Learning About Peace in Northern Ireland
By Amanda Belair, Student, Wheelock College
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.
This trip was an amazing experience and I am happy I had the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland.
Amanda Belair is a senior majoring in Elementary Education. She is back with another post about her service learning trip to Belfast, Ireland.