10th September 2010
Chinese masters student gives new perspectives on learning
A Chinese student from the University of Sheffield has been contributing fresh insights into the curriculum in Sheffield as part of an innovative Knowledge Transfer project.
Duman, a student from the School of Education, worked with the Development Education Centre contributing to their Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) strategy. SEAL is implemented in primary schools across the UK to support the development of children’s social, emotional and behavioural skills.
The Centre’s charter aims to provide a stronger global dimension for educational practices like SEAL. During a 12-week Student Engagement Project, Duman has worked with colleagues at the Centre to offer critical and valuable insights to understanding SEAL from a non-Western perspective. Duman is studying for an MA in Globalising Education which focuses on the implications of globalisation for educational research, policy and practice.
The second phase of the studentship saw Duman working with two local primary schools and one local secondary school. This work involved assisting pupils from middle and East Asian communities in the city helping them with their transition from primary to secondary school. In this activity Duman applied her knowledge and skills, with special attention being paid to students’ cultural identities and how these are understood and engaged across educational contexts.
The Student Engagement Project, which is funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund through the Student Engagement in Knowledge Transfer scheme, supported collaboration between the University and the Development Education Centre (South Yorkshire). Director of the MA, Dr Tim Corcoran said the Project had opened discussion regarding potential future collaborations and created the opportunity for community engagement on a global scale.
Duman said: “The placement was fabulous! I had the opportunity to work with local schools and apply my learned knowledge from the MA programme to real educational work. It makes my studying in the UK as an international student more colourful and practical. I also found the topics really interesting as we were working on a global poverty curriculum in which we hope students can understand what poverty means, how poverty affects people's lives and national policy and the global justice issues. This working experience will also help a lot with my future career because I will work as an educator in China after graduation.”
Rob Unwin, from the Development Education Centre, South Yorkshire, said: "It has been so interesting talking to Duman about the nature and approach to education, both here and in China. Her lively interest and fresh perspectives have engaged both teachers and children in Sheffield schools."