Does this question strike fear in your hearts?
WELCOME to our ENDEAVOUR to systematically outline how educational institutions can go about getting students involved in overseas learning opportunities, within an authentic learning milieu (which is within the real world!).
We will keep the processes accessible and manageable, in an easy-to-read and readable manner, such that it will cater to people of all ages as a resource for schools and students around the world to plan their own authentic overseas learning experience.
At the same time, we will be highlighting ONE such experience to Malaysia that we have undertaken (with 374 students and 23 teachers), with detailed analyses provided based on survey results as well as selected interviews, in order to show that trips of this nature are possible and worth organizing! Yes, it can be done, fear not!
All teenagers will go through rites of passage in their lives.
An overseas learning experience can be an authentic, fun-filled and learning-driven experience, if properly formulated and if attention is paid to the detail to ensure the safety and welfare of all.
In planning such trips, we must put in place certain structures in order to anchor the project and to cater to the mass numbers that will be involved in a project of this nature.
"Hmmm...How about a Theme to anchor the project?"
Indeed, a theme will be very handy to ground the project around certain key foci, while other key symbols such as cheers, group (or in our school’s case, tribal) identities and even a commemorative T-shirt will go a long way towards making this a shared experience that is not only vivid and memorable, but can be a powerful learning journey and tool. If you are keen to anchor it further, one suggestion would be to use macro-concepts, which are umbrella concepts that capture a variety of learning processes. For example, we could use Evolution as a macro-concept.
Setting up the Project Proper
Definitely, a project of this nature will entail the detailed planning of timelines, setting up of committees and members, establishing of communication channels (eg establishing e-groups and email-links, in light of the electronic age), and setting up of meeting schedules for various committees (with provision for minutes to be taken so that these can be disseminated to all parties).
A good start would be to begin with a central planning committee of key student leaders and teachers involved, and then to branch out into further sub-committees with specialized yet specific functions.
Along the way, depending on the allocation of Manpower, Machinery, Materials, Motif and Methodology we will have to decide on the KEY programming features. Some questions to ask would be: