The activity took place during two hours. In order to better understand what we have to do, I created a graphical organiser about the cultural dimension. Students have noticed that the graphic organiser has different perspectives about the culture or people.
Using Europeana resources we tried to understand how an image can help us understand a story and what can we learn from a family history. What does cultural influence mean and in which areas of life it manifests? Not having a holiday as in the script of Jean-Christophe Jost, I asked students for the next hour to write an essay / interview with their parents. In the essay they took into account keywords such as their own identity, cultural influence, diversity, tolerance.
The next class, the students exposed their stories and shared with their colleagues their personal identity and family history. I chose this scenario for implementation because it was relevant for the age and the theme`s particularities of their own program. We have added that element, such as the diagram of the cultural dimension, to lead learning to the understanding that personal identity is built on cultural influences acquired.
We adapted the resources to the material possibilities of our own school, so the huge map was drawn on the blackboard.
It seemed beneficial to me to involve the family in the project. I also encouraged students to use European resources. Students have shown creativity in developing their own stories. In the footsteps of their own roots, they discovered with their family the complexity of their personal identity.
Stimulating critical thinking finally led to the conclusion that personal identity is closely linked to the cultural dimension and that, in the end, each of our choices changes something personally and has effects in the community. In the future, I intend to implement the project using a larger number of hours and to encourage students to interact with other family members. In a longer time, they can also spend more time researching Europeana.
Even so it was an interesting learning experience and the feedback provided by students encourages me to continue using the Europeana, using colleagues’ scenarios or simply making my own scenarios.
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