Monday, August 27, 2007

Creating A World Village, Day Three

The Day of Reckoning. Of course, I didn't call it that when I sent out the agenda to the participants of this program, but was the day that they were each supposed to bring a completed outline of the ideas for activities they all had for their partnerships. It was outlined by month. I'm thrilled to report that there are some impressive ideas to be had there. One of my favorites involved making virtual collages to exchange with partner students so they can learn more about one another through self-selected images.

I started the day with a reading from a National Geographic article I read this weekend, called "The Struggle for the Soul of Pakistan." The section from the article that I read explained the founding of Pakistan in the 1940s and provided quotes from the first leader about how it was first organized and why: "Pakistan's first leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and his brain trust of secular intellectuals created a fledgling democracy that gave Islam a cultural, rather than political, role in national life. Their Pakistan was to be a model of how Islam, merged with democratic ideals, could embrace the modern world." A young student, when reminded of this information replied, "That is a lie," Ayman says, her voice shaking with fury. "Everyone knows Pakistan was created as an Islamic state, according to the will of Allah. Where did you read this thing?"

This might seem a strange way to open my meetings about creating a World Village. My goal was to cultivate discussion about how these deep-held beliefs that we ALL have can be incredibly wrong and how to do we go about mining for our own incorrect assumptions about being American? It's a tough but important talk for us to have with our children.

After spending some time reviewing the outlines for activities each teacher brought, we talked about our successes and challenges ahead, and then finished the meetings by writing scripts for a mini-movie we made. We're required to present to our faculty at Fall Meetings about what it is we've been doing all summer. So, our idea was to make a "cooking show" demonstrating how to make a Global Village soup, with experts on the ingredients (like blogs, wikis, nings). I'll upload it to YouTube tomorrow for all to see.

In the meantime, the Day of Reckoning left me breathing a sigh of relief. We can do this. We can really do this.

Image Credit:
Photograph by Reza.

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