I would like to share some information that has been a big help to me in my learning journey. I have even shared this with my 5th Grade class to motivate them to plan.
Two years ago, the opportunity arose through my school to study for a Master's degree. A colleague of mine pulled me aside and told me that if I were to set up my Master's in a certain way, I would have one third of the work for my future PhD done by the time I finished my Master's. I was not even thinking about a PhD back then, but am very much interested in 'killing two birds with one stone' whenever possible. This is an important skill I believe we need to teach our students too. For example, with different subjects, how by merging them we can do one assessment piece to cover a number of subjects. I hope that made sense but I mean much like the integrated units of study taught in the Queensland State curriculum cover Technology, English, The Arts, etc. and are all assessed in one project.
I started my Master's of Education in the Leading and Managing stream with the intent to become a principal. My colleague suggested I identify an area of interest and try to steer all my assignments towards this area. I chose the area of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Half way through my course, I decided to switch into what is called a Research Pathway, which is like a mini PhD. At the end of a Research Pathway, you write a short thesis of about 15,000 words. During this time, you are exposed to the ethics process before commencing research, you are introduced to different research methods and choose your own and you write a literature review and begin to identify lots of sources of information All this information can be used for your PhD. Bang! There goes another bird! The end goal would be to turn your PhD into a book always looking for that area that has not been written about yet.
I hope this saves time and money for somebody out there!