As a part of my FDAT- Grantee semester, I am visiting several High Schools in the U.S. My host High School is placed in Bloomington and covers comprehensive Grades 9-12 and has 1650 students. Classes are 80 minutes in length and in between the lessons the students have a five minute passing period. Students of the school do have lots of Student involvement opportunities like over 45 Student-led Clubs and Groups, over 20 Sports activities, Academic Teams, Student-Led-Support and Advocacy Groups together with Performing Art Groups.So the school is not just for learning different subjects, it is also for learning various life opportunities. The School facilities for extra-curriculum and sports activities are impressive: the school has its own swimming pool and other sport places, auditorium and music rooms. This list could just continue and continue..
Hopefully in the future my new home school building in Jyväskylä can impress me with the new image of learning environments and with positive approach to building up ” our school”-feeling once again. That positive and encouraging atmosphere is something you really notice in here at schools.
” Losers Let It Happen, Winners Make It Happen”.
“By Failing to Prepare, You Are Preparing to Fail”
” Be a Loud Speaker Instead of Being a Bystander”
Those kind of slogans you can find from all over the school. Students are in different ways encouraged to take part in discussions and giving their arguments on the issues. The academic approach is not always such a deep one ( at least in comparison to my IB students), but the encouraging atmosphere is something which makes you to wonder: Could we learn something from this positive approach and make our school even better?
Every morning the Pledge takes place; you are not forced to do that, but most of the students stand up and make their oath. America is consisted of 50 different kind of states, but their patriotism is untouchable.
My inquiry project aims to find out how the American teachers in these particular schools are using primary sources in their history lessons. As a part of this project my goal is to investigate the approach to historical thinking, multi-literacy and historical understanding. So the methods which American history teachers are involved with when they really aim to focus on these questions, will be my priority objects. All in all this project comes will be highly related with my own work as an IB history teacher in Jyväskylän Lyseon lukio; the use of Primary sources are really taken into account in IB history teaching and the students should be able to evaluate the sources by their origin, purpose, value and limitations.
In coming weeks and months l´ll be working at schools, at the Indiana University and then writing my project at “home”, Campus View Apartment 908, Bloomington. This is just so exciting and I am ready for all of this.