Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith

Doctor of Education student
Master of Education

Kāi Tahu

Postgraduate study in education is stimulating, says Bradley Smith who initially came to AUT to study a Master of Education and is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Education.

“It forces you to think critically. There are opportunities to draw on your professional experience while learning to think like a researcher. By studying education, you have the opportunity to contribute to new knowledge and strengthen the education system.”

He says he first considered coming to AUT for his postgraduate study when he met some AUT education students during their teaching placements at his school.

“We had AUT students doing their practicum at the school where I was teaching, and they seemed to be enjoying their degree and spoke well of the university. I applied for my Master of Education at AUT, and was also fortunate to be awarded a scholarship to support teachers wanting to do further study.”

Taking the next step
Having now completed his Master of Education, Bradley says he decided to take on doctoral study to carry on the momentum from his master’s degree.

“I developed good study habits through my master’s degree, and saw an opportunity to transition from teaching in a primary classroom to working as an academic. I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to work as a research assistant for an AUT research project on reading for pleasure. It gave me a taste of what it would be like working as an academic. In the future, I hope to do more research and help schools develop their environmental education programmes.”

For his Doctor of Education research, he is building on his earlier research from his master’s degree. His doctoral research is supervised by Professor Jane Gilbert.

“My master’s research focused on the experience of children taking action for the environment in primary schools. My Doctor of Education research will look at the complexity of wetland environments and the diverse organisations that run education programmes.”

Feeling supported
Throughout his studies at AUT Bradley has been particularly impressed by the academic staff at the School of Education.

“The lecturers are personable, knowledgeable and professional. I felt particularly supported by my Master of Education supervisor Dr Adrian Schoone. When I heard him talk about the methodology he used for his research I was inspired by his use of poetic inquiry. I knew that would fit with what I wanted to do in my own research. Adrian encouraged and supported me, which gave me the self-belief I needed to succeed.”

He has also enjoyed meeting the other students in the postgraduate education programmes.

“They’re all education professionals from different parts of the education sector and they bring their own unique perspectives and experiences to their study.”

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