Oct 05 2008

Where I’ll be this week: Economic development experiential learning trip to Egypt

Published by at 3:16 am under Development,IB Economics,Sustainability

Mediterranean Center for Sustainable Development – Collaborative School Programs

One of the great joys of teaching at an international school is the opportunity for travel. Not only during breaks and summer vacations, but also with students through programs such as Zurich International School’s kids planning in a circleClassroom Without Walls.

My colleague and fellow Economics teacher (and blogger!) Joe Hauet decided last spring to organize an economics research and experiential learning trip to a sustainable living community on the banks of Egypt’s Nile River, near the city of Beni Suef, two hours south of Cairo. 40 ZIS Economics students, mostly year 2 IB students, will spend the coming week learning about economic development from experts in the field who are part of the Mediteranian Center for Sustainable Development Programs. The students, Joe and myself will spend three days at the Nile delta’s Kan Yama Kan village, followed by two days exploring the ancient Egyptian sites at Giza and around Cairo:

When teachers bring their students to Kan Yama Kan Village and engage them in our programs, they know we take a holistic approach to learning. Students learn about the environment through hands-on activities designed to provoke critical thinking and follow-up discussion in the classroom. They are exposed to sustainable development concepts and practices that are simple, easy to comprehend and replicable. Educating youth about the environment and developing their character leads to an informed citizenry with the capacity to reach the Millenium Development Goals

Our programming is proactive and flexible. We recognize that youth today face social and global challenges in a fast-paced world and we believe that as educators it is our responsibility to help them gain the intellectual and life skills they need to succeed. We do this by exposing students to practical learning experiences and modeling the behavior and values we teach; we use issues that arise while living in a community as learning opportunities about respect for others, good governance, human rights, and personal and collective responsibility.

Each visit to Kan Yama Kan is unique. Each program is tailored to the needs of the teachers, students or group. Whether the program kids doing soil experimentsfocuses on biodiversity, animal behavior, renewable resources and searching for fossils or planning and building a habitat for tortoises, scripting a drama performance or revision for end of year exams, MCSDP works closely with faculty and school administrators to understand their objectives and meet their expectations.

The goal of the ZIS Classroom Without Walls trip to Egypt is to allow IB Economics students to experience the challenges faced by communities in developing countries, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of the development strategies rooted in sustainability that are going on around the Mediteranean region.

I owe a huge thanks to Joe Hauet, whose dedication and work in planning this trip over the last six months will truly pay off for the 40 students and four teachers leaving for Egypt bright and early tomorrow morning.

About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

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