Teaching Fellow, University of Waikato - Hamilton, New Zealand
- Master of Education
Originally from Christchurch, for the past ten years Phillipa Cosgriff has been a teacher at St Columba’s Catholic School in Hamilton. As part of her role, Phillipa mentored student teachers from the University of Waikato, and was impressed with their knowledge of new theories of teacher practice, and their beliefs about teaching and learning.
Growing slightly frustrated by her own lack of up-to-date research knowledge, Phillipa was inspired to progress her own learning, and enrolled in a Master of Education at the University of Waikato. “I wanted to improve my capacity to mentor the student teachers working in my classroom.”
The degree had the flexibility to allow Phillipa to study part-time while continuing to teach, and to “take papers based on their relevance for what I was focusing on at school.” There were challenges with juggling study and work, but with the support of her school and the University, Phillipa completed her Masters in 2017.
“One of my highlights was the opportunity to have thought-provoking discussions with other students – hearing the experiences of others was so interesting.”
She found her studies so valuable in enhancing her teaching practice that after graduating, she continued in a Postgraduate Diploma to enable her to complete more papers to support her professional development.
Her achievements in education have opened new doors, with Phillipa recently taking up a new role as a Teaching Fellow at the University. She has now embarked on a PhD to continue her research into the ways in which mentors and associate teachers view their role in supporting student teachers.