Tao Fu is a University of Strathclyde graduate who has recently returned to the University to study the MEd Professional Practice, following graduating from her PGDE Mandarin degree.
Tell us a little bit about your background...
I completed my Bachelors degree and my Masters at a University in my hometown, Tianjin. I joined the Confucius Classroom programme back in 2015 and was a volunteer for 2 years based at Strathclyde University. I decided to do the PGDE course as I wanted to learn more about the Scottish Curriculum. I completed my PGDE course in 2018 and secured a teaching position in May 2018. It’s now my third year since completing my teacher training and I would like to continue my studies as a Masters student.
What inspired you to study your subject?
I really love teaching and I have enjoyed learning different things and really want to innovate and use best practice. I chose the first module which is Technology Enhanced Learning. Although we are using technology on a daily basis at school with our laptops and iPads, especially now we are offering online lessons, it is still hard to explain exactly why online teaching tools are more effective than the normal teaching methods, how to apply online tools or platforms more effectively or how to best support our students with Technology. After completing this module, I feel more confident in the theories which can better support my teaching.
Why did you choose to continue studying for your Masters at the University of Strathclyde?
As I said, I did my PGDE course at the University of Strathclyde, I know Strathclyde is a place for students to gain knowledge and be more creative. All the staff at Strathclyde are very kind and helpful. And also because they offer online modules which allows me to balance my own work and studies.
What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde so far?
I have received many friendly emails regarding online Zoom chatting for International students. It is a difficult time for everyone, especially those international students far from home.
How have you found studying online, in the current situation?
I have found it enjoyable and convenient as I have been working in England for nearly three years and I am a full-time teacher. Online learning has helped me balance my life and study. It’s really easy to ask a question during the lecture. And I quite like the breakout room function on Zoom which allows the student to have a discussion on certain topics.
What specialist knowledge or professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
I have developed presentational and knowledge organisational skills. Sometimes our lecturer might set us a task such as a short case-study, and you need to summarise its contents and how the case study unfolds to the rest of the class.
What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
I would highly recommend this course and highly recommend that you should choose the Technology enhanced learning module.
What have been the main challenges studying at postgraduate level?
To read as much as possible. As a teacher, it is easily for us to enhance our teaching through daily practice, however, the theories which better support our teaching as well as confirming how effective and reliable teaching or assessment are our students also need considered reflection.
What do you think of the support available?
I think it’s excellent! The tutors are very helpful and they get back to you really quickly via email. And I just love the online library which is so easy for your to find articles that you want to read.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I would really love to deliver some Chinese language and culture course at Universities.
You can read Tao's previous student profile for her PGDE here.