Monthly Archives: May 2016

Career choice

In one of our courses we discussed how we chose our professions. It emerged that most of the choices were related to UNT and parents’ wills. Nobody followed a dream, all of us had to face the reality.

My groupmates and I did not think about future professions till the time of UNT preparation. I chose geography because I could not imagine myself being related to other subjects and because geography was relatively easy and interesting for me. After the results of UNT I had an opportunity to choose between tourism and geography as a science to get a grant and I chose geography. However, before I was thinking to choose marketing or state and local governance. My groupmates had similar experience. That is how UNT limits career choices for those who wants get an education for free.

Some of my groupmates were influenced by their parents. Parents care about career stability and prestige of chosen profession. Many parents do not heed the words of their children and choose careers themselves. I heard many times from my peers that their parents were against their choices and imposed own preferences. Overdependence on parents is in our mentality, I guess, and some people are not able to make serious decisions without parents’ permission even when they are adults.

Now I think what if we all choose careers according to our dreams and hobbies or should we be realists? In my opinion the answer is that we should be realists who also are not afraid of their dreams. I have noticed that our young generation start to think about their future and what they would like to do earlier than we did, and it is great!

Career Development and Building Happy Life

Being a potential graduate of NUGSE I have been asking myself, what am I going to do after completing Master’s Degree? This question sounds natural for the many of graduates who are planning their career. In order to find answer to this question I started to listen people’s narratives about how did they find themselves and how did they find meaning in their day to day life. I had watched different sort of TED talks and listened to perspectives of coaches and entrepreneurs, musicians and engineers, women and men, youth and adults. Interestingly, I found common patterns in their speech such as: values, unique talents and meaning of your job.

First, most of speakers were constantly claiming that, every person should have certain set of values and should be aware of them. If you have values in your life path you will invest and commit to those things. Therefore, you start your day with excitement and finish with satisfaction that you do what you value and share your value with surroundings. For example, Ryan Clements(2015) in his speech articulated that he rediscovered himself after looking closer to his values and started to do things that he found value. He believes that cars or houses do not define us, what defines us is whether our values are aligned with our daily practice. Thus, I agree that committing to the activities that you appreciate more and that keeps you motivated.

After, I noticed a repetition of ideas in determining your future job is person’s unique abilities. Though, the topic what are your strengths is quite common in psychology. Still, it worths to scrutinize about things that we can perform at high level. According to Ashley Stahl (2014), sometimes people may ask you to teach certain things or ask for an advice or your professors might acknowledge those abilities. Itis  exactly who you are and you can start from refining and developing those skills in order to get pay of them.

The final point is a bit similar with the first argument, but it is more about contributing to society. I mean, your job should somehow make a positive contribution to lives of other people. Why happiness of other people is important when we talk about individual career? The reason is that you will feel happier and satisfied with your job if you make some positive changes to people’s life (Leipzig, 2013). For example, for the question what do you do, you can just say I am a teacher or you can add significance to it, saying I rear future scholars, engineers and even MPs who will develop our country for better future. It is not just uttering fancy phrases with your interlocutor, but spending your entire working life for something meaningful.

To wrap up, there are might be lots of other advices to for building our bright future, however values based on humanity remain actual all the times. I hope that determining you values, investing on your unique abilities and adding significance to you occupation will make our career life more interesting and engaging.

 

References

Clements, R. (2014, October, 28). What they don’t teach about career fulfillment at school. TEDx Kelowna. Video retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7gFkUqIv1E

Leipzig, A. (2013, February, 1). How to know your life purpose on 5 minutes. TEDx Malibu. Video retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVsXO9brK7M

Stahl, A. (2014, February 23). Three questions to unlock your authentic career. TEDxBerkeley 2014: “Rethink. Redefine. Recreate.” Video retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMiSf7LpFQE

Meaning of intercultural education

Intercultural education is a new area in education which needs to address the diversity in society. The diversity is the result of globalization and migration. Main countries, especially European countries, are dealing with diversity issues now by providing intercultural education policy. Many experts suggest that intercultural education has to be implemented at all levels of education starting from pre-school to higher education (Clay & George, 2000). If intercultural education is provided at all levels, students then will acquire intercultural competence such as cultural tolerance, accepting diversity and respecting cultural differences.  It is important to present of role intercultural education for harmonized society.  Therefore, I want to discuss the meaning of intercultural education

Intercultural education encompasses several meanings.  They seem similar with inclusive education meaning such as “peace education”, “equal education” “empowering marginalized students” and “reality education” ( Clay & George, 2000). Reality education includes practical application of political ideology on the matter of presence other ethnic, cultural and religious group in a particular country. The purpose of intercultural education that they reveal, ensures to control power relationship in education and social changes by promoting education for emphasy, moral consiouness.  It means that they think intercultural education is pivotal to sustain social cohesion, the development of mutual understanding and creating intercultural dialogue in the dynamic multicultural society.

Intercultural education also has pertinent value for Kazakhstani context. This is because 130 ethnic groups with different religious, culture and languages are living in Kazakhstan.  Promoting intercultural education will contribute to educate culturally tolerant, open and ready to accept diversity.  Then it will lead to lessen cultural and ethnic conflicts and to stop segregating minority groups.

In conclusion, intercultural education is important to promote because it focus on developing cultural tolerance, accepting diversity and living in a harmony.

Reference:

Clay, J. & George, R. (2000). Intercultural education: a code o practice for twenty first century. European Journal of Teacher Education, 23(2). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233248086_Intercultural_Education_A_Code_of_Practice_for_the_twenty-first_century

Singular Pluralities in multilingual society

Globalization requires no more isolation of languages in a society because through other languages people can merit much suitable knowledge for further development. Acknowledgement of diversity in a society and in education is a sign of responsibility for educators and is a sign of success for a diverse society In the context of the world practice, education becomes dynamic since that global practice diversity cannot be viewed as an obstacle or a problem (Martyniuk, 2011, p. 7). Nazarbayev (2007) suggested staged implementation of the cultural project titled ‘Trilingual unity’. Similarly   creation of Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan organization opened equal conditions for learning and teaching other languages except the state one. Other languages are presented as a resource and right meticulously acknowledging minorities as a part of the organization or education (Ruiz, 1984, as cited in Reccento, 2006). On the basis of the non- governmental organization there were opened  Sunday schools at every region of Kazakhstan  symbolizing  respect towards ‘the singular purities in multilingual society’. (Garcia & Sylvan, 2011, pp.390-39).); According to Wellner (2000, as cited in Lingren, 2005)  gender, race, age, ethnicity, national origins, or sexual orientation can be conceptualized as diversity.  Education institutions play important driving role in uniting nations within a country. If he or she with diverse ideas in education or at work   treats  growing diversity as a precious asset and as a valuable resource, then minority community members can be protected from being marginalized culturally, linguistically. and ethnically (Martyniuk, 2011, p. 3). Overall, integration and accumulation of other languages and cultures inside a singular person will promote unity and harmony in multiethnic society.

References:

Garcia,O., and Sylvan, C.E. (2011). Pedagogies and practices in multilingual classrooms: Singularities in Pluralities. The Modern Language Journal,95,  385-400. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01208.x0026-7902/11/

Lindgren, J. (2005). Conceptualizing diversity in empirical terms. Yale Law and Policy Review,23,1, 5-13. Retrieved from Jstor.org

Martyniuk,W. (2011). In support of plurilingual people living in multilingual societies:Policies and frameworks of European language Education. Cahiers de l’’ ILOB,2,1-17. Retrieved from April 5, 2016, https://moodle.nu.edu.kz/pluginfile.php/198652/mod_resource/content/1/In%20support%20of%20plurilingual%20people.pdf

Nazarbayev, N. (2007) “The Message of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev to the people of Kazakhstan” New Kazakhstan in the new world, Astana

Recento,T. (Ed). (2006). An Introduction to Language Policy: Theory and Method. USA:Blachwell Publishng.

 

Ways for creative thinking

Since civilization human world, people have invented and created various inventions through their creativity skills. This skill is the result of creative thinking. It is necessary to develop creative thinking skills because it helps to solve problems, design plans, synthesize and use information variously (Five techniques that build creative thinking, n.d). There are effective five approaches to formulate our creativity thinking skills. In this blog I want to discuss these approaches to better understand ways of building creative thinking skills.

Imagination.  While our brain process the situations or problems, we can imagine possible consequences, reflections . This thinking helps to improve cognitive and problem solving skills (Five techniques that build creative thinking, n.d). Therefore, it is important to allow children to imagine and discover the things and concepts since their childhood.

Observation. This action is helpful to create solution for problems by considering the relation of the things which we perceive in observation.  Therefore, “observation can be described as perception with purpose” (Five techniques that build creative thinking, n.d, para.11).  It means that by carefully and intentionally observing situation people can think about why and how this situation occurs like this. In other words, they attempt to give rational for the situation considering possible solutions. This process helps people to activate their brain work.

Brainstorming.  This activity is useful to generate various alternative ideas, thoughts and assumptions (Five techniques that build creative thinking, n.d). Subsequently, teachers and students try to find connection of the ideas.  Hence, it will help children to develop reasoning skills along with thinking skills.

Association. It is helpful to think out of box. This is because people associate the things with numerous things giving proper rational for their thoughts (Five techniques that build creative thinking, n.d).  They attempt to illustrate and combine the things to each other. Therefore, they construct new ideas and concepts.

Attribute analysis. This activity has importance in learning how to innovate things.  To teach innovating things teacher can ask students to describe every detail of a camera, for example, and then to say functions of its attributes (Five techniques that build creative thinking, n.d). After recalling the function of camera’s attributes teacher challenge children to say what will happen if they combine two attributes.  By asking such kind of challengeable question, students start thinking independently and creating response for the new challenges.

These approaches have pertinent value for any people. Everyday life we face different problems and challenges. Our creativity skills help us to find proper and innovative answer. As future policy makers in education, it is also important for us to develop our creative thinking skills

In conclusion, imagination, observation, brainstorming, association and attribute analyzing are the effective approaches to formulate creative thinking skills of people. This is because each technique are oriented to think out of box, innovate and find solutions.

Reference

Five techniques that build creative thinking ( n.d.) Retrieved from http://naturalfamilytoday.com/uncategorized/5-techniques-that-build-creative-thinking-skills/

Optimization of school subjects

Recently the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in his speech supported the transition to five-day week in schools and suggested to combine some subjects. Earlier it was told that due to 5-day week transition school year will be extended by ten days. However, many parents showed disagreement in social media saying that their children will suffer from hot weather during that period of extension. In this light, I think the decision to combine subjects will have a number of benefits.

School subjects are too specific. Generally, they can be divided into main categories: mathematics,  science, social studies, and  languages. Why not to combine algebra with geometry, physics with  chemistry and biology in earlier grades, geography with history, Russian language with Russian literature. I heard many times people saying that in schools they are taught unnecessary things not applicable in real life which also can be immediately forgotten after school graduation. For example, many refer to too complex formulas and problems in algebra and too many facts and dates in history. If  to combine subjects, only key knowledge and skills can be taught and hours per week dedicated to the subjects separately can be slightly decreased.

If subjects programs are integrated, students will be able to have more holistic understanding of things taught in school and will be less likely to get separate chunks of knowledge. Students will be able to make connections, identify patterns and develop skills not just knowledge. For instance, in geography there are themes like ethnic composition of countries, and if geography and history are integrated, students will be able to understand why particular countries have certain ethnic groups from history.

Optimization of school subjects is a necessary action if we want schoolchildren to have five-day week and not be too overloaded. In comparison to that measure, school year extension and reduction of holidays seems not to be a better solution to me, what do you think?

Coexistence of reading and writing

Reading and writing are intertwined important processes. For purposive writing researchers need purposive reading strategy.  I t is very important to follow some reading strategies to gain main ideas for further writings.  For example there are three slightly different open reading types which will be explained more meticulously in the following paragraphs ( Dollahite & Haun, 2006). The most general approach at the opening reading stage is that a reader is recommended to look at a title of a scholarly paper or a book to catch a main idea.  I describe one of the purposeful reading strategies which can be useful for writing process.

In reality I began to understand reading technique when I began to write responding to writings from two classes. I have started to read more purposefully papers without intervention from that time. Without intervention in this context  means that I stopped rereading some passages in the first reading stage as I did at the beginning of the course.  I started intervention or readings with stops at the second stage when I reread again returning back to those interesting or vague points. According to Dollahite and Haun,(2006) there are three characteristics of writing  responses: personal experience approach, application approach and agree/ disagree approach.

I assume, responding to writings has many benefits; a reader will infer the meaning from the text to apply or to explain  personal experiences on the basis of the given article to his own context and at this moment a ready unconsciously understand the main idea of a given text.  I used second approach when I applied language ideology theory into Kazakhstani content supporting it examples from media. Application response helps a reader deeper investigate his living environment in order to find an application example for a written theory. The third type of agree/ disagree approach will enhance critical thinking skills because a reader should infer referring to past research or past experiences. Overall, reading and writing are  overlapping procedure which lead to  understand the main idea of a text assisting writing significantly for a junior researcher.

 

Reference:

Dollahite N.E. & Haun, J. (2006).  Sourcework: Academic Writing From Sources.  US: Heinle, Cengage Learning.

 

 

Tell me who your friends are and I will tell who you are

Two years before I met My friends at GSE! I made friends with my classmates, teachers and research procedure!

It seems surprising, but my classmates taught me most. First of all I found out much about myself communicating with very different, but very extraodinary people. I learnt how to communicate, how to work in group, how to take group decisions. Also, I learnt how to solve the problems together, I handled new approaches and tools. Before my study, it took me years to decide what and how to do something, as I wanted to do it well, but I didn’t know how. Now I am good in choosing the approach and immediate starting.

Teachers provided me an example on how good the teacher should be and how hardworking one should be. Also, how polite, gentle, and demanding to be at the same time.

I learnt how tj do research in systemic and honest way. I already got acquented with research, and it makes my friendship more difficult. I didn;t know about plagiarism and I couldn’t cite properly! Now I hope I am friend of Academic intergrity and very passionate fighter for establishing honest academic environment in Kazakhstan.

 

Motherhood in academia.

It is important for Kazakh girls in academia to think ahead about next destination.  It might be the family which she creates with her respectful couple and PhD as motherhood in academia. In Kazakh tradition it is important to get married when the girls become adult. But today girls prefer to get marriage after having particular degree in education. This tendency might be an influence of knowledge-based economy which always requires acquiring new skills and knowledge in a lifelong learning process. Further, they might pursue studying and working in academia. It is increasingly important for students and future mothers who will study and work in academia to be aware of possible difficulties of motherhood in academia.  In my blog I want to present difficulties and awards of motherhood in academia because being mother in academia is difficult and rewarding.

There are several difficulties of mothers in academia. One of the difficulties of mothers is unavailability scheduling time because it depends on your children caring time. It is difficult for mothers to sit on computer and finish their assignment when their baby awake, especially when they are little. Babies can also disrupt mothers from participating in online discussion (Kuhn, Mills, Rowe, & Garrett, n.d).   Sleep deprivation can be anther difficulty of mothers (Kuhn, Mills, Rowe, & Garrett, n.d). They can work and do assignments, readings when their children sleep. They spend their other time for caring husband and household staffs.  They can get a good sleep mostly in holidays when they do not go to study or work. Also, mothers often miss academic events because they have children and family who are waiting for them at home. Most of the mothers seem not to participate in more academic events and research when they have children (Kuhn, Mills, and Rowe, & Garrett, n.d).

Despite of complexity of motherhood in academia, most mothers those who can balance family and career find it rewarding. Because of having children, mothers learn to manage effectively their time and commitments; to communicate effectively with people and to be able solve problems, possess plural roles and smile (Roitman, n.d.).  The most successful mothers value their being a PhD , researcher and faculty mother, simultaneously wife and see motherhood as an asset (Kuhn, Mills, Rowe, & Garrett, n.d). They admit the necessity of family support to balance their friendly family and successful career. One of the successful women of Kazakhstan, lovely mother and supportive wife, researcher in Engineering and faculty of Engineering School in Nazarbayev University says that namely family is an inspiration, a luck and support for her success in family, career, research and life (SL,Personal communication, February 29, 2016). Hence, women who appreciate the value of their family find motherhood in academia rewarding and successful.  They can balance between family and career. Therefore, future mother need to earn strategies for successful motherhood in academia.

In conclusion, motherhood in  academia has its difficulties and rewarding points. Although mother do not sleep enough, participate in all events in academia or can not properly schedule time and commitments, they find motherhood in academia rewarding. This is because their lovely family understand, support and inspire them.

References

Kuhn,C., Mills,J., Rowe,C. & Garrett, E.( n.d). Momifesto: Affirmations for the Academic Mother. Retrieved from http://www.mamaphd.com/read-an-excerpt/

Roitman, K. (n.d.). The 6 ways a motherhood is like a PhD. Retrieved from http://www.mothersathomematter

Argument is a subskill of critical thinking

The subskill of critical thinking argument is used in two ways. These ways are accurately illustrated by Cottrell with  different activities (2005,p.38).  Argument  is not similar to disagreement. A person cannot approve of someone’s position without clearly indicating why he does not agree or persuade his reader or listener to think differently. There is a difference between a position, an agreement, a disagreement, and an argument in critical thinking. All these terms defined by Cottrell in this way:

  • ‘Position can be defined as a point of view.
  • Agreement can refer to concurrence with someone’s opinion.
  • Disagreement can be defined as a different point of view from someone else.
  • Argument can be used to refer to a point of view which has reasons to persuade or to support known or unknown audiences. It may also comprise disagreement if it is based on reasons’ (Cottrell, 2005, p.52). Contributing argument can be defined as reasons of an individual person. The overall argument introduces author’s position and can be used to refer to a set of reasons, or contributing arguments which are organized to support it. Thus, an argument as a part of critical thinking comprises:
  • ‘A position or point of view;
  • An attempt to persuade others to accept that point of view;
  • Reasons given to support the point of view’ (Cottrell, 2005, p.40);

There are some key terms and phases in creating good argument. As a rule, main aim of authors   is to convince a reader or a listener to believe in what they are telling. Nevertheless, in some cases, authors can purposely or unintentionally explain information differently as they strive to compass own political religious or ideological outlook, however, that does not make any argument invalid. Such statement is called a proposition and it may occur true or false. The last component in argument is conclusion where the authors’ main positions are reiterated (Hamp-Lyons & Heasley, 2006). Moreover it is important to keep in mind that whether an argument can be logical or follow closely mathematical construction of the syllogism in academic writing. Syllogism can be defined as a form of reasoning in which two propositions or premises are expressed and a logical conclusion is caused by them (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2000). Hence, it is  also necessary to be familiar with stages and key words for successful argument.

In addition features of argument will depend on explicit and implicit arguments. If a text contains arguments we are to differentiate implicit and explicit ones (Ramage,  Bean  &  Johnson, 2007,  p. 3). If we look at implicit ones the argument may be hidden in the text. Explicit arguments’ nature contraries to implicit  where the argument is presented in a relatively open way. There are six items which will lead a learner to identify a critical argument they are position, reasons/propositions, line of reasoning, conclusion, persuasion and signal word and phrases and  six clues (start of passage, the end of a passage, interpretive summary, signal words, challenges and recommendations and words indicating a deduction) to finding the conclusion (Cottrell, 2005, p.47)

 

References:

Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical Thinking Skills. England: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.

Hamp-Lyons,  L.,  Heasley,  B.  (2006). Study Writing. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Ramage, J.D., Bean, J.C., & Johnson, J.  (2007). Writing  Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings. New York: Pearson.

The American Heritage Dictionary (2000). Retrieved May 10, 2012 from

http://www.thefreedictionary.com