Cities are often neglected as teaching subjects because they are perceived through the lenses of the tourist. However, they are wonderful playgrounds for educators, providing a unique insight into many subjects – from arts and architecture to cultural heritage and sustainability.
This course will explore how teachers can use urban spaces as a teaching tool for their benefit. In particular, it will exploit the city of Prague as a place to learn about how to teach arts, history, culture, politics, and sustainability.
The beauty of urban education comes from the fact that it allows students to change their perspective and better understand the place where they live. It prompts students to realize the interconnectedness of all the things that matter and motivates them to become active changes in their learning environment.
Participants in the course will discover practical activities (e.g., city questing, photo trekking, escape games, and mapping exercises depending on what the weather allows) to create meaningful connections between city spaces and Heritage Education.
Additionally, they will be able to focus on the city to (re)discover cultures and politics, emphasized by the elements of marketing and PR (i.e. political/campaign messages or social advertisements).
Participants will be also invited to use photography as a way to communicate the learning process. They will travel through the city and bring back their snapshots to the classroom to show individual takes on the discussed topics.
They will also address the theme of sustainability and learn to tell meaningful stories they will find in the city.
On top of all of this, the course will prompt participants to consider their home areas (no matter the scale of their urbanization) and map their potential. Thus, school teachers will be able to transpose everything they learn in the city of Prague to their subject and school setting.
By the end of the course, participants will have hands-on experience in applying novel blended and holistic methodologies bridging various subjects in their classroom based on the many opportunities offered by one of the most amazing cities in Europe, Prague.
The course will help the participants to:
- Discuss cultures, history, arts, and sustainability through blended methodology activities;
- Use the urban environment as a threshold for waking up student’s curiosity and creativity;
- Use photography and other visual arts as tools;
- Be able to map educational opportunities of the close surroundings efficiently;
- Incorporating Heritage Education into a curriculum.
Day 1 – Course introduction: urbanization, in a nutshell
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Identification of needs and goals for each participant and relevant populations;
- Presentations of participants, their schools, and the trainer;
- An overview of human urbanization;
- Urban education and holistic, blended methodologies.
Day 2 – Storytelling in art and history
- Teaching art and history through interactive storytelling;
- Exploring the city via city quests/escape games;
- Practical activity: designing a city quest.
Day 3 – Culture and politics
- Mapping the political and cultural reality of a place reflected in the city itself;
- Practical activity: creating a marketing poster.
Day 4 – Sustainability
- Discussions and reflections on the issues related to sustainability and cities are tackling the matter;
- Exploring the green side of Prague;
- Practical activity: my sustainability, a storytelling exercise to share perspectives on sustainability in the light of day’s experiences.
Day 5 – Your home area as a classroom
- Practical activity: virtual mapping of your chosen spaces, and creating a list of potential topics and educational excursions;
- Sharing your work and discussions.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.