The AOUG Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel Award for Education and Language Studies
2014 recipient Mark Mukorera
The 2014 Award winner was Mark Mukorera for “Exploring the influence of Zimbabwean teachers and learners”. He was introduced by Mike Solly. The study investigated the influence of teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards the national language-in-education policy of using English as a medium of instruction on language use in primary classrooms in Zimbabwe.
Mark came to the United Kingdom in 2003 and taught in various schools around Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire. He looked around and applied to several universities but none had Master in Education programmes that had a strong research element. He met a group of Zimbabwean parents and brought up the issue of children’s language development. One of the parents advised him to check with the OU. He was attracted to the OU programme because it gave him the freedom to choose modules that suited him and work at his own pace, but it also provided opportunities to meet professionals from varied backgrounds in terms of professions and locations across the world.
When he was doing the literature review for the masters programme, he started looking at what other OU postgraduate programmes might have to offer. The EdD allowed him to critically examine his own practice while at the same honing his research and academic skills. Residential weekend schools were particularly attractive, as they provided a sheltered environment for testing out ideas and making presentations in front of critical friends. As in the masters programme, he was amazed by the cross-section of professionals who opted to do the EdD.