Scottish teachers are taking new approaches to their lessons after visiting East Africa, as part of the Global Learning Partnership
Developed by the Wood Foundation, GLP is a four week trip during the summer holidays to an East African country which aims to enhance primary and secondary teachers both personally and professionally.
Giving teachers a ‘hands on’ experience, the GLP enhances their teaching to pupils about the differences and similarities between life in Scotland and in other parts of the world.
Nicola Tanner, a design and technology teacher at St Machar Academy in Aberdeen, visited Rwanda for four weeks during her school summer holidays in 2014. On her return, she used the experience to change the way she teaches pupils to use computer software within her classroom.
She explains: “The students spent time researching Rwanda and then used image boards to help them create patterns and shapes which they replicated on the computer to print out and use to design tea towels. These were then sold at the school’s Multicultural Fair and funds raised went towards support a mobile library.”
“The trip to Rwanda was fantastic; an amazing experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The cultural knowledge I gained was vast and completely unattainable without Global Learning Partnership.”
Christine Beard, a primary teacher from Hazlehead Primary School, first took part in Global
Learning Partnerships during the 2013/14 year and spent four weeks living and working in Rwanda during her school summer holidays of 2014.
Christine has since returned to Rwanda twice. Her experiences have had a profound effect on how she views global citizenship.
“Yes, global citizenship is knowing about the world and other cultures and people, but it is much deeper than that. In the past I taught global citizenship without realising it. In this last year I taught global citizenship with an implicit understanding of what it is and why it is important”, Christine explains.
“I developed a working definition that global citizenship is just as much about forming relationships with the senior citizens living down the street as it is understanding poverty here in our own city and country as well as poverty in developing countries. It is about helping other people, staff, parents and pupils, recognise that global citizenship is an attitude and belief that we are all interconnected and have an impact on each other’s lives and a responsibility to be aware of that impact.”
“Global citizenship isn’t just lessons about other countries and cultures. It is about how we teach children to think and perceive their places and roles within society both here in Aberdeen as well as within the wider world.”
As well as providing educators with a unique learning experience, the GLP in turn helps to prepare young people for life and their active participation in a global multicultural society.