IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Yibei Wang

Yibei is a Culture, Communication and Media MPhil/PhD student. She tells us about her research and how receiving the UCL Research Excellence Scholarship is transforming her practice.

Yibei smiling in a cafe. Image credit: Yibei Wang.

What did your journey to a PhD look like, and why did you choose to study at IOE?

My journey to pursuing a PhD was born out of a deep curiosity and passion for understanding how cultures intersect in educational settings. I have always been fascinated by how children from diverse backgrounds learn together, particularly in contexts where cultural heritage plays a significant role.

This interest led me to IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society.

IOE’s renowned reputation for research excellence and its emphasis on educational inclusivity drew me in.

I was particularly attracted to the diverse academic community at IOE, where scholars from various disciplines come together to explore the complexities of education in multicultural societies.

The opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field and to engage in rich discussions about transcultural education made IOE the perfect fit for my research journey.

What is your thesis about?

My thesis revolves around the intricate dynamics of learning in a transcultural classroom setting. Specifically, I am conducting an ethnographic study at a complementary school focused on nurturing Chinese language and culture among multilingual children of Chinese heritage.

The core focus of my research is to investigate the strategies employed by teachers in managing transcultural classrooms.

Through detailed fieldwork, including classroom observations, interviews, and analysis of interactions, the study aims to uncover the nuanced techniques teachers use to engage children in a transcultural space effectively.

You were awarded the UCL Research Excellence Scholarship, can you tell us how this will contribute to your studies and your practice?

Receiving the UCL Research Excellence Scholarship is a tremendous honour and a significant boost to my research endeavours.

With this scholarship, I am able to dedicate more time and resources to my fieldwork, data collection, and analysis.

It allows me to delve deeper into the complexities of transcultural education, ensuring that my research is thorough. Additionally, the scholarship opens doors to various academic opportunities, such as conferences and workshops, where I can share my findings and engage with scholars from around the world.

What was the best part of your time at UCL, and how did it shape your career?

The best part of my time at UCL has been the enriching academic environment and the supportive community of scholars and students. These have not only deepened my understanding of transcultural education but have also equipped me with the skills and confidence to pursue a career in academia.

I am grateful for the opportunities UCL has provided me, and I am excited to continue contributing to the field of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics.

Tell us about your field of study. What do you find interesting about it and what inspires you?

My field of study, transcultural education, is a captivating intersection of culture, language, and learning.

What I find most intriguing is the potential it holds for fostering inclusivity and understanding in diverse educational settings. The diverse backgrounds of students in transcultural classrooms create a rich tapestry of experiences, beliefs, and perspectives.

Exploring how teachers navigate these complexities, create inclusive learning environments, and promote cultural exchange is both challenging and rewarding. What truly inspires me is the impact that effective transcultural education can have on students.

By embracing diversity, fostering intercultural communication, and celebrating heritage languages and cultures, educators have the power to empower students to become global citizens. I am motivated by the possibility of contributing to the development of pedagogical practices that not only enhance academic learning but also cultivate empathy, respect, and appreciation for diverse cultures.

My research aims to bridge gaps, build connections, and pave the way for more inclusive and equitable educational experiences for all students.

About the Research Excellence Scholarship

This scholarship award aims to attract outstanding scholars to undertake doctoral research at UCL. UCL offers up to 40 fully funded awards to exceptional candidates from any country. Find out more about the Research Excellence Scholarship and view more funding available to UCL students.

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