Post 7: What was the impact of Contextual learning?
What is contextual learning at the Canadian international School? On all fronts, the Contextual learning program is a unique and diverse opportunity for sixth through eighth grade students to gain world experience. What is world experience and why is there a need for it? World experience is knowledge of complex sociocultural circumstances that extend beyond one’s immediate biome. So why is it important? The Canadian International School is an International Baccalaureate school. It is an elite private school and home to some of the brightest secondary scholars from around the world. Although, the students there earn their academic stature, it remains a common generalization that they come from multinational upper middle-class families. As some of the brightest multinational students in the world, with an ascribed upper middle-class status, it is safe to argue that these children and young adolescents will someday be the future leaders of business, politics, academia, and other aspects of global society. Thus, contextual learning takes aim at the former aspiration in hopes to plant seeds of influence at an early age. The experience of Rishikesh as in the search of self that leads to compassion, experiencing the beauty of the middle Himalaya’s while simultaneously allowing the students to continue to find themselves there through challenges, and the hardship of Sanji Village prime the students with a taste of a world outside of their immediate perception. Contextual Learning is done with the hope of developing future leaders who can act to solve hardships because they have experienced them directly or indirectly. It is at the very least done with a hope to propagate positive, prosocial world views.
Post 8: Final reflection: The Emotional Impact of Interning for CIS and CL
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I do not feel I adequately expressed the emotional impact of not just the three weeks on CL, but the entire two months. While in school and working toward it I was a semi centric young person lost in the realm of achievements. Which is not difficult to do as I pushed off everything that did not pertain to my search of academic and career success. And while it was not my intention to develop my sincere current mindset, it happened none the less.
I think it primarily happened from being in a position where I had to care for 21 children. I can really only theorize what happened in hopes that others who have gone through something similar will understand. I was in a situation where achievement was no longer about me. My job was to make sure the kids were okay. That meant that they always came first. And I didn’t have a problem with it. It felt incredibly natural to do things like give up food, water, medicine, comforts, and sleep. I turned my focus towards others and gave it my all. I invested all of my emotional energy into supporting them as best as I could. The only way I can make sense of what happened is by acknowledging that there must have been something similar to a kind of parental instinct that took over. Nothing for those three weeks were about me. It was about them. And through that I developed a strong affinity for each and every one of them.
This happenstance is why I can say without a doubt that this internship was one of the best experiences of my life. In only two months and even within those two months during three weeks on CL something within me changed. A life time of achievements could never add up to the worth of the connections I formed with the people on that trip and at CIS. And while it is important to develop oneself materially, what is the worth of that if it is not for the benefit of others? Thus, my gears changed from working toward achievement to slowing down and allowing connections to happen. I think this was the biggest change for me personally; material achievement is no longer the goal, but rather forming connections with others. This being instead of pushing constantly to work through a goal where I miss the opportunity to connect with people as I fly by them. In itself, over time, the goal realizes it’s shallow potential, and leaves one with a void to fill with yet another goal. Instead, I firmly believe that by refocusing on the people around me in a selfless way similar to what happened on CL, this refocused energy will harmonize me with the present and the rest of the material side works itself out naturally.