Refugee Simulation: The Experiential Cycle

Last week, three students in my Global Issues class organized a refugee simulation experience for our school as part of their Take Action Project. Muuxi Adam, a Somalian refugee and founding member of HumanKind International, had inspired them at a visit he made in January.

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Muuxi Adam from HumanKind International sharing his personal experience with Grade 12 students.

The students began to make plans to host a refugee simulation to help bring attention to the dire needs of asylum seekers and specifically to the plight of refugees in the largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab. (See the map below.)

Prior to the experience, however, our class began to research the global refugee crisis from historical and contemporary perspectives and many students chose the crisis as their topic for their major papers and Take Action Projects. In order to prepare and front load for this experience, we also participated in the Glassen Essay Contest which asked: What, if anything, should Canada do about the global refugee crisis?

In doing so, we had created a neural network that would help us properly engage in the primary experience — the simulation.

On April 29th, Muuxi , Grade 12 students, and several volunteers came to campus and designed a refugee experience that would take our learners on a journey that involved fleeing their homeland, a 6 KM march, an ambush by rebels, mind fields, and border crossings. You can see via the images and vines below  to get a sense of what the experience was like.

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Students grabbing what they can to flee their homelands

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Students walking to the next safe place

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Rebels rob the refugees

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Land minds!

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More walking

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The border is up a head.

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Confusion at the border

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Refugees try to fill out paper work in other languages. Families are split apart.

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Reflecting on the experience.

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Muuxi and student organizers debrief with Grade 12 and 9 students.

https://vine.co/v/iPdKQOTHIgL/embed/simple https://vine.co/v/iPd2L7LP9Pe/embed/simple

The students were then provided time to think and write about their experience and communicate how their research informed the experience. Here is one of the student organizers speaking on CBC about his experience:

The experience was tremendously educative for all of us and it began with the curiosity of a few members of our learning community, priming the pump in terms of creating a pre-existing neural network, designing an exceptional primary experience, and then having the time and space to reflect on our learning. This experience now feeds into greater and deeper educative experiences.

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Kolb’s Cycle of Experience

I would encourage all educators to invite Muuxi and Humankind international to organize a similar experience. It is critical for understanding the plight of our fellow species mates and developing empathy for all forms of life.

 

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PechaKucha Youth Night

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On June 16th, PechaKucha Winnipeg is inviting youth in the Global Issues course to participate in the first ever PechaKucha Winnipeg Youth Night. The evening will take place at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg.

PechaKucha presentations require presenters to create 20 slides which move every 20 seconds, whether they like it or not. These types of presentations have proven highly effective and rigorous and are a perfect fit for the Grade 12 Global Issues course. All students in Manitoba who take the Global Issues course are tasked with an inquiry project called a Take Action Process. Many educators have found that the PechaKucha presentation is a perfect vehicle for learners to discuss their planning and process while presenting their action in a compelling manner. (See an example below.)

Ad Culture to Permaculture – PechaKucha Victoria #10 from Christopher Heffley on Vimeo.

If you are a teacher or parent of a Global Issues students or if you are a Global Issues student and want to present you Take Action Project on June 16th at the PechaKucha Youth night on June 16th, please fill out the following form. Deadline for application is March 16th, 2016.

 

Ecological Literacy: Reflections

In January, our Global Issues class looked heavily at the concept of ecological literacy. Here are some refections from our collective and individual experiences. These reflections consisted of “mini” PechaKucha presentations, whereby learners created 10 slides which moved every 20 seconds (10×20) in order to present their arguments.

Ecological Literacy from nic calen on Vimeo.

Eco Lit from Riley Chard on Vimeo.

MIni PechaKucha from Adeyemi Fatoye on Vimeo.

Ecological Literacy R from Riley Chard on Vimeo.

Eco Lit (C) from Riley Chard on Vimeo.

Sustainable Cities: Break the Poverty Cycle

This week in Global Issues and English Language Arts, we looked at how sustainable cities could help break the poverty cycle in urban areas. This is in preparation for planning, writing, and application of core principles essential for sustainable urban growth. Here is a sampling of some of our brainstorming as we begin the planning process. Big Thanks! to Hazyl Borys for guding us through this process.