*This post was written by Wook, a Master of Education student within the Department of Psychology and Education.
Last week, I had my last class of the semester. Final papers are submitted and I am officially done with my first semester at OISE! Over the past 3 months, I not only learned so much about development and education, but also found a new interest in the field of applied psychology.
One valuable lesson that I learned was that there is a disconnect between research and actual practice in the field of education. Although there are many researches being published in various areas of education, the process of changing existing curriculum and implementing new programs takes a long time. Many of my fellow M.Ed. students who are current teachers recognized the situation and they took it upon themselves to learn about the current theories and researches that can be integrated into their classroom settings. By pursing M.Ed. in Developmental Psychology and Education, I realized that I can explore the ways to integrate what I know about psychological development into community education.
In addition to learning a valuable lesson, I found a new field that I thought I would never be interested in. Ethics courses are known to be dry and boring. After taking Ethical Issues in Applied Psychology, I now think that ethical issues and dilemmas are the most interesting things! Over the past 3 months, the course covered materials related to confidentiality, consent, use of information and many other topics that are related to applied psychology. Practitioners face many grey areas when they deal with clients. The course brought up some thought provoking issues and the entire class was extremely motivated to solve the problem by taking different approaches. In the process of critical thinking, some conflicting questions came up. Rather than shying away from these issues, we investigated them thoroughly. Sometimes, we couldn’t find a satisfying solution for some complicated scenarios. However, we learned that the best way to overcome these challenges is to think in different ways and look into various resources.
Just by studying at OISE for a single semester, I learned how to think critically and consider integrating research to broader areas in the society. OISE has given me so much already and I am very excited to start 2015. I feel as though I am going to become a entirely different person (in a positive way) by the time I graduate next year!