ICE-T – InterCultural Education in Turkey
During our field trip to Turkey we visited Istanbul from Friday to Sunday and afterwards from Monday to Friday we were in Şile which is about 80 km away from Istanbul. Two project participants are now reporting about their experiences:
During the seminar “Environmental Education in Turkey” students of the Technische Universität Braunschweig developed environmental education lessons, led by Marian Präger. These were tested in a 5th grade from the Hoffmann-von-Fallersleben-school in Germany and then further optimized. In spring 2015 a students group from our university flew to Istanbul with these projects and conducted them together with students from Şile in a Turkish primary school.
Istanbul is very important for the country because it has the most inhabitants and is shaped by two thousand years of history. It forms the core of the Turkish culture, commerce and the media. In addition, it is the only city on earth, which is located on two continents.
We were welcomed by our Turkish partner group that brought us to several cultural and historical sites and made us familiar with their traditions. With a boat we had an impressive ride across the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe and Asia.
Already on the first evening the students from Şile allowed us to participate in a traditional Turkish night with lots of delicious food and a lively music insert with violin, clarinet and percussion. This meeting was a new experience for us and ideal as a team building event. Despite the language barriers at the beginning many interesting discussions arose about cultural and political issues.
During the day they showed us historic buildings like the Hagia Sopia , the Blue Mosque and the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, where we were also given a guided tour.
Very impressive were the various bazaars of the city. The local colorful, loud and lively atmosphere was impressive. At the port in the fish stalls or the Spice Bazaar many exotic smells joined the atmosphere.
During the three days in the former Constantinople we received a comprehensive impression of the diversity and cultural peculiarity of this city. During these days we could form a bond with the Turkish student group. This was a good basis for the forthcoming teamwork which is essential for the realization of the environmental education projects in the primary schools of Şile.
After our visit in Istanbul we began the second part of our field trip by editing our environmental education projects in Şile. As mentioned in the GATE and EBY projects the concepts for school lessons on site were completed with the Turkish students.
Concepts of the environmental education projects:
Forest: The pupils are supposed to learn the importance of forests for ecosystems and mankind hands on. Furthermore it will be referred to the impact of forestry. This project was realized in a first grade. Download (.pdf)!
Black Sea: The pupils are supposed to learn the danger to the black sea because of pollution. This was the only project that was completely hands on without any parts being ex-cathedra teaching. It was realized in a third grade. Download (.pdf)!
Recycling: The pupils are supposed to learn the necessity of re-use and using resources economically. The Turkish waste industry is completely different in comparison to the german one. Hence the project offered a great platform for intercultural communication. The preparations for the project took a lot of time. It was realized on a second grade. Download (.pdf)!
Water: The main focus was on water pollution and the treatment of waste water. The pupils could learn a lot by experimenting. It surprised us a lot how much the Turkish pupils already knew about the topic. This project was realized in a fourth grade. Download (.pdf)!
Our field trip to Sile was a very good experience for us, especially but not only because of the school projects. Communication with the Turkish group was limited to English. Therefore we could practice our language skills quite a bit. But we could also learn a few words in Turkish which was a lot of fun. Apart from our school projects we cooked together and talked about our experiences with the Turkish culture. We are already talking about a new project with the group.