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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

-Mark Twain

Cultures are maps of meaning through which the world is made intelligible.

-Peter Jackson, Geographer, 1989

Classroom Outline:

Cultures might be maps of meaning by which we can attempt to understand the world, as geographer Peter Jackson states, however, we often need assistance in translating those maps to a language of our own. Just as Chinese might sound like nonsense to most English-speaking individuals, foreign cultures often present us with the same problem: they differ from our way of doing things, and therefore do not make sense. As the world today is becoming smaller due to technological advances, it is important that we make an effort to make sense of foreign cultures. Coming to an agreement on the right way to function in the world is not the issue. Rather, coming to an understanding of each other's perspective is the issue. Our goal is to foster students' understanding about the world and world cultures through exploration. Our interactive classroom allowed students to explore foreign countries with therewewere writers, while also exploring the amazing opportunities that information technology offers.


Students took a wholly collaborative approach to learning about issues in world culture. They utilized an array of selected reading materials as background references to the topics that we introduced online during our travels abroad. Students were expected to closely read the assigned materials for class, as they were directly related to questions/issues that we asked them to discuss or write about. Using both therewewere's travel journals, and the assigned reading about a certain culture or topic, students might have been asked to:

* enter an on-line discussion forum with students from other participating classrooms across the US, and therewewere leaders abroad

* post a 1-2 page thought paper on the web-site, or to turn into their teacher

* enter a formal on-line debate session

* devise a long-term research project about a culture of interest


Some assignments consisted of individual work while other assignments utilized students separated into research teams. In addition, therewewere encouraged students to ask questions about everyday issues in traveling that travelers deal with daily, such as: language barriers, travel budgeting, foreign food, travel companions, etc.

For more information on how your class can be apart of therewewere's Classroom click here.

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