What can a teacher gain from the YMP? Interview with teacher Belgin Arusoglu. Turkey

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin´s quote fits what YMP teacher Belgin Arusoglu from School Ozel Fen Bilimleri Anadolu Lisesi in Istanbul, Turkey saw in the YMP. Belgin is the teacher leading the students that have created one of the YMP top projects this year.

Find out why she joined the YMP and what she has gained from this experience.

YMP team Q. How did you know about the YMP?

Belgin:3 years ago I learned about the YMP from a friend. She joined the YMP as a teacher and attended a YMP Global Environmental Youth Convention.”

YMP team Q. Why did you join the YMP?

Belgin: “Because of my major, I have a background in Biology and I am interested in Environmental Ecology. When I searched the YMP website I liked it, because of its practical approach. While I am teaching my students about ecology I need something active, practical. When I am lecturing about ecology students easily forgot what I say. So, I thought that if the students were engaged in the YMP they would learn by doing and thus they would gain practical knowledge about the environment, they would gain a more lasting knowledge.”

YMP team Q. What have you gained from participating as a teacher in the YMP?

Belgin: “Lots of things! As a teacher tutoring a group of students this way is something different. I gained many teaching qualities because as a YMP teacher I inform the students, I get them together, and encourage them. These kinds of things were new to me and now I’m comfortable with them.

Now the YMP has different feedbacks. It is a step in the right direction. Being honest, I have lots of things to do all during the week, teaching, home, and more, so before, I would not make the time to check the assignments of other students. But in the YMP, teachers are encouraged to give feedback so I read some assignments and I learn so many things from those assignments too. I really enjoy being a teacher in the YMP. I am learning.”

YMP team Q (Paola*) “I am also learning. In the YMP we learn all the time and it is in a very fun way. Even after many years there are always new things happening.”

Belgin: “Yes. Actually, I am going to use the knowledge I gained from the YMP website and from the assignments in my courses while I am teaching ecology. I will bring real examples that I have learned in the YMP to my other students.”

YMP team Q. When do the students find time to work with the YMP?

Belgin: “After school. Our school schedule is from 9am to 4pm. After 4pm our YMP students stay at the school and they work an additional one hour for the YMP sessions.”

YMP team Q. What do you think about the YMP global classrooms?

Belgin: “To have a global classroom is a good idea. Because all students get together on the site and they have the opportunity to get in contact with teachers also.  For example, I have made friends with other teachers from the YMP. I have not got in contact with them actively. But this academic year I am planning to get in contact with them and share projects.”

YMP team Q. Do you have any exceptional experience associated with the YMP?

Belgin: “Being involved in the YMP, is very educational, it teaches so many things to teachers and students. Also, I think that the English level of my students increased while during the program. To get in contact with the world, with other YMP teachers and students is very enjoyable. I like that.”

YMP team Wonderful!

Thank you Belgin


* Interview conducted and reported by Paola Mendoza – YMP Team.

What is the YMP? It is the Young Masters Programme on Sustainable Development, YMP, a free global web-based education and learning network. It is open for school students 16–18 years old and their teachers. Find more at www.goymp.org

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Other posts:

Interview with Belgin Arusoglu´s students.


What can YMP add to the school´s curriculum on sustainable development? YMP teacher experience

My name is Kyle Clark and I am a teacher from Orillia, Ontario, Canada.  For the past 4 years I have been living in Shenyang, China and teaching at the Sino-Canadian Program of Shenyang No.2 High School.  This is a Canadian curriculum High School program designed for Chinese students who are interested in studying abroad for University.

 I became aware of the Young Masters Programme (YMP) when it was introduced to me by a friend who is currently working for the program.  After a few minutes of reading through the website I became very excited to try to the program with my Grade 12 students.  One of the key concepts of the Canadian Grade 12 Global Geography course is the importance of sustainable development practices for the future health of the Earth.   I decided that including the YMP as a part of my Grade 12 course would be an exciting and unique way of teaching students about sustainable development.

            To me, the YMP program is a great way to introduce students to the topic of sustainable development.  Given what we now know about the environment and the Earth’s resources, the issue of sustainable development will continue to become a more and more important topic across the world. So far most of my students are around mission 8 in the YMP and the responses I have received from them have been very positive.  The YMP provides a range of missions and activities to engage students in learning, as well as providing a global classroom for collaboration and discussion between groups.  The program not only does a great job of bringing awareness to many of the environmental issues that are happening around the world, but it also encourages students to think more locally either about their country or even their city.    Another benefit of the Young Masters Programme is that it requires students and teachers to reflect on their everyday practices.  This is an important feature because oftentimes people do not consider the impact of their own actions.

            Based on my experience I would highly recommend the YMP program to any teachers who are covering courses related to world issues.  Many high school students do not have much international experience, so the opportunity to read missions, critique missions, and work alongside students from other countries is a great way to increase student awareness and knowledge about the types of issues that other countries are facing.  Many of my students have commented that they enjoy the opportunity to read responses from students in other parts of the world and are interested in how the issues or perspectives are different from their own.  Furthermore, the missions and activities provided through the YMP are a good mix of reading and research with practical application.  The opportunity to go into the community and complete a mission or try something related to the mission is something that my students have really enjoyed.  Many of my students have commented on how much they enjoy going to location in their city, taking some pictures, and thinking about that area in a way that may not have considered before.

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