The story behind the project:
This project arose in part, out of the doctoral research of Cindy Bourne.
Bourne is interested in developing design principles that institutions might consider when positioning professional faculties in global service learning projects that are located in challenging contexts such as the Upper East Region of Ghana. In this case, communities and teaching staff in the Nabdam school district were interested in developing culturally relevant material to support learning in schools.
Working closely with in-country partners, Bourne and her doctoral supervisor Dr. Susan Crichton developed a book project that provides teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education, Okanagan Campus, with an opportunity to position their knowledge in a meaningful way, increases English competency for high school students, and provides culturally relevant material for primary students.
With the books at the printers, the student-centered learning pro-d day and the bike workshop behind us, it was time for a bit of fun. The team took some time out to visit a few of the local attractions. The team of teacher candidates visited a nearby crocodile pond, where legend has it that there is an understanding to inflict no harm between the crocodiles and humans. All of the GRIP students took the risk and either sat, or gave a pat, to the crocodiles.
Afterwards, the group visited the Slave camp. A sober reminder of one of the most shameful chapters in world history, and chapter that lasted more than 200 years. On the way back to Bolgatanga the team stopped at a basket-making centre north of Bolgatanga. This region of Ghana is renowned for making some of the world’s most colourful, and beautiful, baskets. The baskets are made by local weavers who work out of their homes, as well as in the craft centre.
The hard part is choosing, and then somehow fitting them in a suitcase…. we found however that the baskets will squish into the suitcase very well, and have been told they will regain their shape after being immersed in water.
As the crowded van suggests, there was little resistance!