In my first class within the Science Communications programme, I realized that I am the only Chinese teacher among all around 20 Science teachers.
Though graduated with a degree in Chemistry, I started my career in a totally irrelevant field, education management. Besides of day-to-day operations and planning, I taught 6 Chinese classes from level P1 to P6. Gradually I was distanced further and further away from chemical bonds, orbitals, molecules, flasks and tubes. Well, maybe the analytical part is still useful when coming to make an annual report from admission data.
Frankly speaking, I was quite nervous at the beginning, afraid that my fading memory about Science will drag me behind the progress. But having taken the course for few weeks, I got various opportunities to retake Science, read and research on articles, even explain and demonstrate Science knowledge using various methods. I especially appreciate the freedom given in every perspective so that imagination and creativity can be explored for more fun.
A poster designed by me for the annual Science Symposium
More importantly, the classes have provided me with lots of inspirations. There was one time I combined my”coca cola” experiment with the materials I used to teach Chinese. Students got to learn about the phenomenon and principles of “nucleation” in Chinese language and they hands-on tried it in class. Not only I saw wider opened eyes, increased passion towards learning and longer expansion of focuses, but also they have surprisingly remembered all the content! I also received feedback like “the coolest Chinese class ever!”and “can we have more experiments in future classes?”
I designed this GIF to show molecule movement in a coke
One interesting moment is that when I asked my colleague about her science teaching experience, she was like “meh…” Accordingly to her, in a class that is destined to deliver Science, students do not have that high energy despite there are experimental components; likewise for teaching Chinese via pure writing and pronunciation practices will lose the young audience in a while. However, if multiple disciplines can be articulately combined into one class, it will usually lead to a fresher atmosphere and more sparks.
That kind of curriculum is what I am looking to research and build in future. I am not sure how far I could go, but I have a strong belief that it will lead to some changes in our existing education system. Again, I thank the founders of this Master in Science Communications who created such an invaluable opportunity for us. I also appreciate the efforts from all instructors and classmates to bring traditional science learning out of box to be cool and sexy. I look forward to the coming journey in Science Communications.
-Alice Yu Yuebo