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Overseas curriculum broadens school students’ perspective about the world

  • Published at 05:15 pm April 9th, 2019
Overseas curriculum
Photo : Courtesy

International School Dhaka also has arranged ‘Week Without Walls’ trips this year, for their students

Although most of our schools follow the traditional system of learning from the curriculum of textbooks, a number of recent studies have shown a range of benefits from cultural experiences. These experiences could be as minimal as going to see one play or spending a few days in a foreign country.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas found that these cultural experiences can increase students’ tolerance, empathy, and ability to understand life in another time and place. Students who get these experiences had fewer disciplinary infractions and better writing scores, compared to a control group. Students are more likely to engage in school and aspire to attend college.

Cultural activities are like looking through a window into a broader world filled with different people and ideas. In fact, there are studies which have shown that students who have been on multiple field trips experienced an increase in both reading and math scores.

Regarding this, International School Dhaka (ISD), has an overseas curriculum for their students. It is known as ‘Week Without Walls’ because this curriculum provides students with unique learning opportunities that are not possible within the grounds of the school. This year, 26 students from grade eight and four staff members went to Nepal for eight days.

The team visited various locations in Nepal for numerous activities. Such as, they went to the Trishuli river for white water rafting, completed community service at a school in the farming area of Landrunk, and they went for several hikes in the Annapurna region. Additionally, the team also visited cultural landmarks and did some shopping in Kathmandu.

Through this field trip, the students challenged themselves and learned about the societal challenges and environmental rewards of life in Nepal. The ISD students had also spent two days in Landrunk village where they had helped with establishing a computer classroom, repaired floors, and enhanced the walls of the school.

Furthermore, these kinds of trips are a part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, which strives to develop caring young people to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Even if most of the schools in Bangladesh follow the traditional curriculum, they should try to add different curriculums regarding cultural experiences. This will not only help the students to be more enlightened but will have a positive impact on their education. International School Dhaka also has arranged ‘Week Without Walls’ trips this year, for grade six to Chiang Mai, Thailand and fro grade ten to Tioman Island, Malaysia.