I’m a Chinese second year PhD student in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) in UL. This year, I have developed my research skills further and I have found myself being more supportive and collaborative in the department. Here are some examples of how I have been influenced by the people I am working and collaborating with.
- My PhD topic is about professional development of university-based Chinese physical education teacher educators (PETEds). Currently, I’m working with Professor Ann MacPhail (my supervisor) and Dr. Ainat Guberman (The MOFET Institute) on professional learning needs of Chinese PETEds. Research meetings have been challenging due to the time difference. Fortunately, we have had some face to face meetings in PESS when Dr. Guberman has visited UL, but at other times Dr. Guberman has accommodated us and Skyped late at night. This is the first time I am working with international colleagues. Three of us are from different countries but have one goal to contribute to the knowledge in this field. The support of Ann and Ainat made me realise the importance of international collaboration. Ann has directed me to many supports in the University (e.g. workshops, UL writing centre), has lent me many of her books relating to my research and has great patience helping me improve my writing.
- I attended the PE Xpo at Dublin City University in March this year. It was an amazing experience. PE Xpo is a competition to encourage Irish primary and post-primary students to carry out research PE related topics. It was my pleasure to judge projects as a volunteer. What impressed me most was the supportive environment at the PE Xpo. Teachers and students from many universities and colleges in Ireland volunteered their time to judge students’ project. Though a colleague from UL was injured, she was also there. Everyone’s effort and support contributed to the students learning and experience.
- I am very interested in physical education teacher education in PESS. Last year, I was thinking about the possibility of carrying out some observations in modules, but I was unsure if I could get permission to observe in the lectures or labs. However, I was welcomed by my colleagues after I told them about my interests. They gave me some suggestions about which modules to observe. In the process of the observation, we discussed the differences in physical education in each other’s country and I am thankful to my colleagues for that opportunity.
The purpose of my research now is to explore the professional learning activities that Chinese university-based PETEds most value and the effective ways to meet their learning needs. This study will support Chinese PETEds’ professional development. In an increasingly globalised educational world, if we can be more supportive and collaborative, we can make a better world.
Yueying Gong is a Postgraduate Researcher and a Chinese Scholar Council Grant recipient currently studying in the department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick. Her current areas of interest include professional development of Chinese physical education teacher educators in university. Contact Yueying via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Yueying on Twitter.