Alicia Wong

High school geography teacher with Singapore’s Ministry of Education

Why did you choose the MA in Global Thought and how did it prepare you for your current position?

Born in Singapore and having studied in London prior to the program, I have always been conscious of the existence of the ‘global’, but paradoxically, the ‘global’ was for me, also something difficult to grasp. What exactly is the global? What does being a global citizen entail? Is being global about an attitude, an open-mindedness to things beyond the ‘local’? How does the local influence the global, and how does the global manifests itself in the everyday local? These questions sparked my interest in the MA Global Thought program as I believed it would (and it had!) allow me to gain a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of globalization and explore how seemingly disparate approaches, concepts and ideas from different disciplines can be integrated to foster new perspectives and fresh ways of thinking.

As a geography teacher, I hope to help students gain a greater understanding of the interconnections between places, people, and scales through issues such as global migration. The MA in Global Thought program, with its emphasis on global connections has hence equipped me well for my role as a teacher. In my role as a future education policy-maker, the program’s emphasis on an interdisciplinary perspective will also be valuable in helping me overcome the instinct to think in silos, and contribute more constructively to discussions on how to foster effective, innovative solutions to the educational challenges posed by globalization.

How did you come to work in your current career field and what inspires you about your work?

I’m currently a geography teacher in a high school in Singapore and will be moving into education policy-making with Singapore’s Ministry of Education in a few years. I was inspired to join the education sector by the numerous wonderful and caring teachers I had met throughout my schooling years, and by the opportunity to help youths discover and fulfill their goals by motivating, guiding and supporting them in their foundation years. As an educator, I believe in imparting more than content knowledge and skills. I also hope to inspire my students to be individuals who are caring, empathetic and responsible, and who aspire to help improve the lives of those around them. When it comes to choosing a career path, a piece of advice I received and would like to share is to seek a career at the intersection of your interests, where help is needed the most, and where you are able to make a valuable contribution to!

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Alicia Wong, Class of 2017