Once upon a time long ago, when I was 12, I sat in a classroom and copied from the board. I remember comparing different countries in terms of flags, capital cities and places of interest. I learned history from a textbook which presented one perspective as if it were the truth.
Fast forward to 2011. Year 6 students at my school have just started a unit on social inequities. They will explore the kinds of action that can possibly make a difference. They will hear from primary sources at our coming social justice conference about issues such as poverty, gender inequality, refugees and access to education. They will choose their areas of interest for further independent inquiry.
As a PYP school, our approach encourages learners to engage with big ideas, to develop global awareness and to be caring, responsible citizens of the world. It’s a long way from copying off the board, studying superficial differences between countries or receiving a distorted view of history… to powerful learning like this.
A different piece…
The above was written on the plane on my way to India, where I am on a short visit to Pune. It’s my first face to face meeting with my friend Suneeta Kulkarni, who works (among other things!) with the SOLES and SOMES. I have visited a local school, attended by very poor children from slums and I’ve been to the village of Yeoli to meet the rural kids with whom I will interact via Skype when I am back home. I’m constantly faced with reminders that my privileged school represents only a tiny piece of what comprises education in our world.
My blog series on learning in different contexts is a small attempt at creating awareness of other realities. If you’re involved in or have thoughts about education (or lack thereof) in a different context, would you like to share your piece via a guest post at this blog?
Let’s try to increase awareness among educators around the globe that ‘our reality’ is just a very tiny piece of the whole.