Asian-American teacher breaks stereotypes and promotes global citizenship

[A]s a female Asian-American public school teacher, one of the foundational goals in my pedagogical career is to develop a deeper understanding of the diverse ways students learn and to build a repertoire of instructional methods that bridge differences in the student population. With this goal in mind, I applied for a Masters of Arts in Teaching Social Studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College to collaborate with other teachers by sharing the mastery of their instructional methods.

As learners, I believe that our civilization is entering a new age of learning because technology has afforded us the capability of crossing socio-economic and geographical barriers. Thus, implementing an education grounded in global citizenship will allow students of various learning abilities and cultures to unite and create a community consciousness based on social justice.

With this aspiration in mind, my pursuit of teaching began in my undergraduate studies where I double-majored in history and secondary education at The College of New Jersey. Throughout my training as a public school teacher, it was easy to notice that in the field of social studies teaching, women are underrepresented, even more so minorities, and rarely Asian-American women serve as teachers. Consequently, the lack of Asian-American female teachers, outside of the math and science departments, subconsciously sends a clear and significant message to the student population that reinforces stereotypes of minorities in our society. As such, I have used my role as a teacher to serve as a model for both students and faculty alike to develop cross-cultural awareness and communication. In my curriculum, I teach students about African and Asian histories and cultures from ancient to modern times. As a faculty member, I prepare and share the customs of various holidays to highlight and promote cultural awareness.

In my teaching experiences, I have also strived to reach various communities of learners and to bridge cultural gaps, including two years of English instruction at a public high school and junior high school in rural Japan, as well as one summer semester of graduate level technical writing instruction at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. In addition to teaching students of varying age groups and cultural backgrounds, I have also worked with students of varying abilities including gifted students at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth program along with special needs students I currently teach at Millburn Middle School in New Jersey.

Thereupon, the financial aid offered by the DiversityJobs Scholarship will support my graduate studies at Teachers College and enable me to continue reaching out to diverse learning communities. Upon the completion of my studies, I intend to utilize my experiences to teach and build into international communities that can foster young leaders to make choices that promote global citizenship and social welfare. This scholarship will both strengthen the pursuit of my studies financially and also serve as an affirmation that the goals I have outlined throughout my pedagogical career will be a genuine reflection of the importance in educating our future.

We are proud to announce Alice Wen is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.