Education students transformed a Dutch school into a ‘little Australia’ earlier this year as part of a three-week intensive winter school in the Netherlands, completed as part of their degree.
The 20 students from across Griffith’s Gold Coast, Logan and Mt Gravatt campuses spent three weeks at Han University in the Netherlands as part of an unique program developed between the two Universities. Through the program students receive credit towards their degree.
For the first two weeks, students attended daily lectures at the University, covering a wide range of topics from Dutch Education, Culture and History to the Methodologies used in Montesorri, Steiner and Jenaplan schools.
During week three, the students taught in a Dutch school, and on their final day they delivered an Australian Workshop Day.
This included: Australian bush dancing, the singing of Australian folk songs, dot paintings, boomerang throwing, collages of the Great Barrier Reef, and even a cricket match (conducted inside in the school hall as it was snowing outside).
School of Education and Professional Studies Internationalisation Coordinator Dr Kay Hartwig, says both the Australian Workshop Day and trip was a huge success.
“The principal, teachers, and university lecturers were impressed with the Griffith students and commented on their dedication to their studies, teaching, and their ability to prepare and teach in pairs,” she says.
The Principal of the Dutch School said the students were excellent and would be welcome to teach again in the school.
A cultural and historical sightseeing weekend in Amsterdam, visiting a cheese-making factory, clog making factory and a sightseeing tour of the windmills, as well as another weekend in Paris, topped off their trip.
“The students have now returned to finish their studies at Griffith with renewed energy, new ideas and the confidence that they are ‘global citizens and teachers’”, Dr Hartwig says.
Education student Brad Lucas says the winter school was an amazing experience. “It was an amazing trip that shaped my philosophy as a future educator and learner,” he says.
Fellow student Chris Dodds says the program was very enriching and a great resource for his future endeavours.