Thursday 26 Oct, 2017

Connecting to the Classroom

Liam is a social studies educator from Winnipeg, MB who is about to embark upon his first adventure with his students. Though he has travelled extensively in his personal life, he has recently decided to open up these opportunities for his students. Liam has found an excellent way to connect his classroom curriculum with these international experiences, which enhances both the class work and the educational tour. Read more to learn how Liam as worked to connect his school with the larger mission of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network.

As a young kid, I was lucky enough to follow my parents around the World.  I missed school in Canada to live in places like China and New Zealand, attending schools in very different societies than where I grew up.  That experience was tremendous and has stayed with me.  I gained more through that experience than in grade 6 in Winnipeg.  I was extremely lucky.  After university, I lived abroad for 4 years teaching in places that I likely never would travel to if given a ticket.  These two experiences taught me more about the differences in culture, climate, food, social norms, topography, but most importantly, about myself.

Oracle at Delphi

I teach Geography, Anthropology and Sociology at a UNESCO high school in Winnipeg.

  • My classes are filled with personal stories, pictures, and videos that I connect very easily to our curriculum. I promote travelling daily to my students as I believe the benefits of removing yourself from your comfort zone is essential, especially early on in life.
  • As a UNESCO school, we tweak our curriculum to fit the UNESCO pillars: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together. I admit my subjects connect with those pillars easier than other courses.
  • Climates, economies, resources, cultures, sustainability, and just beautiful places are topics we cover in my classes and I wanted our Journeys to be about experiencing as many of those as possible.

Venetian Gondolier

UNESCO JOURNEY

  • Promoting and choosing students for our schools inaugural “UNESCO Journey” was a massive success. With help from a colleague, we promoted our idea in our classrooms, and we were blown away with the interest students had.
  • We had over 100 students show to our first information meeting, which gave us the luxury of being able to select students based on more than just interest in travelling to cool places.
  • We wanted them to experience what we taught in our school, and this tour focusses on curricular outcomes found in Art, Language Arts, Geography, History, Western Civilization, Sociology, Anthropology, as well as Global Issues. On our journey, students will be able to experience:
    • Affects of climate change in Venice and what they are doing for their future
    • Famous art in the Vatican and in Florence
    • Ruins of past civilizations in Rome and Athens
    • Incredible archaeology sites such as Pompeii with a connection to tectonics
    • Food and cultural events in a variety of places.
  • Travel – Do it. And take students with you.
    • They will grow as people. This is the perfect age to experience something that will change their lives!
    • They will appreciate other places as well as where they come from
    • They will establish important relationships with people and cultures
    • They will have a deeper appreciation for our World in many respects

Take our young on a journey outside of the classroom.  Its fun and worth it for so many reasons.

Inspired to learn how to build your own heritage site-inspired journey? Check out all the places you can go!