Transforming learning through global collaboration
I have been thinking of potential topics for my global collaborative project for a couple of weeks now and have honed in on one that I am genuinely interested in. I have been collaborating for the past couple of years with our 7th grade Social Studies teacher as she did the American Revolution unit, and I always wondered if teachers taught the American Revolution in England? Do they have a different name for it? Do they take a different spin on it? Do they present a different perspective being on the other side of the proverbial coin? I got to thinking about this in terms of other conflicts, especially those that are more current and haven't had the time to settle into an accepted story of what happened. What stereotypes, blind spots or misunderstandings do we have versus the what the people have who are on the other side of the issue? What does having differing perspectives do to us? What would learning about other perspectives do to help us? I am sure that some countries don't even talk about the American Revolution. Why not? Why should they? Should they?
So, this project would partner together students in countries that might hold different perspectives on a the same topic. Students could explore what they have learned to be true, compare and contrast what other students have learned to be true and see how they do or do not match up. The more perspeciives on a topic the more interesting the discussion might be. They could create the "real" truth which is more balanced and culturally sensitive. Or, who knows, they might find out that their knowledge and understanding is the same. How did that happen? Where did they get this authoritative information?
I think that a project like this would make learning about historical events, which often don't relate to students' own lives, interesting and current. It broadens their thinking to a global level. They would become more culturall sensitive and more critical thinkers and evaluators of information. They would become...Perspective Detectives! Here's the link to my project-in-progres Perspective Detectives. I have more work to do on it, obviously, but it's a start. What do you think? I'd love to hear your ideas!