Painting a Portrait of Education

October 31, 2014

Here, the subject is obviously neither handsome nor portraying a healthy picture by smoking a cigarette. However, we can see that the artist has articulately applied all the different techniques to depict the subject close to life with even a sparkle in the old man’s eyes! How would you rate this artist? If I could paint education the way this artist sketch this old man, I’m certain that I wouldn’t have any problems getting a good grade!

Here, the subject is obviously neither handsome nor portraying a healthy picture by smoking a cigarette. However, we can see that the artist has articulately applied all the different techniques to depict the subject close to life with even a sparkle in the old man’s eyes! How would you rate this artist? If I could paint education the way this artist sketch this old man, I’m certain that I wouldn’t have any problems getting a good grade!

Over the course of 6 weeks, I’ve been taught how to paint a portrait of education and been tasked with reflective assignments. The mind map with its spaghetti wires is akin to the hair. The abstract with its emotions and clarity is akin to the eyes and eyebrows. The two statements are akin to the mouth. Citations are akin to the ears as we harness the congruity of our thoughts and thought leaders in the field of education. But… what about the nose? Surely, Mona Lisa wouldn’t look pretty without her nose right? Not forgetting the largest organ of the human body … the skin! Oh, where can I find these two organs?

Turns out that these two organs are found in an essay. The skin is our flow of thought; the language and presentation in the essay. The nose is the central theme and/or argument that connect all the other features of the face together. In fact, there was a lecture on academic writing that teaches students how to paint the skin and nose. My confidence is regained!

Students were given the liberty to do their mock exams whenever they’re ready but must submit it by a stipulated deadline. Before opening the mock exam questions, I was wondering if it will turn out the way I anticipated. When I saw the questions, I was pretty happy as there were two portraits (i.e. questions) that I know I should have no problems painting (i.e. answering). However, painting two pretty portraits in 3 hours is a challenge! Quickly, I prepared my palette of facts, littered with different colours of views and citations; at times mixing different colours to get a whiter or darker shade. Read the rest of this entry »


To be or not to be

September 25, 2014

In the throes of writer's block in the middle of the  sea.

In the throes of writer’s block in the middle of the sea.

They say that life is full of journeys, with their starts and ends. Before I tell you about my new journey, let me first introduce myself. My name is Michelle Chang Jade Yin and yes, I know its a mouthful. My close friends mostly call me Mick or Mickey and occasionally Michael, which compliments the tomboy in me.

I am the oldest of three children and an avid, nay, obsessive book reader (I once read the whole Harry Potter series without even stopping). I was in an all-girls school throughout my primary and secondary school life. Hence, lifting heavy stuff and talking sass is never a problem (I’m a veteran in both those things). I might look tough on the outside, but turn on Tuesdays With Morrie and I would cry you a river. I like to think I’m a calm person but my friends say that I turn into a Purple Minion (from Despicable Me 2) when I’m stressed. Turning 19 this year, life has definitely been full with ups and down, but I have never regretted the journeys I have been through. So here I am now, in front of my laptop, typing away about the next great journey in my life. I hope you enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »


How I get stuff done…

September 19, 2014

Cogs and TechI love technology and I’ll be honest, my life completely revolves around it. I’m constantly logged-on and  surrounded by tech at work and at home I sit hard wired to my computer or iPhone. I check updates at the dinner table and sometimes I say more to Siri in a day than to an actual person! I’m completely attached, connected, addicted, dependant…

I’m sure you’ve heard the news reports and read the headlines of society literally crumbling around us as we sit, oblivious, taking photos of our food. I know an older relative has interrupted you as you check your newsfeed to complain that the art of conversation is lost. And I know there’s a good argument to say that life is passing us all by, one selfie at a time. But as 4G kicks up a digital dust of distractions from which no amount of swiping seems to cleanse, I find myself marvelling at the benefits of our technological age. Especially the connection between myself and UoL and the intermediaries that foster learning and progression through my MSc. Read the rest of this entry »


I can see clear skies through the rain

September 4, 2014

Clouds CurtainHaving overcome the first lecture, my excitement and anticipation grows stronger with every lecture. That “old familiar feeling” of wanting to learn more comes back to me again – the feeling of a dry sponge; ever-ready to absorb the juices of knowledge from prominent thought leaders in education. I can’t help but feel so privileged!

As a businessperson, I’ve paid top dollars just to listen to industry leaders speak for barely an hour. As an employee of a fortune-500 company, I used to fight for a place at the company’s annual conference where top-notch industry speakers are invited to speak. Now, I not only have one, but several gurus; each lecturing for a few hours! The best part is: I can ask these gurus questions during the lecture! Seeing their body language when digesting our questions, brains ticking, piecing information, and finally delivering their answers not only depicts the expanse of their knowledge on the subject matter but also their wealth of experience – all within the space of a few seconds. Read the rest of this entry »


A Freshman’s First Experience With The MA Education Distance Learning

August 7, 2014

Worried Bernard

Worried Bernard!

Although learning is a continuous process over our entire lifespan, it’s been some time since I’ve had formal training.  Being a business consultant and more recently, a business management teacher in an IB World School, I’m pretty nervous being a student.  I mean, the tables are turned on me now!  Moreover, it’s distance learning.  Doubts on its effectiveness clouded my mind.  So, why did I sign up in the first place?  From a business perspective, it’s branding and the value of the product won me over.  The University of London and the Institute of Education reputations in the global education industry is second to none as far as I’m concerned.  Decision made – I must endure all hardships and whatever the course throws at me. Read the rest of this entry »


Am I a loser…?

July 31, 2014

Lc WPCheck the fridge… Sit and read half a page of a new book… Browse internet… Make another coffee… Browse… Start organising iTunes library again… Watch a TV show… Next episode… Browse… Think about going to the shop… Check the fridge…

What’s wrong with me?

My whole morning has passed by jumping from one meaningless task to another. Yesterday I had all these great plans of how I was going to use my day off and I literally don’t know what to do with myself – I’m wasting the day away; I’m 32 and not getting any younger; what have I accomplished so far? Am I a success yet (what is success)? What do I want to be when I grow up? Who’s Justin Beiber? Am I a loser… Read the rest of this entry »


Self-Introduction – Bernard Seah

July 29, 2014

Bernard Seah - Photo (2 inch) 20110811Hi everyone,

I’m a new student at the University of London studying the MA Education at the Institute of Education. Currently, I’m a Business Management teacher at an IB World School in Beijing, China since 2011.

Prior to my teaching career, I was in the ICT industry. Dealing with parents and students is very different from dealing with clients. Presenting to and teaching students is very different from presenting to clients. So, that’s one of the reasons why I signed up for the MA Education course. Read the rest of this entry »


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