I’m excited about the possibilities of this project. It is one that my colleague and I have been discussing, planning and re-working since the beginning of the year.
Working in an international school is a fantastic opportunity for many reasons. For me, the most important of these is the place in which we work. Schools are great for learning, but the world around us is even better. I feel sometimes that our students, and even some teachers, miss out on the learning that comes from the place where we live. It is easy to live within the bubble of the ex-pat world and miss learning from the people and places around us. That’s what this project is about.
We hope to encourage our students to listen to the stories around them and find out a little bit more about the communities within which they exist . Not just their expat community, but their neighbourhoods, their families, and the people who work for and around them. Students will be asked to listen and re-tell stories from their friends, family and locals as they work their way through the project.
We recently had one of the founders of Accra[dot]Alt come in and talk about their project and the importance of recording history and sharing the thriving culture of Ghana to dispel the myth of a continent that only suffers. We are trying to line up a few more guest speakers as well including Daniel from the Troski Journal who will talk about the social activism aspect of his own cultural history project.
The activities will include students collecting and telling their own personal history across a couple of days based on their use of social media and texting. We hope that this will lead to a good discussion about how history is told and what is included as well as left out.
The project is scheduled to start after spring break and last most of the rest of the school year. Even though we have a solid plan, we fully expect it to change and develop as we go. We are hoping to make this a yearly project that students will look forward to, tweak and develop into their own passionate learning experiences.