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Sample Statement of Purpose for Education

It is my conviction that the meaning of life does not dwell in the length of time that one can live or the material abundance that one can acquire, but in the richness and the wonderfulness of life itself. With the increase of my age, many things in my life have changed. But one thing remains constant, that is, I will consistently insist on doing what I like to do and hope that my endeavors can be valuable to the life of others. I see this as the only way whereby I can realize the value of my life.

My undergraduate study focused on economics and I achieved remarkable scholastic performance in this field. My GPA is 3.44 (my GRE score is 2020 and TOEFL---- ). For four consecutive years of my undergraduate study, I received scholarships for my distinguished academic performance. Due to my equally prominent performance in extracurricular activities I was conferred on the Outstanding Student in Campus Activities. However, honestly speaking, my real interest lies not in economics, but in education. Ever since I was a primary school student, I had cherished a strong desire for a teaching career exemplified by my teachers. In the actual teaching career that I embarked on upon my graduating from university, I have become increasingly aware that the existing educational conditions in China are far from satisfactory. The backward teaching methodology and the prevailing pedagogical ideology have rendered Chinese education out of place with the modern international development in education. On the macro level, the current education theory and practice in China lag significantly behind advanced countries in the West. For instance, though education via the internet has achieved considerable development in past two years, in practical operation such education has more often than not deteriorated into an extended form of the conventional examination-oriented education instead of a really interactive process. In my personal experience, despite the fact that some of the problems that I have encountered in my teaching career can be solved by consulting relevant technical literature, I have found that the more serious flaws inherent in China's current educational system cannot be worked out easily. Under such circumstances, an advanced program in education becomes necessary.

In this age of information, traditional education, both in its ideology and methodology, has met unprecedented challenge like many other aspects of human existence. Meanwhile, the pursuit for higher levels of educational development and of the quality of life has largely transformed the educational value orientation of the general public. The educational model that is centered around the cognitive and intellectual instruction has been seriously questioned. Greater attention has been devoted to the cultivation of well-developed personality and to the ontological status of the individual in education. Such issues as the internal studies of education science, scientific decision-making in education, and meta-education have also been increasingly emphasized upon. There have also been innovations in educational research methodology. The tendency has been to combine modern technology with humanistic research categories and with naturalistic research categories, and to organically integrate qualitative descriptions with quantitative descriptions. It is also important to carry out educational experimentations in which educational predictions are complemented by educational feedbacks. Both the complexity of education and the complexity of human individuals have made the comprehensive application of diverse educational approaches necessary. Those new horizons are what fascinate me.

In view of the following qualifications that I have acquired, I believe that I will acquit myself satisfactorily in the prospective Ph.D. program in education that I am currently endeavoring to apply for. First and foremost, as is often claimed, one's interest is one's best director. I believe that I will do well what I am really interested in doing. Secondly, though I majored in economics as an undergraduate, my trainings during that stage helped develop effective modes of thinking and research approaches. In addition, I conscientiously self-studied many works related to education, including A Developmental History of Educational Science in the West, which enabled me to construct a solid groundwork for more advanced studies in this field. Next, it can be safely asserted that education and economics are not entirely separated. For example, it is necessary to apply many statistical methods in educational psychology and my academic record indicates that statistics is the subject that I am most good at. Last but not the least, my current teaching career and my teaching experience will play a positive role in facilitating my target degree program.

The reason why I apply for the University of ------------ is that it is the first state university with a time-honored history. The School of Education in this university is quite prominent among its counterparts in the field. I am particularly attracted by the School's powerful pedagogical resource, vibrant intellectual atmosphere and a comprehensive curriculum. I plan to apply for a degree program in Instructional Technology or Educational Psychology, both of which enjoy unparalleled academic reputation in the world. My application for Instructional Technology is motivated by my strong interest in the application of modern science and technology, especially the information technology represented by the Internet, in the field of education and in the nature of a series of revolutionary changes resulting thereof. Instructional Technology is a new discipline that has emerged as a result of the rapid development of modern communication technology since the late 20th century. It has tremendous potential for development and commercial application. As for my motive in selecting Educational Psychology as another possible area of specialization in my degree program, it is my long-cherished interest that primarily counts. On the other hand, all the accomplished educators since the 1960's have been well-versed in psychology. Almost every important new educational theory is derived psychological findings in one way or another so that educational psychology has subsequently developed into a fundamental subject for the science of education. The tendency in the 21st century is to emphasize on the micro research of educational activities and against this backdrop educational psychology will be attached greater importance. In Instructional Technology, I would like to focus on the following studies: how to improve educational efficiency by applying research results from natural sciences and engineering technology; how to explore the combination and coordination of pedagogical contents and to improve teaching methodology by exploiting the theoretical findings from psychology and educational science concerning the process of teaching and learning. In Educational Psychology, I will concentrate on applied cognition and development, gifted and creative education, genetics and children development, personality structure and individual differences and other related subjects.

For me, to shift from economics to education and to pursue an advanced degree in the United States is not so much a challenge as an opportunity. At present, major reforms are being introduced into virtually every important aspect of Chinese society. The field of education especially calls for comprehensive reforms. The United States occupies an absolutely leading position in the present-day world in education. It is my conviction that, in the United States, advanced educational theories, technologies and information will facilitate me immensely in the achievement of remarkable academic progress, fulfilling my aspiration to become an accomplished professional in the field of education. This will not only bring my patriotic fervor into reality but also make my life more meaningful and rewarding.


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