In December 2016, a second group of nineteen members of Nations’ staff earned their Master’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) in partnership with our School. Elementary Arts teacher, Ms. Fiona Murphy, shared how she feels having earned her Master’s.
I feel privileged to be one of the graduates in the second Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies, offered by School of the Nations and SUNY. I feel so lucky and am thankful to the School for providing me this tremendous opportunity to learn and grow.
Teachers and coordinators who took the course wanted to improve their instructional skills by focusing on 21st century teaching strategies. Of the 24 participants, 19 were Nations teachers and five came from other international schools in Brasília. As a class, we met about every 3 months over a three-year period. We had a different SUNY professor for each session and, over seven days, we would cover 40 academic hours of class work. We worked hard and it was intense because we had classes from Monday through Friday after school and on weekends.
Two of my favorite courses were “Holistic Curriculum” and “Foundations of Creative Thinking and Learning.” Holistic Curriculum involved understanding the student as a whole. It is a form of education that engages the head, heart, hands and spirit of the child. This curriculum connects “community, earth, soul, subject and mind-and-body,” developing intuition and inquiry. Foundations of Creative Thinking and Learning had as its main goal to teach all students to use creative problem-solving to develop new ideas, solve problems, and implement solutions. It encourages students to think outside the box and connect their learning to the real world.
I am thrilled that after all the hard work and dedication, I have received a Master’s of Science (with merit) in Multidisciplinary Studies from SUNY. I have acquired many new teaching strategies and will miss the strong connection we created as a group.
My biggest thanks to School of the Nations for giving me this learning opportunity and strategies that make me a better Art teacher!