Patrick Pennefather

"Commit to what you want to investigate and also be open to refining what that is. Never forget your original impulse to study in the first place."

Graduated: 2017

Program/Degree: Educational Technology & Learning Design, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

After working for several years as a faculty member at a unique Master degree program (MDM Program) I wanted to ground my practice in theory while developing the foundational theory through previous research to support the project-based learning environment that I was passionate about improving.

Please tell us how you first discovered your program.

Recommended by a current grad student at the time.

Please tell us why you chose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies.

To improve my teaching practice and integrate research into that practice.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and why?

Cheryl Amundsen was great at challenging me to develop my own scholarly voice. She did so by constantly asking me to simplify overly complicated concepts. She was also supportive of my intention to draw from Action Research traditions in order to support research WITH colleagues and learners at the MDM Program.

What do you miss most about your graduate studies in the Faculty of Education?

The regular interaction with my cohort and the persistent challenge of articulating my ideas and supporting them with previous learning theories and research.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school in the Faculty of Education?

Commit to what you want to investigate and also be open to refining what that is. Never forget your original impulse to study in the first place.

Is there anything else you wish to share?

Beyond the materials I learned in the courses, what was most important was relating these to my own pursuits, in addition to documenting my reflection on how previous theories of learning, instructional models and research related to my own research interests.