Dana Khairina Arkan | Student | Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Studying psychology was Dana’s childhood dream, and now she’s on the pathway to teaching it to others.

“We visited Sydney and Melbourne, and when I came to Melbourne, it was so nice,” Dana says. “I like the weather, even though I know it's like four seasons in a day, but I really love it, because my country only has two seasons. My parents also took me to different universities, and I loved the University of Melbourne the most.”

As an international student, Dana had to complete a one-year foundational study at Trinity College before enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology. During her undergraduate studies, Dana chose to study four breadth subjects at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

“My favourite Breadth subject was Wellbeing, Motivation and Performance. Every time I entered the tutorial room it didn’t feel like a subject to me; it was more like a mental relaxation class, and I really enjoyed it. Of course, it will benefit my future career as a psychology teacher as I can teach my students to practice wellbeing and resilience in their academic journey.

“For anyone considering taking a Breadth subject, I recommend you thoroughly research the subjects and make sure you choose one that aligns with your passion. I like psychology, so I searched for a subject that is psychology based. If you like sports, maybe you might like to choose sport psychology!”

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Her Breadth subjects were one of many inspirations that led to Dana deciding to enrol in the Master of Teaching (Secondary).

“I was inspired by one of my relatives who is a really good teacher,” Dana says. “Then I also taught my friends for psychology exams, and they would say, ‘you're so good at teaching, you should go into the Master of Teaching.’ I also volunteered as a psychology tutor for the Student Welfare Outreach Team [a non-profit organisation that helps regional students prepare for their VCE through free, online, one-on-one tutoring]. When the program ended, one of my students gave me really positive feedback, saying I should continue tutoring or even go into teaching because of how much I was able to help her. So, yeah, that's what inspired me to be here today.”

Student wearing a blazer
Dana is working towards becoming a psychology teacher

Dana is focused on two learning areas, psychology and media studies, two subjects she loves to teach. The highlight of the degree so far has been her school placement, where she actually got to teach at two campuses.

“It's really fun to meet the students and deliver the content, because I'm aware that teaching is not only delivering the content, but also managing students’ behaviour and acting professionally in front of colleagues and students. I enjoy that I get to transfer knowledge to people with the proper techniques and I get to work closely with the students in a more practical way, while obviously getting to know fellow teachers in Australia.

“I love teaching psychology, and I want to be a psychology teacher in Australia. I don't mind which part of Australia, as long as it's here, because I love this country. If possible, I want to be a psychology lecturer at an Australian university. I have a more positive view about myself and the world since I moved to Australia, and have loved psychology since I was a kid, Hence, why I want those dreams to be combined in the future. I would love to help make current students and the next generation understand the importance of mental health. It's so important that they take care of themselves and the people around them. I know that sometimes studying is tiring, it's stressful and challenging for them, but there's always help available.”

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