Learning About Peace in Northern Ireland

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Amanda Belair is a senior majoring in Elementary Education. She is back with another post about her service learning trip to Belfast, Ireland. Wheelock has numerous service learning trips you can participate in while you’re a student here.  Belfast-posing with puppets

During my sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to do an international service learning trip. That is when I decided I wanted to go Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Belfast service learning trip was a little different than the New Orleans trip. There was a class component, but it did not meet throughout the entire semester. It met one weekend, a Friday night and all day Saturday. The homework involved a lot of reading. For every reading, I had to write a summary and a reflection on the reading. The material was important because I learned about the difficulties Northern Ireland encountered. I also learned about the anti-violence curriculum that is used in schools in Belfast.

While in Belfast, I attended a few seminars, visited a classroom 4 days of the week, and also explored the city. The seminars were hosted by Early Years, the organization that created the anti-violence curriculum. In the classroom, we saw how the teachers integrated puppets into their lessons to teach child about peace. Being in the classroom was great because I got to see how a classroom is run in a different country. And I loved being around the children. They were so cute!

I also got to do some sightseeing. My classmates and I went on a bus tour of Belfast, where we visited the Peace Wall. In addition, I was able to explore the Titanic Museum. I didn’t know that the Titanic was built in Belfast, so I was able to learn something new.

Belfast-peace sign

   Belfast-sightseeing

This trip was an amazing experience and I am happy I had the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland.

~Amanda

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