Today marks the end of Spring 2017 Expeditions. By tomorrow evening, all 53 students will be back on campus, with stories ripe for the sharing. Half of our students still have one day left on their Down Island Trips, where they are exploring communities throughout the length of Eleuthera. These trips come at a crucial point in the semester, when the students’ histories class asks them to use what they have learned in the first unit of the class about the concept of a worldview, both how it forms and how it continues to affect one’s opinions. Students are then expected to use the interview techniques that they have honed throughout the semester during interviews with each other and with members of The Island School staff.
During the second unit of the class, on their Down Island Trips, students interview tourists, locals and developers to discover how tourism has shaped The Bahamas socially, economically and environmentally. An excellent example of how students reflect on these experiences can be found in the most recent Advisory Reflection blog post, where a student, Patrick Howard, discusses his experiences on Harbour Island.
While the first two units of this class give our students the chance to better understand and articulate how change affects people, the third unit of The Island School histories course focuses on how people effect change. The class culminates in a stakeholder discussion of topics in environmental management decisions, where students may once again implement what they have learned about interacting with and managing people of differing opinions. With space for making cross-curricular connections, this discussion serves as a fitting conclusion to this class.
Histories aims to arm our students with the tools to become global citizens by teaching them how to become civic agents.