Beginning with two travel opportunities next year, our History Department is developing an Asian Studies curriculum and travel based on studies in History, Language, and Science. Our small group of intrepid scholars are working on a plan and, in particular, integrating curriculum with travel.
Beginning with the program started by the History department in 2006, the Language, History, and Science departments are gearing up for an elaborate program in China that involves curricular components with international travel. With the trips to Japan and Bhutan, my goal was to design a program that involved learning culture, history, and language. So, in the History department we integrated information in classes and in study outside of the classroom including parents and students in a rich learning environment.
Ying Ding, Mandarin teacher at our school, is following the model and expanding on it by including a wide variety of experiences and interactions with students and business leaders in China. Beginning next year, this program will be in place and include students in the Mandarin program.
All of these ideas have helped focus and guide the international travel we are doing in the History department. As a result, we are reframing international travel as a study program rather than as a trip to another country. The difference is an important one. Rather than touring in the traditional sense, we building a set of knowledge for students and parents about the places we visit and the people we encounter. Our goal is more than seeing sites; it’s about engaging in dialogue and conversation.
So, in the upcoming travel to Japan and Bhutan, we will engage in the best of travel; meeting, talking, laughing, playing, all of the pieces of interaction that make an experience something worth being a part of. That idea, in a nutshell, is the plan.