Deinah Enrile has been a Scholars Programme tutor since November 2021, and has run a total of 11 placements. Before she takes a break from tutoring and her studies for the foreseeable, Deinah kindly wrote to us about her experience tutoring on The Scholars Programme and how it has helped her PhD studies and professional development.
My name is Deinah Enrile, I am a third year PhD student studying at Liverpool John Moores University. My research area is exploring Education for Sustainability (EfS) within Early Childhood. I have led a total of 11 placements with the Brilliant Club and taught over 160 students, as a tutor on The Scholars Programme. This involved the creation of my very own course,
within the Social Sciences and Humanities area, which focused on sustainability and a breakdown of the three pillars (economic, environmental, and social). The tutorials explored how the three pillars are interconnected in nature, and we discussed and debated the associated complexities. The experience of creating my own handbook and module informed my own journey in my doctoral studies as I challenged myself to condense my topic area into detailed tutorial sessions, activities, and assignments for the students. I re-visited the literature while creating the handbook, and this led to further discussion in my PhD thesis.
There have been many pivotal moments throughout the placements, involving the students receiving their grades and feedback reports, seeing their faces when their challenging work has paid off made every moment worth it. Most recently, a group of students created a card and gift for me, they all signed it and expressed how grateful they were for my support. One of the students expressed how they never thought they would be able to pass the course in the first week, and towards the end were able to discuss, debate and critique the topic effectively and naturally. Seeing how their confidence increased weekly was heart-warming. Thus, tutoring the students has been wonderfully rewarding.
From a professional development perspective, the teaching experience I have gained from my participation in The Scholars Programme has been invaluable. I have had many opportunities to challenge myself as a teacher / tutor and take these learnings with me as I excel in my career. From a personal perspective, I have also learned a lot from the students. We have engaged in interesting and thought-provoking conversations and debates about sustainability, philosophy, and business ethics of which we did not always agree. These moments taught us all the importance of listening to one another and sharing our views respectfully.
I take with me, many new skills in the next phase of my doctoral studies. As an example, an area I have developed in has been assessment marking following The Brilliant Club’s criteria within the three principal areas: Critical Thinking, Written Communication and Subject Knowledge. Additionally, there have been times where students asked me questions that I did not have the immediate answers too. This heightened my awareness of constant questioning within my own PhD work, thinking about how others may interpret and want to know and understand more on certain areas.
Overall, I am proud of my work with The Brilliant Club in shaping the students of today for a better world. Some of the discussions and debates we engaged in made me question my own work and inspired me to re-visit certain chapters of my thesis. Students are full of curiosity, and it was my role as a tutor to create a safe space to learn and inspire, to which The Brilliant Club provided.