Lifestyle in coastal Vs non-coastal cities
A process learning approach in the light of Edukata

Together with a teacher of History and another of Informatics I have created an industrious working cell where roles are exquisitely distributed and tasks well defined. However, exchanging points of view on specific details has been a remarkable feature of collaboration to comment on and refine findings all along the phases of the project. In other words, remarks about design, locations and data collection were to be provided by students as well as educators and sometimes even administrators or teachers who don’t make part of the team.

The starting point of study revolves around an athropological comparative study of lifestyles in coastal Vs non-coastal cities. An outline is made during the praparatory phase as to which components to shed lights on. So we methodically rank the aspects to compare in terms of priority and influence, the table will look something like this.

Data is collected either through intensive web search or by paying authentic visits to various sites in the city to gather as many impressions as possible from the common man. Then, open ended discussions are held during the design phase to study the findings and construct general concepts based on the frequency of certain details or ideas. Being in a non-coastal city we are able to address to almost all points in the outline, yet a serious design challenge is inevitable encountered and has to be worked out namely how to interview people living in coastal cities. It’s true that the teacher of History takes charge of providing an overview on how life has developped in Moroccan coastal cities along the last 5 decades but for purposes of empiricism and objectivity that such anthropological studies reinforce, we have to sustain the historical /theoretical overview with references from reality.

To enhance collaboration students would send each other pictures they take or videos they recorded using tablettes or mobile phones. They are also encouraged to expand the circle of labour to relatives or friends especially those living in coastal cities. We (the teachers) coordinate with our colleagues in remote areas of the country so they record videos or shoot up to date pictures focussing on different instances from daily routines.

During the participatory sessions students in small groups are assigned different tasks to treat the content of articles, pictures and videos at hand. At this level of interaction they will be observing, reflecting, mind mapping and then hypothesising. Students get together again and every group shares with the rest of classroom their perspective and final outcome. During these sessions teachers will be controling and giving feedback but at the same time they will be walking around to make sure that students are working in an environment that builds collaborative skills and capitalizes on them in terms of exchanging constructive feedback, making substantive descisions about content and outcome, working interdependently that each piece of the final work depend on the rest.

The final phase is yet another critical phase as it can lead to the success or failure of the whole process. It depends on precision in constructing the general concept and viewpoint made by the whole group with regard to the point of study. It’s worth noting that while students are composing the activity, teachers observe them and take notes as to their psychological readiness to asking questions, finding answers, reacting to criticism in addition to dominance tendencies if any, inhibitions in relation to team work and stage fright. The reason behind documenting samples of these behaviours is to spot areas to work on and sensitise concerned students to behavioural weaknesses they have to dig on in order to integrate more and better in future projects and/or the team workshops to come.

As a matter of fact, the huge quantity of collected data is meant to manipulated in two practical ways. The first is a 15 minutes audio-visual report that students will prepare under the guidance of the informatics teacher using Movie Maker technology and the second is a power point presentation that spans 30 to 40 minutes where students use interpersonal and commuincative skills to exhibit the influence of geographical factors on peoples everyday conduct and trends. There will also be a contest to choose the best picture taken with a mobile cell phone.

By the time students accomplish their project they will realise how cooperative work really shortens the distances and monitors time usage. They will also grow aware that sharing, peer review and constructive criticism are lifelong skills they have to get used to in order to survive and achieve success in advanced phases of their personal and professional lives.

 

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