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Sample Personal Statement for Education

This is a unique application by a unique applicant. If measured by the requirement as set in your programme description, that “the Master’s programme in Education at the University of XX provide opportunities for experienced teachers and others to study education at an advanced level”, I am afraid that I might not be qualified, because I am currently just a senior student. Yet I am a teacher in the proper sense of the word because I have important teaching experiences. Another factor that makes me unique is that, as an undergraduate, my academic career has not happened in the field of education but in business administration. Yet I am intensely interested in education and am determined to make it my career.

My motivation toward an advanced programme in education comes as a result of my unique undergraduate programme at XX College, XX University. The XX programme is jointly operated by XX and XX University, U.S.A and more than 20 instructors are all from the U.S., Canada and the UK. Teaching activities happen in an all-English environment and both the educational and administrative systems are American-styled. Therefore, even though I am in China, I have been receiving a typical western education and have been trained to follow western academic practices.

The XX programme has produced two important outcomes for me. It has first cultivated in me a special interest in learning English language, not in the way that most average Chinese college students do. Instead, I have aspired to attain a proficiency in English comparable to that of native speakers. Due to this special impetus, my mastery of English language has reached a level much beyond average Chinese students, which has qualified me as a teacher of English on and off campus. The second outcome is derived from the essence of business administration which I specialize in—as an applied academic discipline, business administration teaches students to exploit knowledge to practical purposes. Among countless extracurricular activities, I am most proud of my English teaching career and my management of various English training programmes.

My English teaching career started in 2002 when, together with a group of American teachers, I taught in a specialized children’s oral English summer training camp. So far, three camps have been run and I have much experience in children education. Early this year, I launched the Elite Language Training Center off campus, offering practical training programmes in oral English and test-oriented English to 400 students. Another 600 students received training in other languages. As programmes administrator, I was responsible for programme planning, organization as well as implementation. On campus, I have been appointed as class councilor to the first-year students in our College since 2003 while concomitantly teaching them College English. This year, I have also been appointed chief curriculum supervisor at our University’s International Language Training and Translation Center, where I concomitantly teach courses in American Oral English, English Vocabulary, and English Learning Methodology for Teenagers. My teaching experiences in fields other than English include teaching as lecturer at three local cosmetics companies, addressing such topics as market analysis, customer relationship, and consumer psychology.

Having developed those unique teaching experiences, I find myself irresistibly drawn to a career in teaching because it has allowed me to see important human values in it. By devising original teaching plans, careful selection of teaching materials, creative manipulation of classroom activities, appropriate choice effective teaching strategies, I can see how my ideas and innovative talents are transmuted into desired results. On the other hand, teaching is the most human-oriented profession for me because the teach-student interactivity is one of the most direct form of human communication. In helping my students improve their knowledge, I also undergo constant maturation in terms of my own teaching concepts and methodology. This reciprocity is what I value most and wish to study further as an important issue in the science of education.

An important way in which my study of business administration can contribute to my prospective programme in education is that I have learned quite a few courses in psychology and organizational behavior. Though they do not strictly belong to educational psychology, the underlying principles of human psychology are essentially the same—that human behavior is ultimately governed by their goals and motivation. This psychological knowledge would give me an important point of entry into the effective organization of teaching and learning activities for optimal pedagogical results. As a matter of fact, I have written two working papers related to psychology—one on the psychology of business negotiation and one on student management. In particular, the latter examines how students’ learning activities are related to their value orientations, student community life and campus events and how a proper management of student campus activities can contribute to the final scholastic performance of the students.

My important experience in English teaching and in managing English teaching programmes has led me to become concerned China’s educational industry. As a matter of fact, the concept of education as an industry is only a recent development in China. As China switches to the market economy, important changes in education have been taking place. Education at the college level is no longer financed by the government, more and more privately-funded institutions are being set up while numerous European educational institutions are either attracting a large number of Chinese students to go abroad or simply operating joint ventures in China. Education is no longer monopolized by the state or the government. Therefore, how to standardize the educational market and how to compete against their western counterparts will become a vital issues for Chinese educational institutions. As I enter my final year, I have chosen to discuss this issue in my thesis Commercial Operations in Chinese Educational Market, a thesis project that fuses my interest in education with my background in business administration.

China’s future educational enterprise will follow the paths of western education in at least two important aspects — internationalization and diversification. Educational internationalization currently happens only in a limited number of leading universities and major cities across China where students either pursue education abroad or receive western education through programmes operated by international education agencies. On the other hand, the social and economic development of the country call for the application of knowledge in all fields and on all levels. Public, private and international education has been made accessible to students through diverse channels. Education in present-day China is experiencing an unprecedented flowering and this makes it all the more necessary for me to do in-depth study in it.

I believe that such a study is possible only at XX. Your programme is flexible enough for participants to devise a course of study appropriate for their needs and interests. In addition to attendance at course sessions, participants are provided with a high level of personal supervision and guidance by experienced staff. Under your programme, I am most interested in studying two concentrations—Research in Second Language Education and Psychology & Education, both of which bear high relevance to my past background and experiences.

Apart from being a student of business administration, a teacher of English and administrator of various training programmes, I have assumed many other roles as an undergraduate—chairman of student union and a singer on a contract basis with a local television station. I believe I will continue to play many important roles in the future. But your programme will help me fulfill the role I am most interested in—a well-trained education specialist who makes unique contributions in the ever-expanding education industry of my home country.


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