Time of the Gypsies (LS-GR-788)


“Gypsy” is the derogative term used for Romani people, an ethnic group that transcends boundaries worldwide, carrying its own culture and traditions over centuries. Despite often being considered social pariahs and being subjected to violence and discrimination, living in segregated settlements, and suffering human rights violations, the Roma people are depicted in literature, poetry, filmography and music through a romantic lens, as evident in a wide range of masterpieces, from Lorca’s “Gypsy Ballads” to Kusturica’s “Time of the Gypsies”, from Django’s Jazz music to Netflix series “Peaky Blinders”, to name but a few. The emerging ideas are freedom, spirituality, independence, love for nature, music and dance, a bohemian lifestyle, mystery and passion.

The aim of the Learning Scenario

The aim of this learning scenario is to get students acquainted with the Roma history, culture and representation in arts, to break down stereotypes, raise awareness about this minority that has often fled famine and oppression, and foster an inclusive environment for Roma children in school. The tasks are designed on the basis of the differentiated instruction principles and the flipped classroom methodology in a blended environment. The ultimate goal is to get the students think critically by reflecting on how any minority is restrained due to social norms and often misrepresented in arts and culture via open discussion in the form of a Socrative seminar. The final product is an interactive map to celebrate the International Roma Day on 8th April. 

Inclusive education via differentiated instruction

Differentiation is the means and inclusive education is the goal of this learning scenario. The national curriculum for English language teaching in classes 9-10-11 requires teachers to provide a variety of stimuli to trigger the students’ critical thinking skills with respect to experiential learning in an authentic context. Minorities and inclusion are often featured among the chosen topics of textbooks, with special emphasis on refugees. However, the Roma people have long lived as a secluded ethnic group within many European societies, therefore, this learning scenario is targeting this topic.

The outcome of the lesson

In terms of a tangible end-product, an interactive map will be created by the students depicting key figures of the Roma culture in arts. As far as intangible outcomes are concerned, the students are expected to sharpen their critical thinking skills by conducting their own research based on the probing questions assigned and by getting involved in a structured dialogue in the form of a Socratic discussion.

The same process could be followed, and the same product could be craft for any chosen minority.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario?

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Institutul Național Al Patrimoniului.

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