Myca Cabuay, a junior majoring in psychology and minoring in education and biology, is an undergraduate researcher in UCI's School of Education. Below, she shares her perspectives on her educational experiences and her future plans.
My name is Myca Cabuay. I am a third-year psychology major with a double minor in biology and education here at UC Irvine. I was born in the Philippines but moved to America when I was five. Since my father was in the military, I often moved from place to place, which meant that I also moved to different schools frequently. Being in different schools allowed me a greater perspective on what education was like. I experienced going to a school with low quality education and a school where athletics were highly loved, and other different types of schools. My experiences included being with kids of many different backgrounds – from the upper class to the lower middle class, with various ethnicities and nationalities.
I think it is because of these experiences that I became interested in education and how the different styles affect not only a child’s way of learning but also their psyche and development, which is why I also took a liking to psychology. I want to be able to use what I learned in psychology to improve children’s education.
Currently, there are a lot of differences in how a child learns based on their SES, race, gender, etc. All these factors can affect a child’s development, which is important for how they will act in the future, and determine certain aspects of their life, especially as they proceed through school. In order for a child to succeed, they should be granted access to a well-built education that nurtures their cognitive abilities and skills. Combining what we have learned about child development and looking at the current education system, I think we can find a proper solution that will give all children equal opportunity to succeed in their learning and maintain success even as they grow to be adults.
Currently, I am a research assistant under Carlos Sandoval, a PhD student here at the School of Education. I am learning about Improvement Science, and how this concept can be used help find solutions to the various problems found in the educational system. Working with Carlos, I have learned a lot about how solutions are not always easy to find, and that the problems we think we may have actually can be just a subset of a bigger problem. Improvement science is a thing I am very interested in, and I hope to continue working under this lab. Having Education as my minor centers my goals more on what I wish to do in the future.
One of my future goals is to be a school psychologist. I also hope to be able to do my own research – about the education system - and contribute more findings in the child development field.