Dr Martyn Rawson: a career in teaching

Martyn studied for his education doctorate at Plymouth whilst in full-time work

“Through the EdD programme I learned to become a critical researcher and this has given me a whole new dimension to my already extensive professional experience. I now teach others to research – perhaps I should say, I try to inspire other practitioners to research.”

Dr Martyn Rawson graduated from EdD Education in 2018 and is currently working as a Senior Lecturer at Waldorfseminar Kiel, Germany, Freie Hochschule Stuttgart in Kiel, Northern Germany.

This is Martyn's story

Choosing Plymouth

I did both my masters and doctorate at Plymouth, for two reasons. The first reason was that I needed the qualification professionally and secondly, both degrees offered me the opportunity to learn to do research in my practice, since both degrees were practice-based. In both cases I had excellent tutors and every opportunity to learn at the level I was at – or actually at a level always just above where I was at, which is essential. 

With my masters and doctorate I was able to teach on a masters programme in Germany, which was very important for my career.

Following my involvement in the IMP (international masters programme) I knew many of the colleagues on the EdD programme and that was decisive because these are some very capable and supportive people.

Of the various services on offer, the only one I needed was the library, which from day one provided me with every support I needed. This is a fantastic service, especially for anyone not on campus, as I wasn’t. Academically I was extremely well-prepared. The quality and variety of the staff was inspiring. In the end its about people being enabled to do a good job. As long the University enables these highly skilled people to do what they are good at, their impact on the students will be beneficial. Quality requires time and space and encouragement, then people will go the extra mile, which is rewarding for all concerned.

I did my education doctorate whilst in full-time work, teaching at a Waldorf (Steiner) school and being a senior lecturer and associate professor at a teacher education institute. So after graduating I continued working. Nothing has significantly changed in my professional work, except of course at the academic level, where having a doctorate qualifies me in the full sense of the word to publish research.



Each situation affords different challenges and opportunities. One never knows in advance what is beneficial and what limits and hinders until you encounter things. If I go back to my undergraduate days, I would hope that I was older and more mature than I actually was and then I would have learned at a different level – but then I might not have had the experiences I had, that also made me who I am. I believe continuing professional development, especially at an academic level, contributes enormously to lifelong learning and makes me a far more valuable resource to those around me professionally.


Career highlights

Over my long career in teaching I have had many highlights but the most rewarding experience all along has been experiencing how children and young people learn, grow and develop. I can hardly imagine a more rewarding work especially in the sector in which I work, which is outside of the maintained sector, largely free of the restrictions and prescriptions that rule teachers’ lives within the state sector. 

I was able to found and develop a school (the York Steiner School), develop teaching programmes, carry out interesting projects, be innovative, support new teachers, work with amazing students and their interesting parents. I have been able to shape curriculum and develop policies, design and implement teacher education programmes and travel the world and work with colleagues in a mutually inspiring way. I regularly visit India, China, Taiwan, South Africa, and many countries in Europe as a Steiner teacher, advisor and teacher educator. And I participate in a number of research projects. Research in pedagogical practice is always interesting and challenging. 

Follow in Martyn's footsteps

If you are responsible for leading learning in your organisation, whether it’s a school, college, HE institution or as an educator in the public or private sector, this doctoral level programme is a fantastic opportunity to study education at a deep level and relate this back to your own practice. 

The EdD will help you expand your knowledge and understanding of how education works and allow you to transform your own practice.

Study EdD Education