The chance to make lasting positive change in science education for children drew Shobhana Madhu to a PhD in Education.
I acquired my Master of Life Sciences in 2005. Then, after a break of 10 years, deep into motherhood and family, I decided to pursue my ambition and passion for research.
During this period, I assisted at my children’s school with classroom activities, which sparked my interest in teaching and education, so I approached RMIT with a proposal for research.
While I was unsure of my academic understanding in this area, RMIT opened up opportunities to venture into a new area of interest, and my supervisors encouraged me and guided the scope of my research. I was thrilled when I was offered a master degree by research, which I have since expanded into a PhD (Education).
Watching my two primary-school-aged children learn and develop in their early years at school has been a constant inspiration to conduct further research in primary school education.
Having pursued pure sciences earlier in my studies, I believe it is vital for students to learn critical thinking in science in their early years. This is the focus of my current research.
The academic staff in the School of Education have been extremely supportive. The Research Methods course was very helpful in organising and shaping my thoughts and ideas into well-focused research. The exposure to a diverse range of methodologies, through workshops and by talking to my peers has assisted me in becoming familiar with various research skills and tools. Interaction with supervisors and other academics has challenged me to think critically, while regular “milestone” presentations have improved my skills in writing and presenting my research developments.
I am looking forward to an academic career in science education research. I’m confident that my PhD and the work required to earn the degree will support me in this goal.