Saturday, 16 June 2012

Our project with Questions

Mr. Mutlu HASPOLAT, Turkish e-twinning team's contact person and leader answering the questions about the Project "Ancient Rome in Your Modern Town"

-Why this project is needed?
-By the help of this project, we aim to raise students who have good human relations and communication skills, organizational abilities, critical and creative thinking methods, the ability of goal setting and decision-making, and a great sense of responsibility for the historical heritage of Ancient Rome, as they are supposed to be potential tourism employers or employees of the future.

-How did the partners meet? Was it arbitrary to have Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Turkiye?
-Actually, it wasn't an arbitrary choice. We came together because of some spesific reasons. All the partner institutions are located in the areas, which have remarkable Ancient Roman wonders. The advantage of living in such kind of beautiful places motivates us to use all these precious sources to produce suitable employment opportunities and to let the Europeans know about our historical wonders.

-Who found whom while coming together?
 Well, Turkiye was searching for friends all around Europe to start this project in E-twinning partner finding pages. It all began with the respond from Spain. Then Romania and Bulgaria liked the idea and came on board. 

- How did you form the schedule?  
- Like in the other important decisions, we all decided together. The teachers specified the needs for their schools and searched for the lack of Ancient Rome knowledge of their students. Then, every teacher added something to the list.

- How did you form the e-twinning teams in your schools?
 - We generally used some tools and specified some criteria to choose the e-twinnies. For example, in Turkiye, I created a questionnaire with  lots of questions about their personal interests for history and abilities to make models or taking pictures, preparing power-point presentations or their eagerness to learn about ICT skills. The students volunteered for the action and joined the teams, happily.   

- How did the students find the idea at first?
- To be honest, they found the idea very unusual and unnecessary to spend time on it. Because, they had no idea who the Romans were and what they did or how important they were in the scene of history. Some of them even used to know very little about Roman's settlements in Turkiye's modern cities. 
- How were they convinced?
-Although we have several Ancient Roman Settlements in our own town ,  they just didn't know to whom the historical ruins belonged to and for what reason those cities established. Most of them didn't want to take part until the first school trip to an ancient city in the guidance of an archeologist who told and taught many important historical events took place on the land which they were standing on and  surprised them with the stories of wars and heroes even tales and legends.

-How was the reaction of the other school teachers?
-They liked the idea and found it useful, but doubted whether the students at school would like the idea and be successful on taking part in a such kind of project, which is very unfamiliar with the Turkish history, culture and traditions. They were right in a way. I saw it during the process of our project work. When we started to prepare some documents about Ancient Roman Gods, they were terrified to talk about more than one god. However, they sooner understand that it was a culture lived with its own positive and negative aspects.

-In what way the school manager react?
Mr. Demirci has always supported the team and provided all the necessary equipments for the project activities. He provided us flash- disks to give the students as rewards, the restaurant for Roman food cooking activity, printed Project T-shirts for students, attended the cooking activity in person, helped sending the new year postcards, took the photographs of the e-twinning corners any time it changed (two times a month or once a month). He  rewarded me with a plaque as well.

- How did you integrate your project with the ongoing activities and curriculum?
It wasn't so difficult to integrate the activities to the project although Romans aren't taught in detail in our schools. They learned more about Geography, History and Foreign Languages. Students improved their ICT skills while they were preparing PPts and uploading files in twin-space. They also learned a lot about communication skills while communicating with their peers in European countries. 

- How about the Latin Language Classes? Were they successful?
It was a cooperation between Spain and Turkiye actually. The Greek/Latin teacher Marta sent the necessary documents for the basic Latin structures. I studied them at home and learned them first. then we had very enjoyable Latin classes as the pronunciation of it very close to ours. Students liked it and learned faster than English. Of course they just know the very basic  structures of it. The best thing about it, they spoke Latin in the ancient roman Ruins and brought back Ancient Rome into life. Another interesting point is that some of the teacher joined the classes to learn a little Latin. They also came up with other possible project to learn other languages with such kind of cooperation.

- How did you form the e-twinning School team with the other teachers at your school? 
 The school team formed itself actually. My colleagues were following the E-twinning activities from our e-twinning corner at school. They found it really interesting and wanted to take part in the activities since they knew they could be very helpful. Then we started to organize the activities together. They want to create new projects and study on them together from then on. 

- What was the most interesting memory in your school trips and other activities?
-Well, there are many of them.  But the most significant was we all (students and teachers) rode bumper cars after a visit to Kibyra (an ancient Roman town). It was really enjoyable and a life time memory.  

Did the project have an impact on the locals and people around you and your school? 
Of course, it did. Beyond our students, the parents learned about Ancient Romans a lot. We were on the newspaper, for example. People in our town learned what we were trying to do and what Ancient Romans did on these lands.

Did you eat what you cooked in your Roman Dishes Cooking Activity?
The students doubted at first, but when they tasted a little, everything changed. We liked the ancient taste.


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