Parker Goyer (MSc Comparative and International Education)

Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford

I came to Oxford after receiving a Rhodes Scholarship. Previously I was in my first year of the doctoral program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I plan to return following the completion of my time at Oxford. In the fall of 2007, after graduating from Duke University the previous May, I founded a program called Coach for College, which uses sports-learning summer programs to enhance the academic and life outcomes of disadvantaged youth in rural parts of developing countries, taught by college and high school student role models. Summer 2010 will mark the third year of the program. My academic research centers around the effectiveness of this program in changing students’ educational expectations and conceptions of their educational futures. My academic background is in psychology and neuroscience.

What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education ?

I have enjoyed getting to know the other students in the program, who come from a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds and have interesting perspectives to offer. From an academic perspective, there is freedom to read widely on topics that interest you in your program and to pursue a substantial piece of research concerning a topic of your own choice.

What attracted you to the programme of study here?

No other university seemed to offer a similar program in comparative and international education, which offered the opportunity to learn about the field both theoretically and practically through lectures, guest speakers, conferences, seminars, and fieldwork. In addition, the scholarship I received was specific to study at Oxford. I had heard wonderful things about Oxford and the college system.

What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?

Willingness to take initiative, desire to expand your capacity, ability to think independently and take responsibility for your own learning, open-mindedness and ability to appreciate a wide range of perspectives

We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?

Coming from the United States, I enjoyed the exposure to graduate study in another country. The supportive nature of the Department and classmates makes learning enjoyable. You are given wide freedom to read and research a topic of direct interest and relevance to you through the dissertation. The meetings with supervisors afford a unique opportunity to learn closely from esteemed professors.
What are your career ambitions after you complete the course?

Generally speaking, my career ambition is to be a social entrepreneur. I seek to make Coach for College, the program I currently direct, into a multi-national non profit organization with sites in several developing countries throughout the world involving college student-athletes from across the United States. In the immediate future I will complete an MBA at the Said School of Business and then return to Harvard to complete my doctorate.

If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would….

Think more deeply about how development interacts with education systems and use this thinking to inform my actions in seeking to help others who are less fortunate

What are three things that you might suggest to students coming after you to help them get the most out of their time here?

  • Try to have a well-conceived idea of what you want to write your dissertation about before coming to the course, so you can begin work on the dissertation immediately when you arrive
  • Know how the course and particular topics within the course fit into your larger goals and life plans
  • Get to know one or more professors well and seek their advice on the best way to pursue academic and life interests

Please add anything else you would like to say

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn about comparative and international education with the Department and think the knowledge I have gained will help me greatly as I refine the design and implementation of the Coach for College program

Page last modified: March 8, 2014