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31/10/20222022/10/31

MA Student Story: This degree has enabled me to reflect upon teaching in a broader perspective教育硕士(教与学)学生分享:这个项目使我得以从一个更宏观的角度去审视教学

MA Student Story: This project has enabled me to reflect upon teaching in a broader perspective

The Master of Education (Teaching and Learning) program, created by the University of Buckingham, has invited a team of top experts to be responsible for the development, delivery and evaluation of elective course modules. Among them are professors from Cambridge, Durham, Tübingen, representatives of professional educational institutions, and even top education experts who advise the British government. Depending on past qualifications, it takes one and a half to three years to complete the degree.

Recently, we interviewed a student studying the program, Teacher Yu Shunji (Fisher). Fisher is currently teaching biology in a bilingual school. This is his fifth year of teaching, and his second as a student in the MA Education (Teaching & Learning) program. Find out more about Fisher’s story in his recent interview with BISE.  
 



"I think teachers are life-long learners. In addition to the usual teaching and research in school, I also want to understand the concepts, methods and practice of European and American countries in a more systematic manner, to improve myself further as a teacher. There are six modules in this programme. All strongly relate to classroom practice and pedagogy. Its study has benefited my teaching greatly so far.”

 

BISE: Please introduce yourself, your career so far and why you chose this course.
Fisher:
 My maths teacher in grade 7 had a big influence on me. It was his guidance and encouragement that made me, who failed often at the subject, become one of the top five students in all of grade 7. I deeply feel that the interaction between teachers and students has a great influence on students’ learning. Therefore, I wished to become a teacher one day, to be a role model who can also inspire others. I majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for my Master's degree in Fudan (University). After some brief work experience in a government agency, I felt that my desire to be a teacher was getting stronger. When Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science (previously Wuxi Nanwai King International School) started to recruit back in 2018, I became a biology teacher there. Earlier this year, I returned to Shanghai and I am currently working in a bilingual school as a high school biology teacher.

 

BISE: Why did you choose the Master of Education (Teaching and Learning) out of the 13 programmes we’re offering? Fisher: For young teachers like me, each and every lesson requires careful planning. The design of a lesson reflects your thoughts on teaching. To get the key points and challenging parts across in a way that students can understand, while at the same time, making the lesson lively and interesting, this is no easy task. It requires thinking and additional learning. I wanted to understand the concepts, methods and practice of European and American nations in a more systematic manner. There are six modules in this programme. All strongly relate to classroom practice and pedagogy. Its study has benefited my teaching greatly so far.

I considered the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) as well. But in my opinion, the MA program is not only just as closely integrated in practical terms as the PGCE is, but also richer in course content and theories. This programme suits my needs better.



"The modules require students to form study groups and communicate regularly. I have a team of three. One teaches in an international high school in Beijing, and the other is a PE teacher in London. We e-meet once every two weeks. I find it very inspiring. Teachers from different disciplines bring fresh perspectives.”

BISE: Something special about this programme is the involvement of outside top-tier experts in the development and delivery of elective course modules. Which modules have you selected so far?
Fisher:
I have completed two modules, and I am currently studying the third one. I chose the module The Science of learning. The module explores how to make learning more effective. Not only effective, but efficient. For example, I teach 9th and 10th grade biology. Students study for two years, and then take a global exam. I have learned a lot of theory and practice in this module on how to help students remember what they’ve learnt and improve the effectiveness of their learning.

I also selected the module Classroom Behavior Management. This topic is huge, and the module leader tries to explore the issue through multiple perspectives, social psychology, children's psychological development and pedagogy. We try our best to manage classroom behavior while ensuring that students can express themselves. In this module, I learned a variety of methodologies and a lot of theories. Although it only took 3 months to complete this module, I did a lot of assigned reading during the process. This has helped me develop a broader perspective on this issue.

The module I'm currently doing is Effective Assessment. I received traditional public education in China. During my primary and secondary education, teachers simply gave grades to assess a student’ s performance. Maybe teachers of liberal arts will give some written comments, but others often give a score and that’s it! In the past, I thought mistakes were just mistakes, but now I want to analyze the reasons behind them. There are only two reasons for giving the wrong answers in my perspective, either you don’t understand the knowledge behind it, or you didn’t understand what the question means. Mistakes should be dealt with differently to really help students improve their learning.

The modules require students to form study groups and communicate regularly. I have a team of three. One teaches in an international high school in Beijing, and the other is a PE teacher in London. We e-meet once in every two weeks. I find it very inspiring. Teachers from different disciplines bring fresh perspectives.



"Most teachers teach following the arrangements of textbooks, but this programme enables me to jump out of the box of daily teaching and examine from a broader perspective whether there is a better way to improve the effectiveness of my teaching."

BISE: Which course module do you like the best? Why?
Fisher:
All modules have greatly benefitted my teaching. But personally, I prefer modules that are more evidence-based and more closely integrated with practice, such as the Science of learning module. The module is highly-structured, and each class will assign you a task, tell you what to do and give you chances to reflect upon your own practice. I'm a bit socially phobic, but the module requires me to step out of my comfort zone and communicate with colleagues and leaders in order to make change happen.

When we learnt Content Sequencing, I found that when students studied Digestion, the order of content in the textbook should be changed to make learning easier.  I talked to my colleagues about the necessity of changing the order and the best way to do it. I also won the approval of the subject leader of the school. In the end, this change in the order of textbook content was applied to classrooms throughout the whole school. I’m thrilled to see that students' understanding of ‘Digestion’ was improved, compared to that of the previous cohort!

You see, most teachers teach following the arrangements of textbooks, but this programme enables me to jump out of the box of daily teaching and examine from a broader perspective, searching for a better way to improve the effectiveness of my teaching.



"If a member of the Senior Leadership Team studies this programme, it will not only improve one teacher’s classroom practice, but better the teaching quality of the whole school."


BISE: The programme is for on-the-job teachers, which means balance of work, study and even family must be achieved. How do you feel about this so far?
Fisher:
Modules are different. For example, I started to study the Classroom Behavior Management module in April this year. In May, the IGCSE exam began. As the end of term approached and other school obligations started, I became very busy, so I took May and June off. All coursework was done later in July, during my summer vacation. This reflects the flexibility of the programme. For some modules, you can be quite self-paced, and for others, team members will drag me along with them when I’m preoccupied with work. From my perspective, the university's support team is also very efficient. Be it a technical problem or confusion about studies, there is a dedicated person to get in contact with. My emails are replied within 24+7 (China-UK time difference) hours.

BISE: Further plans after graduation?
Fisher:
 I chose this programme to become a better teacher. It exceeds my expectation in my so many ways. Sometimes, what I have learnt from it can be shared with students directly as we’re all learners, and even shared with parents. As for the future, I certainly have a plan to pursue an EdD in 5-10 years’ time.

BISE: What tips would you give to teachers who are also exploring training opportunities? Who else do you think should take the programme?
Fisher:
I believe this program is suitable for teachers who have a couple of years of work experience, leaders of teaching affairs and even members of the Senior Leadership Team. If a member of the SLT studies this programme, it will not only improve one teacher’s classroom practice, but better the teaching quality of the whole school.
 

英国白金汉大学倾力打造的教育硕士(教与学)项目邀请到了来自相关领域的顶尖专家团队负责各个相对独立课程模块的研发、教学和评估。他们当中有来自剑桥、杜伦,蒂宾根大学的教授、有专业教育产品研发机构的代表,甚至为英国政府建言的顶尖教育专家。根据每个申请者是否有可以抵减的学分,完成整个硕士学位的学习大约需要一年半到三年的时间。

近日,我们访问了就读该项目的中国籍学生,从事双语学校生物学科教学的余顺吉(Fisher)老师。这是余老师从事双语教学的第五个年头,也是他就读该项目的第二年。相信余老师的故事也会对您有所启发。

 


“我认为教师是Life-long learners,除了平时科研组里的教研,我还想更系统地了解欧美国家的制度、理念、实操的方式方法。这个项目有六个模块,内容丰富,紧密联系实操,学习至今让我受益匪浅。”

BISE: 请介绍一下您自己,您到目前为止的职业生涯。
余顺吉:我是接受公立教育长大的,我七年级的数学老师对我影响很深,是他的循循善诱和鼓励,使得六年级时还经常挂科的我成为该科目的年级前五。我从个人经历中深刻地感觉到老师和学生之间的互动对学习效果的极大影响。也因此,我一直有个愿望想成为老师,成为同样能够影响和激励别人的榜样。我在复旦读的硕士专业是生物化学和分子生物学。之后有过短暂的机关单位的工作经验,感觉自己想做老师的愿望越来越强烈。所以作为建校员工之一,加入无锡狄邦文理学校(原无锡南外国王国际学校),任生物老师,兼初中部协调员、年级组长。今年上半年,我回到上海,目前在一家双语学校工作,任高中生物老师兼班主任。

BISE: 我们提供的职业发展项目很多,为什么您最终选择教育硕士(教与学)项目?
余顺吉:台上一分钟,台下十年功,我想对于像我一样的青年教师来说,备课是门大学问。课堂的设计体现着你的教学思路、如何把难点和重点通过学生能够理解的方式教授出来,并力图让课堂活泼有趣。这需要独立思考,更需要学习。在学校,领导、校长也都在持续地学习,读硕士、读博士、有的为了对学生有更多了解,去攻读心理学。在我看来,教师一定是Life-long learners,除了平时教研的内容,我想更系统地了解欧美国家的教育制度、理念、实操的方式方法,提升自己的教学水平。我也考虑过进修教师资格研究生证书课程(Postgraduate Certificate of Education,PGCE),但是教育硕士(教与学)项目不仅与实操紧密结合,课程内容也更加丰富,一共有六个可选的课程模块,虽然也需要用更长一点的时间来承载和学习这些内容。我发现这个项目更适合我的需求。


“模块要求同一期的学生组成学习小组,定期研讨。我有两个小伙伴,一个是在北京一所国际高中教书的老师,另一个是在伦敦教体育的老师。我们固定每两周开一次研讨会,一个小时左右。我发现不同学科,视角不同,这对我非常有启发!

BISE: 我们知道,这个项目的特殊之处是邀请了很多校外的专家、机构来向学生们教授相对独立的课程模块。您目前选了哪几个模块?是否符合您的预期? 
余顺吉:就读该项目一年以来,我已经完成了两个模块,目前正在进行第三个模块的学习。我选了“什么是学习(The Science of Learning)”模块。可以说这个模块从元认知出发、探索如何让学习更有效、不仅需要有效,更要高效。这很重要。比如我教授九、十年级的生物,学习两年,然后学生会参加全球考试。如何让学生减少遗忘、提高学习效果和效率,我在这个模块中学到了很多理论和实操。

我也选了课堂“行为管理(Classroom Behavior Management)”模块。这个主题很庞大,模块主持人从多个角度入手,从社会心理学、儿童心理发展学、教育学去讲解。西方人觉得课堂管控、维持、可能有点“反人性”,力图探索如何让学生更好表现自己。所以在这个模块中学到了各式各样的方法,很多很多理论,虽然只需要3个月的时间完成这个模块,在这过程中我集中阅读了大概五六十篇文献,这使得我对于这个问题的理解有了多元的角度。

我目前在读的模块是“有效评估(Effective Assessment)”。虽然学习时间不长,但是已经对我颇有启发。我从小接受的是传统的公立教育,评估给分数、给等第。可能文科老师,比如语文老师会给予一些评语,但是理科老师往往给一个分数或等第就结束了。以前批作业,错就是错,但是现在我要分析原因。答错题无外乎两个原因,或者对知识的认识有误解,或者没读懂题目的意思。不同原因要采取不同的对应措施。分数或成绩只是竞争力的表现、不是得了一个A或者A* 就ok了,更多地希望学生通过评估激发学生更好地学习、超越自己。

这三个模块中的两个要求同一期的学生组成学习分享小组,定期研讨。我的两个小伙伴,一个是在北京一所国际高中教书的老师,另一个是在伦敦教体育的老师。我们固定每两周开一次教学研讨会,一个小时左右。我发现不同学科,视角不同,这对我非常有启发。


“老师们大多会按部就班地按照教材顺序授课,而这个项目让我跳出每日教学,从一个更宏观的角度去审视是不是有更好的方式方法,提升教学效果。”

BISE: 您最喜欢哪个课程模块?为什么? 
余顺吉:所有模块都受益匪浅。但我个人更喜欢重循证、与实操更紧密结合的模块。比如“什么是学习(The Science of Learning)”模块。课程高度结构化,每一节课都会给出一个task,告诉你去做什么,反思自己的实操。我其实有点“社恐”,但是课程要求我走出舒适区,跟同事、领导沟通,以完成我的task。结果往往令人惊喜。

我记得当时有个任务是去审视科目教材的主题顺序,按照教学主题来调整教材内容的顺序,把它变得合理。我发现有关“消化”主题的教学顺序的确存在着不利于学生理解的部分,我就找到同事讨论,调整顺序是否可行?优化顺序方案应该如何?理由是什么?同时,我也征得了初高中学科带头人的认同,最终修改了学科教学的long-term plan。新方案实施后,我们发现学生对知识的理解的确比前一届更好了!

老师们大多会按部就班地按照教材顺序授课,这个项目让我跳出每日教学,从一个更宏观的角度去审视是不是有更好的方式方法,提升教学效果。


“如果教研组长或学校中层来读这个项目,不止能实现个人层面的提升,更能将整个学校的教学质量明显地提高。”

BISE: 这是一个在职的硕士项目,这也就意味着在工作和学习甚至家庭之间需要有一个平衡。时间和精力分配方面,您有什么心得? 
余顺吉:
每个模块的要求不同。比如我是在今年四月开始课堂行为管理模块的学习,五月IGCSE就开始大考、加上后面的期末和学校的各类projects,我变得非常非常的忙碌,所以我就把五六月份的内容挪到假期的七月里面来catch up。这可能也是项目弹性的一个体现,对于有的模块你可以完全self-paced, 有的模块会有小伙伴拉着我一起完成。比如我之前提到的“什么是学习”模块,我会保证工作日每天一个小时的学习时间。

大学的支持团队也非常高效,无论是技术性问题还是学习方面的问题都有专人对接,我的邮件一定会在24+7(中英时差)小时内有回复。技术问题就直接解决掉了。在我看来,一切都是很顺畅的。

BISE: 未来毕业后有什么进一步的计划吗?
余顺吉:
读这个项目的目的,是希望提升教学水平。更好地帮助学生。其实学习中有关学习规律的建议,作为老师很受用,也可以帮到学生,甚至家长。未来有可能考虑继续进修博士,但是那可能是未来五到十年的计划。

BISE: 对于那些目前也在寻找教育项目的教育界同僚?您有什么建议?
余顺吉:
我觉得这个项目适合已经有几年工作经验的老师、教研组长、中层来读。如果学校中层来读,不止能实现个人层面的提升,更能将整个学校的教学质量明显地提高。


更多项目信息及活动预告,请关注英国白金汉国际教育学院微信公众号Buckingham_Intl,或联系我们驻北京招生官Tracy Yang [email protected]/+86 153 1198 0087(微信同号)。

 

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Buckingham International School of Education - Training Teachers Across The World

白金汉大学国际教育学院 - 培养面向世界的教师