Kyle Gibson

'I knew I had found something worth studying...'

  • Kyle gibson

Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Philosophy

Bachelor of Science in Geography and Philosophy

Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary)

Studying towards a Master of Arts in Philosophy

History Teacher, Unity High School, Khartoum, Sudan

Perhaps surprisingly, it was only after starting university that Philosophy graduate Kyle discovered the passion for education which is now driving his plan to become a teacher.

‘I came to university because I had nothing better to do,’ he admits. ‘I was the perfect example of someone who wasn’t going to achieve – I hadn’t attained NCEA Level 3 or any other academic success. I was unmotivated, and I just enrolled in whatever papers looked interesting.

‘But after attending the very first Philosophy lecture my attitude changed, and I knew I had found something worth studying. Philosophy enabled me to appreciate other areas of knowledge and value my own education.’

With three degrees under his belt, Kyle could not have predicted such a successful outcome, which he puts down to studying Philosophy.

‘If it wasn’t for the skills I learned in Philosophy I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have completed any degree at university,’ he says.

‘While I highly value the skills and knowledge I have attained from my study in History, Geography and Political Science, the critical thinking skills I have learned from Philosophy were the best preparation for learning new skills and concepts. Philosophy taught me how to attain new knowledge, and that in turned has enabled me to complete the other majors I am now learning to teach.’

Now in the final stage of his studies, having stayed on at UC to gain his secondary teaching qualification, Kyle says that his long-term dream is to inspire other young people by teaching the subject himself.

‘Interacting with students in the classroom environment is both challenging and extremely enjoyable,’ he says. ‘Ensuring that twenty-eight teenage boys leave a class with more knowledge and skills than they came in with is difficult, but important and rewarding!

‘After qualifying, I plan to travel and work overseas as a teacher. I would love to teach philosophy in high schools, and as this is added to the New Zealand curriculum over the coming years I plan to return to New Zealand as a philosophy teacher in a Christchurch high school.’

Having studied several major subjects, Kyle is in a good position to comment on the experience of studying at UC.

‘The departments I’ve studied with have all been run efficiently, and the staff who work and teach within them are excellent. The highlight of this University is the lecturers and the quality of their teaching. They have been extremely supportive throughout my time here. Without exception they have been generous with their time, approachable, and knowledgeable.’

He encourages others to consider Philosophy as an excellent preparation for a variety of paths, and as a great complement to other subjects.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed studying multiple majors and I would recommend to others that they do the same. Both a BA and a BSc can easily be structured to contain a Philosophy major in addition to another major. But even if you only study one major, I still unreservedly recommend Philosophy – the skills it teaches are that valuable and important.’

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