Being enrolled in the MS in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology program has truly added to my personal and professional growth. First of all, the program has allowed me to virtually meet many colleagues within the educational/psychology field. I have learned a lot from reading my colleagues discussions and opinions. The program has allowed me to organize my time better and become more responsible. For example, many personal plans were cancelled due to studying (which I have learned to appreciate).
As an elementary teacher, I normally used to refer Special Educational Needs students to the school’s SEN department. There is only so much you can do as a teacher! However, this program has helped me understand learning disabilities, developmental pathways, psychological disorders and much more. I’ve found the course material to be very useful when it comes to interventions and helping children. Now, I can hopefully utilize my new knowledge in the classroom. Most importantly, this program has taught me to become more sensitive towards the unique needs of children/adults.
Being an advocate of social change is important. “In many societies around the world, teachers are looked upon as the individuals who can help to bring about positive changes in the lives of people.” (Bourn, 2016, p. 63). Learning, global education and education development are closely related to personal and social change elements (Bourn, 2016). Studies suggest that teachers need to look beyond raising awareness of specific issues; they needs to encourage students to have their own voice, take action and promote their own unique skills to make a difference (Bourn, 2016). The MS program has taught me to create my own mission of social change to inspire children (students) to act in positive manners. I will try my best to be a social change agent within my classroom by fighting harmful stereotypes, applying theory/ evidence based information to practice, creating an anti-bias environment and educating ‘the whole child’, focusing on their social-emotional development in addition to their learning experiences. To contribute to social change, I must be knowledgeable about specific problems and the reasons contributing to those problems. To contribute to social change, I will try to allow students to practice how to think, instead of what to think.
Finally, one person who has truly offered their support during the entire program is my husband, Karim. Karim has offered much emotional support and encouragement during these 2 years, he also offered help and advice. These 2 years have passed by very quickly! He was truly patient and understanding while listening to many of my psychological analyses (many of them could be wrong I presume :D) . I dedicate my degree to him and ofcourse to all my colleagues and professors in the program who were supportive.
Bourn, D. (2016). Teachers as agents of social change. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning. 63-77. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303011794_Teachers_as_agents_of_social_change