Gandhinagar Ph.D Admissions 2012 | IIT Ph.D Admissions | Ph.D Admissi
.. IIT Gandhinagar Invites Application for Ph.D Program Follow @minglebox.. .. IIT Gandhinagar Invites Application for Ph.D.. ..), Gandhinagar for admission into Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D..
.. Medical Course Guide Top Medical Colleges Exams Other Medicine > Ph.D. - Other Ph.D.. ... Institutes Offering Ph.D. - Other Ph.D Courses All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) - Ph.D.. ... - Audiology All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) - Ph.D..
RRCAT, Indore Invites Applications for Ph.D Program | RRCAT PhD admissions | RRCAT PhD 2012 eligibil
.. for Ph.D Program Follow @minglebox RRCAT, Indore Invites Applications for Ph.D.. .. Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore for Ph.D program for the academic year 2012.. ..: The selection of the students for the Ph.D..
RMRIMS Patna invites application for PhD program | RMRIMS | RMRIMS PhD Program| RMRIMS PhD program 2
..: Home Education News Admission Notices RMRIMS Patna invites application for PhD program Follow @minglebox.. .. RMRIMS Patna invites application for PhD program Published On.. .. Institute of Medical Sciences for admissions to Ph.D..
CSMMU Admission 2012 | CSMMU MD PhD | CSMMU Admission for MD PhD | CSMMU MD PhD Admission | CSMMU Ad
..: CSMMU Admission 2012 , CSMMU MD PhD , CSMMU Admission for MD PhD , CSMMU MD.. .. PhD Admission , CSMMU Admissions , 2012 Admission for CSMMU Tweet Add Comment Do you like this story.. ..? Enter the letters shown below: Relevant pages for CSMMU Admission 2012 CSMMU Admission 2012 | CSMMU MD PhD..
.. | IISER 2012 admissions | Integrated PhD eligibility.. .. following national examinations: General: IISc, Integrated PhD entrance test; JAM of IIT.. ..: NBHM MSc fellowship or NBHM PhD fellowship..
IISER Mohali Invites Applications for PhD Program | IISER | IISER 2012 admissions | IISER 2012 PhD a
..: Home Education News Admission Notices IISER Mohali Invites Applications for PhD Program Follow @minglebox.. .. IISER Mohali Invites Applications for PhD Program Published On.. .. “Application for PhD Program August 2012, Admissions Coordinator/Dean Academics..
..: NMIMS SBM Admission 2012 , NMIMS SBM Ph.D Management , NMIMS SBM Admission for Ph.D.. .. 2012 NMIMS SBM Admission 2012 | NMIMS SBM Ph.D Management | NMIMS SBM Admission for Ph.D.. .... .. 2012 NMIMS SBM Admission 2012 | NMIMS SBM Ph.D Management | NMIMS SBM Admission for Ph..
RRI Admission 2012 | RRI PhD Admission | RRI Admission for PhD | RRI Bangalore Admission | 2012 Admi
... Selection Procedure for RRI : The selection of the candidates for the PhD.. .., please visit official website. Tags: RRI Admission 2012 , RRI PhD Admission.. .. , RRI Admission for PhD , RRI Bangalore Admission , 2012 Admission for RRI..
SNBNCBS Admission 2012 | SNBNCBS Ph.D Admission | SNBNCBS Admission for Ph.D | SNBNCBS Admission for
.. SNBNCBS Invites Applications for Ph.D Programs Published On.. ...N.Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS) for Ph.D Programs for the commencing year 2012.. ... Institute is providing applications for both integrated Ph.D..
Study Abroad Colleges/Universities
No results? Submit your query and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
You may also like to read
Related Question and Answer