The Ph.D. Program in Education focusing on Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research at XXXX University is my first choice for graduate school because I am the best fit with XXXX. I live and work in New York City, and I see your program as the most international and interdisciplinary doctoral program in the city, if not the world. I look forward to contributing to the diversity of the academic community as a young Uyghur woman raised in a small village in China.
I come from a village in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. We have much in common in our ethnic and linguistic heritage with the peoples of Central Asia. This is why I am a near-native speaker of Uzbek and Kazak in addition to Uyghur, English, and Mandarin Chinese. I grew up in my grandparents’ home, and my grandma always told me that people in our village thought that women did not need to attend school and that they should stay home and do housework. Because of this sentiment, she had not received an education and was disappointed throughout her life. Hence, she has encouraged me to pursue my education because women are equal to men, and women should also have the chance to pursue their dreams.
I was uprooted and, with little preparation, sent to the other side of the country to attend a high school in a city in southeast China as part of a unique education program for gifted minority students. The spacious classrooms all contained big-screen computers. I thought about my classroom in my village. I always prayed that it would not rain because, when it did, our classroom would fill with water, and our school closed. I was happy to come to a fancy classroom but sad to think about the other children in my village, still up to their ankles in water.
I have been challenged by many obstacles throughout my pursuit of optimal education. Each hurdle has left me even more highly motivated than before to earn my Ph.D. in Education. Leaving home when I was fifteen and returning for only one month each year was terrifying and heart-rending, as well as detrimental to my academic success. However, I was fortified by the suffering and became more independent as time passed. Most importantly, this experience left me hungry to do research in education, especially primary education.
I want to help our educational system learn more from America and adopt more of its pedagogical style in its institutions. Student-centered pedagogy is needed in China to cultivate critical and independent thinking, the foundation of future success at every level, intellectual and cultural as well as economic. Only education can mitigate gender inequalities, grounded in girls' empowerment. There is too much memorizing in the classroom in China; and too little discussion, which is needed to foster critical, independent, and creative thinking.
Here in the USA, parents are not only concerned with grades, as is often the case in China, but also try to help children develop their potential abilities, especially critical and independent thinking. I hope to explore these kinds of issues more in-depth at XXXX and take a very close look at the literature concerned with the education of Chinese immigrant children. While exploring the differences between student-centered and teacher-centered education, I will look closely at the categories of student motivation, child development, and how parents’ expectations and rules affect the child’s level of achievement. As a Ph.D. student in XXXX’s Education Program, I would be especially eager for the entire immersion experience possible in quantitative research methods. I see this as particularly crucial to my future research. I would benefit from the Contemporary Learning Curriculum as I strive to better understand the complex dimensions of educational systems. I have read the work of Dr. Akane Zusho, and it would be a special honor to study under her guidance, particularly as concerns the areas of cultural competency and its impact on student motivation and performance. Receiving instruction and guidance from Dr. XXXX would be of special benefit to me because I have studied research methods and statistics intensively, to be confident that this is the area where I want to make my professional mark.
During my master's program, I conducted a cultural competency study focused on my hometown in China that turned into my Master’s Thesis, which necessitated extensive quantitative research, examined motivation and job performance among public service workers, and was based on data from both the public and private sectors regarding employee injury and illness. At XXXX, I look forward to deepening and broadening my research regarding motivation to excel academically.
I participated in a year-and-a-half-long teaching and research assistance program in my school’s Political Science and Public Administration Department. I worked with Dr. XXXX, Dr. XXXX, and Dr. XXXX during this period. I helped them grade papers, proctor exams, guide class discussions, and host office hours to answer students’ questions. I was a teaching assistant for a “Nonprofit Management” class and an “Introduction to Empirical Methods of Political Research” class. I also covered a research methodology class when my professor attended a conference and taught students how to use Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to analyze data. They often came to my office to ask me questions which helped me further refine my communication skills with students from all over the USA.
Simultaneously, I also guided undergraduate discussion sections for the Political Science Department, much focused on democracy in action projects. I helped Dr. XXXX to analyze the Political Science Department’s Undergraduate Assessment Report. Finally, I instructed children at the Math and Science Education Center as an instructor for Super Saturday events at Central Michigan University. As a care coordinator at NYC Health & Hospitals, my current position allows me to collaborate daily with residents, representatives of community organizations, students, parents, school staff unions, and other public and private agencies. At the same time, I participate in the planning, organization, and implementation of programs to increase community participation. My position allows me to communicate with and support low-income families of many races and ethnicities. I have also worked with the mentally ill and victims of substance abuse, learning how to listen and handle challenging cases. I look forward to graduating from XXXX University as a top-notch researcher and, later, a university professor.
Thank you for considering my application to Education at XXXX.