How’s this for a field trip? Instead of the usual quick tourist trip to London or Paris, Surrey high schools are about to offer a course that may take students to Central America or India – but only after students have studied the culture, politics, and history of their destination.
Global citizenship, travel and inquiry 12 will be offered to Grade 11 and 12 students in the 2014-2015 school year. Students will study the political, geographical and historical issues of a focus region that they will later visit during a 10 to 14 day trip. Before the trip, students will prepare to be thoughtful travelers by leaning the cultural norms and practices of the region – including dress, body language, and some common expressions and vocabulary.
Chris Pocock, social studies instructor at Fraser Heights Secondary, was part of a group of social studies teachers that developed the course. He says the program will offer trips that will open students’ eyes to the larger world.
“There are a lot of schools that do trips to London, Paris, Rome, but those are more tourist-type trips…the idea behind this is to make it more of a learning experience.”
He hopes to bring his students to countries in Central and South America, and said other social studies teachers are even hoping to bring their students to countries as far away as India.
Some kinks will need to be worked out, as to how to take students out of school for the two-week trip and not interfere with their Grade 12 studies.
“We don’t want to be limited to spring break, so how we take kids out of school for two weeks is an issue,” Pocock says. “You’d have be very cognisant of the other courses students are in.”
Pocock says there has been some interest in the course at Fraser Heights already, but says the social studies department will target the course to Grade 11 students starting in February, once terms exams are over.