As the second call for project is been launched, I catch up with Hilary de Joux, Waimea College Nelson, to ask her about her recent involvement with the Shared Histories programme.
When did you find out about the Programme Hilary?
I was aware of it since its launch late 2013, information had been sent via the French teachers listserve. It caught my attention then but it is not until the NZALT conference in July that I got the chance to learn more. What made you decide to get involved? At the Conference workshop, I got the opportunity to hear from teachers who have been Shared Histories partners since the outset. They were all excited about having a vehicle to work on the context of Remembrance and Commemoration with their students. The historic and linguistic explorations it enables has brought their students at the heart of learning French, for a concrete reason we all share. What is the most exciting aspect of getting started as a Shared Histories partner? Working with a French partner school on a common project we co create as we go along!It implies getting to know each other and discovering aspect of our common history together, negociating, conversing, exchanging with a range of media. This is perfect for students of all ages and abilities, as all find an angle to get involved.
You have paired up with Lycée Val de Seine, Rouen. Tell us about the process.
I created a profile for our school on Shared Histories. Shortly after it was published, I received a notification from Gaelle about a request for a partnership. Gaelle is a history teacher in her school in France. I accepted the request, and we then became Shared Histories partners. It was a very quick way to get in contact. Since we are both on Shared Histories for the purpose of working on Remembrance together, it gives us a great focus on which to build a relationship.
Have you submitted your joint project to be a registered Shared Histories project yet?
We have now but Gaelle and I took some time to get the conversation going between our students first, as it is them who are going to lead the project. The students have created a “Dossier de Profil” to introduce themselves and their interests. For the project to last the distance of the Commemoration period, students need to own it and we are not rushed! We manage to cover all aspects of language learning, and we do it in a real context.
So, what are your project plans?
We plan to explore the theme of Shared Memories. Our project is an opportunity to learn new aspects of our history, discover New Zealand's involvement in WW1 in France, the battle of Le Quesnoy, and the story of Dave Gallaher. The eponymous trophy will be studied as an example of a shared memory between both countries and one basis of future friendship ties connecting our two communities. Our students can engage in genuine social interactions using collaborative technologies and the Shared Histories platform for sharing their productions - Right now we believe the final product will take the form of an e-book we will write and publish together. Hopefully we’ ll have a trip and the chance to re enact a friendly “mini Dave Gallaher trophy” rugby match! Our vision in taking part in Shared Histories is that the students will then find personal connections with our community's involvement in WW1, discover more about what France and NZ, have in common despite being so far away from each other, and how we can strengthen friendships into the future.
Have you talked about your involvement and your project to people around you?
This project has been very positively received by everyone here at Waimea College, from the two Departments involved (P.E. and Languages) to our principal and staff and students. I am happy to have two learning areas working together, as the PE department are going to help with our partner school connection and a recreation of a rugby game/ mini Dave Gallaher Trophy when the two schools visit each other and our HOD of P.E is very excited to be involved, traditionally these two departments wouldn’t normally get to work closely together on a project. Your thoughts so far, in the early stages of your involvement? I have found it a very exciting initiative to be a part of. I feel very grateful for the opportunity we now have and all the encouragement and help I have had from the Shared Histories team and the presentation at conference. The website is an excellent support, the team offers guidance and assistance when you need it, it is fantastic. And we can exchange and learn with other partners who have already started.
What makes you a happy teacher Hilary?
When I see the excited faces of my students, both boys and girls, it really makes it worth it. They are currently creating personal profiles/dossiers to introduce themselves to their future friends at Val de Seine, and this has created a real motivating buzz for us. Collaborative platforms such as GoogleDrive and Facebook make sharing so simple. We’re looking forward to next steps and to share our journey with the others on sharedhistories.com
We surely will stay tune to follow your journey Hilary. Thank you!
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Last modified on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 08:27