Where We Are In Place And Time
The IB describes the transdisciplinary theme Where we are in place and time as: “An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.”
How fitting that a cohort of QAIS Students should visit a Cultural Museum and learn more about their adopted home. How appropriate that they would gain a clearer grasp of their geographical location as well as the history of their current place. Each, with their own personal history, home and journey discovering new realms, new cultures and perspectives.
Grade 4, 5 & 6 arrived to find an expanded map of Qingdao, through the ages. Our guide was quick to illustrate the changes that have transpired over the centuries and the students were in the capable hands of Ms Vivian and Ms Yuan for translation. We saw Qingdao morph into the city it is today and all from small beginnings. The influence of German inhabitants was never far away and students were able to see the unique role they played in Qingdao’s development. Indeed, one exhibit showed what might have been the first International School; a precursor to our very own QAIS. Ms Vivian gave the students illustrations to compare this with the conditions of private tuition which, at the time, was much more formal and strict in nature. Our students seemed to shrink from the notion of punishments there for not doing their work up to standard!
Our informative guide took us through many aspects of Qingdao life through the ages. So many facets of culture resonated with the students, from food to entertainment from clothing to a wedding scene. We had a glimpse into the different domiciles enjoyed by different strands of society depending on their socio-economic status; from the wealthy to the poor inhabitants of this city in a bygone era. The unique position of this port was unpacked in several exhibits relating to the maritime life of the city. Students also enjoyed the steam trains and artefacts which gave them a first hand look at the history of Qingdao.
On return to QAIS, the students had the opportunity to reflect on all they had seen and heard at the museum and discuss some of the cultural themes and issues that the visit threw up. Certainly the girls found the notion of not seeing your husband until the wedding night quite strange, as well as the idea that small feet were a sign of beauty. These were just two of the many, many facets of an interesting and education trip that will be remembered by the students for some time to come.