Staff Profile/Mathematics Department

thomasqi

Thomas Qi

I first discovered my interest in teaching through a seminar held by university classmates. We held regular weekly gatherings in which we shared our new ideas and knowledge about mathematics and physics. Over the course of these meetings, I realized my strong interest and incentive in conveying knowledge and thought to others. This led me to dedicate my career to teaching.

 

My educational experience spanned across three different regions: pre-university in Mainland China, undergraduate in Hong Kong, and postgraduate in the US at Columbia University. I treasure these opportunities since not many can experience such different teaching and learning styles. They have allowed me to recognise that Asian and Western cultures have vastly different philosophies in teaching and learning. I have found that Asian teaching is based on exams and practicing. Western teaching is contrastingly based on projects, focuses on understanding and promotes diversity in students. As a mathematics teacher, it is extremely hard to say which is better. I have experienced both throughout my own education, as well as through teaching experience both in local schools in Mainland China and US schools. Interestingly, I have observed that both are changing their approach; the US Education Department is adding more standardized tests and the China Education Department is introducing more personalized assessments.

 

Hong Kong is unique as both systems are present here; they are classified as international schools and local schools. I want to combine the advantages of both systems to create a new learning environment at Han Academy for students mastering mathematics. Students will be motivated, enjoy their studies and develop a self-awareness of their own learning needs. They will study independently and be dedicated to absorbing knowledge, rather than being spoon-fed information or playing games without genuinely learning.

 

Another valuable thing I learned from Columbia University is "try your best to be yourself", also a common philosophy in Ivy League Universities. Every student demonstrates different talents in math, but without a doubt, every student needs math. Though they may not need all the formulas and methodology in the long term, they will definitely need the logical thinking skills cultivated through studying math. My mission is to make every student form his or her own way of thinking to keep up with the fast pace of our changing world.