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David O. McKay School of Education

Historical Background

● In 1921 David O. McKay, then an apostle of the Church, dedicated China for the eventual receipt of the restored gospel;

● In 1996 during the celebration of the 75 th anniversary of the creation of a college of education, the college was re-named to be the David O. McKay School of Education;

● It is worth noting that the BYU College of Education was created in the same year that David O. McKay dedicated China for the receipt of the gospel. Seventy-five years later, the College of Education received its new name. This year, 2016 we realize the 20 th anniversary of the creation of the David O. McKay School of Education.

● In 1999 the David O. McKay School of Education began a professional association with Beijing Normal University which has resulted in the sponsorship of several shared initiatives including, international conferences, joint publication of research and product development, student exchange at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels, and faculty exchanges;

● The McKay School has had considerable experience placing student teachers with the Helen Foster Snow school in the city of Xi’An. The Snow school could not sustain a suitable program for our students and the McKay School was able to withdraw graciously from that experience;

● The McKay School was approached by the Clifford School from the city of Guangzhou with a request to send student teachers to that school;

● The Kennedy Center at BYU has approved a Study Abroad program for students who are able to satisfy their student teaching requirements by teaching at the Clifford School in Guangzhou;

● Several of the units at BYU who have ongoing relationships and contacts in China have been consulted by the McKay School and, in each case, received confirmation that the current and proposed activities of the McKay School do not conflict with those other interests;

By the Numbers

 Since 1999 the MSE and BNU have jointly sponsored not fewer than 8 international conferences on topics of mutual interest affecting almost 2,000 of China’s most accomplished educators representing each of China’s individual provinces.


 In conjunction with the Helen Foster Snow School in Xi’An and the Clifford School in Guangzhou, approximately 8 students each year from the MSE complete their student teaching requirement for graduation 


 Not fewer than 6 post-doctoral and doctoral students from China have completed degree programs at the McKay School


 Not fewer than 5 scholars from China have visited for extended periods of time to study with colleagues at the MSE


 There have been more than 20 research studies conducted jointly between Chinese and McKay School researchers which have been published in highly regarded journals and other publications in the US.  


 Topics of interest and research include the economics of education in a developing economy, the development of student self management strategies, the implementation of action research strategies for in- service teachers, blended learning to leverage technology and physical facility resources, special education testing and recognition of at risk populations in classrooms, video ethnography and teacher cognition, the effects of trauma, such as fire, earthquake, suicide, terrorism, for American and Chinese students, messages of public perceptions of special needs persons as depicted in children and adolescent literature.

Going Forward

● The McKay School will continue to coordinate its activities in China with other units at BYU to leverage resources and preserve good relationships and associations.

● As we look to the future, as resources permit, we would wish for more and improved opportunities to connect with China, Chinese scholars, and the Chinese people. We would wish for more faculty members and students who speak Chinese or have an area of academic focus in China and the Chinese people. With such additional skills and interests we would be better able to sponsor scholarly and student exchanges with BNU and other institutions.

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