Breaking boundaries as writers and researchers, the challenges and rewards of completing an MA as a community of practice

Doris Adamu, Huong To Viet, Ke Chuhuai, Zhou Xuan, Trang Doan Hong, M James Underwood

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperpeer-review


This paper is a co-written paper by five postgraduate students at the University of Northampton and one lecturer who is also a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. In it we discuss how as a group of students we broke down barriers between ourselves as individuals to create a community of practice rather than a class. All of us are currently engaged in research that involves comparing aspects of education in the UK with another nation. In the case of five of the writers this is with the nation in which we grew up. We deliberately chose areas of study that were intertwined and negotiated our thesis titles with each other to ensure that the research would be mutually supportive. It has been this method of collective writing and of reflective data collection that has been particularly innovative and that we will be presenting in this paper. Although the individual dissertations will be submitted separately, this approach has enabled us to build emotional resilience, and to generate work of a greater depth than would otherwise have been possible. In this way this paper fits with the conference theme ‘many paths, same goal’. The paper opens with an extended metaphor linking research to cricket and specifically to the great West Indian cricket captain Clive Lloyd. Metaphors can open up new ways of thinking as this one did for us.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2015
EventKaleidoscope - Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …


Period1/01/08 → …
Internet address


  • MA education
  • community of practice
  • international students
  • co-writing
  • course design


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