Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

Reasons Why I Want a Ph.D.

February 5, 2018

Woman pointing to sign that reads Got TalentWritten by: Erin Silcox, MA student in Curriculum & Instruction with a Literacy Endorsement

As a master’s student in the Curriculum and Instruction program, with a focus on Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming, I have learned a great deal about instructional practices that can transform the lives of my students. However, as I look ahead in my career, I have begun to consider pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction to continue digging into the problems (and identifying solutions!) for problems related to literacy education. Continuing on with my studies was a big decision for me. In this post, I share with you my reasons for why I believe a Ph.D. is best for me.

I want to be on the forefront of discovery in education.

Ever since I became a teacher, I’ve wanted to be on the forefront of discovery in education. In my current position, as the principal and one of three teachers at a residential treatment center, I seek to support my teachers in learning and applying effective instructional practices. Additionally, I devote my classroom time to trying out new instructional methods with my students. Through trial and error, effort and reflection, I find I have brilliant ideas and spectacular failures. Every small success, and every place I stumble, makes me want to dive deeper and do more. I want to know what will help my students grow, and I want to share that with other teachers. One aspect of education I would like to continue to experiment with is literacy. In particular, I want to investigate strategies for engaging struggling adolescent readers and writers through innovative methods. I want to continue to find and share ways to incorporate technology, play, elements of psychology, and student interest into effective literacy instruction.

I want to engage with my passions and creativity

Earning a Ph.D. would allow me to engage with my passions and creativity. I would get to teach the next generation of teachers and mentor their growth in and outside of the classroom. I would also have the opportunity to spearhead research in my field, shape the direction it takes, and contribute new knowledge that could help teachers and students worldwide. I am also an avid reader and writer. I recognize the power of literacy to transform lives. I want to pursue my passions with creativity, particularly in the field of literacy education.

In doing these things, I would get to utilize my creativity to solve problems I deeply care about. I’m passionate about leveling the playing field for students who have experienced the most difficult upbringings by finding what works for them, particularly in the area if literacy difficulties, be it technological, psychological, or logistical; I’m passionate about making schools fun, inviting, and supportive; and lastly, I’m passionate about fostering creativity and personal growth both for myself as well as teachers and students.

I want to have more freedom and satisfaction in my work

Earning a Ph.D. can open doors for me. It can allow me to shape the direction of my work and allow me to focus on what I believe to be of critical importance in education. I can have the space to tackle the problems I see students and teachers struggling with on a daily basis that I know are not being fully addressed.

As I wrote this post, I realized I’ve been kicking around the thought of earning my Ph.D. for awhile. I have been questioning what it will take to accomplish this goal, what it will mean for my future, and how I might make it happen. In thinking it through, I realized I am at another turning point in life. I’m sure the risk will be worth it, but risk is scary and security is comfortable. To bring closure to my considerations, I plan to apply for the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Literacy Education. First things first, I’ll spend this spring finishing my master’s!>

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon