Sister, Sister…Schools

HKS

One amazing learning experience has been the option of cross-registering for classes at other Harvard schools, such as the Kennedy School of Government (HKS), Business School, and the School of Public Health. While I did not register for a course at a Harvard sister school, or MIT, I have heard rave reviews from classmates who have taken advantage of the opportunity.

With consideration of the number of classes to which I could commit as well as time limitations, I elected to perform an internship at the Kennedy School’s SLATE (Strengthening Learning and Teaching Excellence) program and a research apprenticeship at MIT’s Media Lab, working on a MOOC. This was the best “compromise” in order to fully experience what these two great institutions had to offer while still being able to manage my time. I’m like the proverbial “kid in a candy store,” as there are so many opportunities for  exploration in Cambridge, but alas, there is just so much time in the day. Still, I cannot help myself! But I learned to prioritize…

I definitely wanted to expand my scope of learning outside of the Graduate School of Education because I believe that as a society, we have a moral responsibility to bring social awareness to important issues in the world and to be open to new experiences. That was my mindset as I applied to the Kennedy School’s SLATE program, which among other initiatives has employed a flipped classroom design in some first year public policy courses. I have been an advocate of flipped classroom and blended learning platforms for some time and have also employed them in my own classes, albeit in STEM fields. This, I believed, was a opportunity to learn how the flipped classroom concept is applied to other fields of study.

Flipped classroom, broadly defined as having part of the instruction (lecture) online and active engagement (participation) in class, has become a potent buzzword in education circles. However, true flipped classroom implementation is still a skill that many of us educators are developing.

While at the Kennedy School, I was also exposed to many seminars and guest speakers from many fields that came to discuss their careers as well as important issues. One such topic was the economic ramifications related to climate change in China through the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Another talk brought the director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) human resources to speak about opportunities to change the world through work at the UN. Journalism has also been well-represented as the Vice President of ABC News Public Affairs, Robin Sproul, and  Barbara Walters were on hand. And what’s a school of government without some figureheads? Enter the President of the Philippines and Guana as well as our own Vice President Joe Biden. While I could not attend every function, I made an effort to attend the ones that were of greatest significance to me: the UNPFA, Mossavar-Rahmani event, and Robin Sproul’s round table.

My goal as an educator is to make the material I present in class not only applicable to the real world but also relatable to my students so that they may take ownership of their learning and feel empowered to use it to change their world for the better as a result. I must also do that for myself. Hence, my interest in HKS and journalism.

Venturing into unchartered waters may be a frightening and risky proposition, but without testing those waters, we may never stumbled upon that which makes us even more inclined to take the next plunge.

More on my adventures at MIT in a future post…stay tuned!

 

 

1 Comment »

  1. Merisenda Bills

    October 18, 2014 @ 2:10 am

    1

    I can relate to the “kid in a candy store” analogy. I am seriously overwhelmed by all the possibilities, and I am seriously heartbroken when I can’t do everything. It’s like FOMO (fear of missing out) to an extreme, even if what I am doing is super awesome.

    I am slightly regretting not cross-registering, but I feel like at least my internship gives me some exposure to what is being done outside of HGSE.

    The SLATE program sounds really neat. I can’t wait to learn more about your experiences, there.

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