Free Sample Personal Statement in Education
The genesis of my intense interest in education, an interest which has now evolved into an aspiration and a pursuit for a career in the field, happened during my undergraduate studies. A Basic Training Program delivered by the graduates from Yale University (as part of an exchange program) changed my understanding of education and, together with it, the course of my life. Those graduate students were young, vigorous, and highly intelligent, demonstrating impressive teaching expertise. In particular, I was fascinated by their original and unique teaching methodology. I came to realize that education should be dominated by advanced concepts, assisted by effective teaching strategies, both of which are vitally important for bringing out a greater social role from education. Education represents for me a field in which I can achieve satisfying personal development.
Out of my love of teaching and with distinguished undergraduate performance, I chose to work, upon graduation, as a teacher at the Department of English of Wuhan University, the most prestigious university in Central China. In my teaching practice, I attach significant importance to modifying the monotonous conventional English teaching strategies widely employed by the generation of my teachers. I introduced original English movies, classroom debates, mini-plays and other forms of teaching into my classroom to change the conventional passivity in the students' acquisition of English knowledge. In addition, I endeavor to gain insights into the student' learning psychology from in-class and off-class communications with them so as to bring something new for each lesson. Frankly, I should attribute all my creativities to the enlightenments that I received from the Basic Training Program and from the self-study of many Western works on education that I read under the influence of the Program.
Out of my four-year teaching career, I have developed a heartfelt love for this profession. For my professional dedication and for my innovative teaching, I have been awarded a succession of honors that endow me with a strong sense of pride and achievement. Those honors include highest prizes for many pedagogical contests of young teachers at the municipal and provincial level. My research results are embodied in the publication of a series of English textbooks like An Introductory Course of English Grammar for College Students and Reading, Writing and Translation Skills for Students of English Majors. I participated in the construction of the "Question Database of National Band IV English Proficiency Test of College Students Majoring in English" and have been invited to mark the English test papers of the National University Entrance Examination and the National Band IV & VI English Proficiency Test of College Students Majoring in English. In addition, I was responsible for organizing the First English Speech Contest for College Students of Hubei Province and the participants from my university won second prize under my direction.
Nevertheless, as I delve deeper into my work, I have become increasingly aware that the status quo of Chinese education has much to be desired. The relatively backward education concepts and teaching methodologies have made it inevitable that Chinese education as a whole remains out of pace with the overall international education development. On the macro level, the existing Chinese education theories fall behind those of the United States. Although Internet education has made considerable headway in China, it essentially remains another form of test-oriented education instead of becoming the true Internet education in the Western sense. On the personal level, I have encountered some practical problems in my teaching experience and although I can find ready solutions to some of them by consulting relevant works by Western educators, I am convinced that the most serious problems can be worked out only via a more systematic study program. Under such circumstances, to pursue an advanced degree in education becomes a necessary condition for me if I were to seek further, more fruitful breakthroughs in my future teaching career and in my research in educational methodology.
In the rapidly developing 21st century, conventional mode of education, like most other aspects of social life, has come under great impact in terms of its concepts and its strategies. The pursuit for higher levels of educational development has largely transformed the educational value orientation of the general public. The educational model that is centered on the cognitive and intellectual instruction has been seriously questioned. Greater attention has been devoted to the cultivation of well-developed personality and to the ontological status of the individual in education. Such issues as the internal studies of education science, scientific decision-making in education, and meta-education have also been increasingly emphasized upon. There have also been innovations in educational research methodology. The tendency has been to combine modern technology with humanistic research categories and with naturalistic research categories, and to organically integrate qualitative descriptions with quantitative descriptions. It is also important to carry out educational experimentations in which educational predictions are complemented by educational feedbacks. Both the complexity of education and the complexity of human individuals have made the comprehensive application of diverse educational approaches necessary. Those new horizons are what fascinate me.
The reason why I apply for the University of Massachusetts at Amberst is that it is the first state university with a time-honored history. The School of Education in this university is quite prominent among its counterparts in the field. I am particularly attracted by the School's powerful pedagogical resource, vibrant intellectual atmosphere and a comprehensive curriculum. I plan to apply for a degree program in Instructional Technology or Educational Psychology, both of which enjoy unparalleled academic reputation in the world. My application for Instructional Technology is motivated by my strong interest in the application of modern science and technology, especially the information technology represented by the Internet, in the field of education and in the nature of a series of revolutionary changes resulting thereof. Instructional Technology is a new discipline that has emerged as a result of the rapid development of modern communication technology since the late 20th century. It has tremendous potential for development and commercial application.
As for my motive in selecting Educational Psychology as another possible area of specialization in my degree program, it is my long-cherished interest that primarily counts. On the other hand, all the accomplished educators since the 1960's have been well-versed in psychology. Almost every important new educational theory is derived psychological findings in one way or another so that educational psychology has subsequently developed into a fundamental subject for the science of education. The tendency in the 21st century is to emphasize on the micro research of educational activities and against this backdrop educational psychology will be attached greater importance. In Instructional Technology, I would like to focus on the following studies: how to improve educational efficiency by applying research results from natural sciences and engineering technology; how to explore the combination and coordination of pedagogical contents and to improve teaching methodology by exploiting the theoretical findings from psychology and educational science concerning the process of teaching and learning. In Educational Psychology, I will concentrate on applied cognition and development, creative education, personality structure and individual differences and other related subjects.
For me, to pursue an advanced degree in education in the United States is not so much a challenge as an opportunity. At present, major reforms are being introduced into virtually every important aspect of Chinese society. The field of education especially calls for comprehensive reforms. The United States occupies an absolutely leading position in the present-day world in education. It is my conviction that, in the United States, advanced educational theories, technologies and information will facilitate me immensely in the achievement of remarkable academic progress, fulfilling my aspiration to become an accomplished professional in the field of education. This will not only bring my patriotic fervor into reality but also make my life more meaningful and rewarding.
Example Letter of Intent for Graduate School
A graduate school letter of intent sets the tone for your application. As such, you want to ensure you cover all the bases, from formatting to content. A sample letter of intent for graduate school could help get you started.
First, the basics. A graduate school letter of intent is, in essence, a cover letter for your application. It’s a formal letter that focuses on who you are, why you’re applying to that particular Master's or Doctoral program, and why that program should consider your application. However, there might be a few different ways to do this. You might focus your letter on specific achievements related to your application and goals. Or you could write in a more personal way, showing who you are and why you are committed to grad school. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to pay close attention to the style and mechanics of effective letter writing.
Letter of Intent Format
If you’ve ever written a business cover letter, the following information might seem a little familiar. That’s because the mechanics of writing a letter of interest are quite similar. In essence, a formal letter is comprised of a header, a salutation, the body, and the closing. Each of these needs to be present in your letter of intent and typically confined to a single printed page. Length requirements may vary, though, so make sure you’re familiar with the application requirements when you write.
The header should contain each of the following elements, separated by a line break.
- The sender’s full name, address, and contact information (phone and/or email)
- The date the letter is being sent
- The recipient’s name and address. (Note: It’s a good idea to personalize this as much as possible. If you can find out the name of the primary decision-maker who will be reading your application contents, address the letter to that person, unless instructed otherwise. If you can’t find this information, something more general like “Graduate Selection Committee” could be used instead.)
Here is an example letter of intent header:
Ms. Alice Henry
432 Bridge Street
March 3, 2017
Graduate Program Director
How to Write a Letter of Intent: Contents and Organization
The body of your letter of intent is where you could introduce yourself to the application committee and make your case for acceptance. You might take a few different approaches here, depending on your purpose in writing a letter of intent. While this could vary widely, most of the time it will alternate between two specific goals.
- Guiding the reader’s attention to specific elements of the application packet (i.e. certain accomplishments, experience, etc.)
- Personalizing the application, by giving the reader a more holistic view of who the applicant is and why they’re applying
Which one is appropriate for you depends, in many ways, on your background and the rest of your application. For example, if you’re applying with a stellar GPA, an impressive resume, and high test scores, you might not need that element of personalization to set you apart. Instead, it might be a good idea to emphasize your most impressive achievements.
In this case, the organization of your letter of intent body may be fairly straightforward, taking a note from business-oriented cover letters. For example, you might dedicate the first paragraph to the opportunity you’re pursuing. The second might be about your relevant skills and how you’ve demonstrated them. You could then end with your educational or career background related to your application.
But what if your CV is a little more average, or if you have struggled in the past? Then an alternate approach, like your personal story, might be a solid tactic. By giving an identity and context to your application, you could draw attention to who you are and your passion for your field.
In this case, how you organize the letter may vary widely, depending on what you’re trying to say and the story you have to tell. Often this could be chronological. But it might be a good idea to put some thought into how you’re planning to organize your letter. Then look back at your draft to make sure that strategy works.
Sample Letter of Intent for Graduate School
The following is an example letter of intent for graduate school, written by fictional school applicants. While your letter of interest should be entirely unique, this example may give you a few ideas to start. You can also use it as a letter of intent template to ensure you are following the correct format.
Example Letter of Intent
This writer chose to take a more personal approach with their content. So instead of organizing the paragraphs based on the type of achievement, they did it chronologically, telling the story behind why they want to study in that program.
Mr. Robert Smith
5 Main Street
February 11, 2017
University of Education
Graduate Program Director
Attn: Graduate Selection Committee
I am applying to your master’s program in elementary education for the Fall 2017 semester. After earning my undergraduate degree in elementary education from Teachers University, I worked for seven years as a fourth grade teacher ABC Elementary School in Anytown, Idaho.
I have wanted to be a teacher since third grade, inspired by my experience with my own teacher. As a student, I struggled to understand multiplication. I remember feeling frustrated, helpless, and sad. My teacher recognized my problem and spent months tutoring me in the subject after school. It took a lot of time and a great deal of patience on her part, but one day it clicked. Suddenly, I understood what I was doing. The joy and pride I felt was unmatched by any other moment in my preceding nine years.
I learned much more than multiplication during our study sessions. My teacher taught me to believe in myself. She taught me about the value of hard work, and the joy one experiences when helping others. Even at nine, I knew I wanted to share those lessons. For the past seven years, I have been fortunate enough to do so, with great success. Last year, I was selected from a pool of thirty teachers as the school’s “Most-Liked Teacher,” an award conferred by student opinion.
I have chosen to apply to the University of Education to pursue a master’s degree in elementary education because I am passionate about building upon the success and fulfillment I have already experienced as a teacher. My academic and career goals include exploring cutting-edge teaching techniques integrating the latest technology within my classroom. The University of Education’s reputation for excellence in developing new teaching technologies is the catalyst for my decision to attend graduate school in the first case. I am particularly interested in pursuing the New Teaching Models track, and I’m considering writing a thesis on the topic.
Thank you for your considering my application. It would be an honor to continue my studies and pursue my passion at the University of Education.
The Takeaways for Your Graduate School Letter of Intent
Hopefully the above sample letter of intent for graduate school helped you gain a clearer picture of what you need to write. Once you’ve finished, carefully review your draft for spelling errors, typos, grammar, and punctuation. It’s also important to ensure you have all the correct and complete information. Easy-to-miss details, like the wrong name of the recipient or school, could damage your chances of consideration. Check that these are correct, and that your main body content stays on-message. Finally, make sure your letter content is organized in a logical way for a reader.
Your letter of intent could be your first impression on the application committee. Follow these guidelines and use a sample letter of intent to make that impression count.