“You’re taking Ergonomics??”

People are often surprised when I tell them I’m taking a class called Ergonomics. “Is it part of the curriculum?”, they ask. “Yes”, I reply, “It is part of my curriculum.” 

Learning about ergonomic desks for the classroom!

Learning about ergonomic desks for the classroom!

How? How is Ergonomics a part of the curriculum in a school of Education?

The answer is simple, and is the very reason I applied to come to HGSE in the first place.

The Ed.M Special Studies program. On this track, I design my own curriculum. I pick the courses that I decide will best suit my needs and interests.

If it sounds too good to be true, rest assured, it IS indeed 100% a real track! But I am still in awe everyday at how lucky I am to be part of such a flexible and personally-tailored Master’s program. It is truly the perfect fit for me.

I chose to take Ergonomics (a course offered by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) to gain insight into K-12 classroom design for optimal student working conditions. The curriculum I proposed in my personal statement involved a combination of Math Pedagogy and Health Awareness. However, this may change as I discover new interests inspired by classmates and courses. That is the beauty in SSP–you are not “stuck” with the curriculum you initially planned.

Many of my cohort peers are also taking advantage of our unique Special Studies program by engaging in classrooms at Tufts, MIT, other Harvard schools, or independent study.

In the Special Studies program, you take control of what you study! Education is the intersection of many different fields, and there is no curriculum too crazy for consideration! If you are debating between a few different tracks at HGSE, I encourage you to apply to SSP. The cohort is full of individuals with unique stories and unique educational perspectives and goals.

There is no other program like it, and you will not regret joining the SSP crew here at HGSE! 🙂

Pam Liu is a beer-loving yogi who works as a high school math teacher and travels the world on the side. She’s currently a Master’s candidate in the Special Studies program.

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