Why Am I Pursuing My Masters in Education Degree?
It has been 8 years since I graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) and while I truly embraced my undergrad degree with enthusiasm, I have already spotted how much more meaningful my schooling can and will be in this Masters program because of my life experiences over the last 8 years. I think the greatest benefit of returning back to school later in life is that everything I learn has meaning. Everything.
One of the main reasons I am pursuing my Masters in Education degree is to improve my work and expand my reach with The Deaf Dream organization. My whole focus in setting up this non-profit while at BYU was to sponsor the first Deaf college students in developing nations. I live, eat, and breathe education everyday! For this reason, much of my writing and reflection in this course has been focused on the issue of Deaf education and this course has been excellent for deepening my global perspective on education. Each of the themes, issues, and philosophies we discussed have great impact on the students The Deaf Dream sponsors in Ghana, Rwanda, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Sudan. What we studied is real to me and not simply classwork.
4 Course Readings Helpful for The Deaf Dream:
World Bank. (2018). The World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education’s Promise. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28340
UNESCO. (2014). Advocacy Toolkit for Teachers to Provide a Quality Education. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002299/229954e.pdf
Curtis, M. (2009). A world of discrimination: minorities, indigenous peoples and education. [PDF]. In P. Taneja (Ed.) State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009. Retrieved from https://minorityrights.org/wp-content/uploads/old-site-downloads/download-655-A-world-of-discrimination.pdf
Wiseman, A. (2013, April). Human Rights: Frieres (sic) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Part 1 and 2. Retrieved September 21, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yQgvEjACuQ
This course also nurtured my love for teaching. I have not been a full-time teacher in the past and do not see myself teaching full-time in the future (for a variety of reasons), but I felt that nearly everything we learned in this course helped me fine-tune elements of my teaching methods as well as, most importantly, broadened my understanding of the challenges my students are facing. I especially felt that the educational philosophy self-assessments helped me identify and define my own philosophy. I think more than anything, what I got out of this course was the opportunity to hone ideas that have been incubating in my mind, specifically in regards to minority language rights in the classroom. I especially enjoyed the portfolio assignments as I was able to apply everything that I was learning directly to my teaching goals and the opportunity to create resources for my future students.
4 Course Readings Helpful for Teaching Goals:
Cohen, L. M. (1999). Educational Philosophies Self-Assessment. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/selfassessment.html
Amidon, J., Monroe, A., & Ortwein, M. (n.d.). Progressive Education. Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner. Retrieved September 2020, from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/teachereducationx92x1/chapter/progressive-education/
Western Governors University. (2020, July 21). What is humanistic learning theory in education? (2020, July 21). Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.wgu.edu/blog/what-humanistic-learning-theory-education2007.html
Choi, A. (2015, December 22). What the best education systems are doing right. October, 16, 2020 from https://ideas.ted.com/what-the-best-education-systems-are-doing-right/
Finally, I have found that this course has helped me in my efforts to create helpful resources for people in various hard circumstances. For example, I have been working on a book for some time called “Teaching Intelligences: Applying the Multiple Intelligence Theory to Gospel Learning at Home and at Church.” It was not until this course that I realized how much my actual coursework with University of the People can help me move forward in my writings, specifically in regards to the Multiple Intelligence theory. It was not until now that I realized that my courses may guide me to resources that I can share with my readers.
3 Course Readings Helpful for Creating Resources
Soltis, J. F. (n.d.). John Dewey (1859–1952) - Experience and Reflective Thinking, Learning, School and Life, Democracy and Education. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1914/Dewey-John-1859-1952.html
IB Learner Profile. (2013). Retrieved September 03, 2020, from https://www.ibo.org/contentassets/fd82f70643ef4086b7d3f292cc214962/learner-profile-en.pdf
Global Education Monitoring Report. (2015, April 15). Report cards for Education for All: 2000-2015. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/report-cards-for-education-for-all-2000-2015/
A quote that resonates in my soul and inspires me to be a better teacher is this:
“The human spirit yearns for enlightenment. Whether truth comes from a scientific laboratory or by revelation from God, we seek it! The glory of God indeed is intelligence” (Nelson, 2012).
My religious beliefs are core to my being and the reason why I want to teach. A fundamental element of my beliefs is that God created our spiritual beings out of intelligence (The Pearl of Great Price, 2013, Abraham 3:22). We are encouraged to gain knowledge “by study and also by faith” (The Doctrine and Covenants, 2013, Section 88:118). And that “whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life...will rise with us in the resurrection” (D&C, 2013, Section 130:18). I believe that every person can learn because whether or not someone’s body and mind is limited by mortal circumstances, the spirit is able to learn without restriction (and that knowledge will be restored to us in the next life).
Whether we study history, science, philosophy, botany, linguistics, or accounting, I believe that education is much more than a way to make people productive members of society or even a fundamental human right. I believe it is the reason for life and central to our growth in this earth experience. As eternity will be made up of never-ending learning, I feel that teaching truly is a calling; a divine call to grow together in enlightenment and I feel honored to be able to take part.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (2013). Retrieved on October 23, 2020, from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/intelligence-intelligences
The Doctrine and Covenants [D&C]. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/88.118 (Original work published in 1835)
Nelson, R. M. (2012, November). Ask the Missionaries. They Can Help You. Liahona. Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/liahona/2012/11/saturday-morning-session/ask-the-missionaries-they-can-help-you