I am a tenured professor in the field of education (learning sciences). I have been employed at my current university for six years now. Most of my research has been done in classrooms, researching the effects of instructional strategies on student achievement.
As I have been out in many different schools in different cultures and countries, I started to develop a new interest in the effect of physical environment on the behavior of students. Later I found out that the field is called environmental psychology and I am just so intrigued by the idea that school architecture and interior design can have impact on behaviors of students.
It has been about a year since I first started to feel passionate about the field. Now I am searching for graduate programs in the field. But giving up my current status and starting a new life as a graduate student requires a lot of courage. I have not heard of any professor who went for a second PhD degree in a different field. I don’t even know if they will let me in the program. I do feel like I can give up my current career for my passion in the new field.
Lots of people change their career during their lifetime. I have seen classroom teachers as old as fifty go back to university for a PhD. Why can’t a professor go back to school to change his/her field? But I guess I am afraid people will think I am crazy or that I might regret this later in my life. I am 40 years old, and I feel like perhaps this is my last chance for a field change. I would appreciate honest advice from other professionals in academia.