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Nipissing Update 3

Italy Update #3

In addition to teaching in the schools, we have had the opportunity to experience some of the rich history and culture of Italy. On Sunday, we travelled four hours by bus to Pompeii to learn about this remarkable ancient Roman city first hand. Our tour guides were very informative and we left with a much greater understanding of this natural treasure and why it has been awarded status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

After leaving Pompeii, we headed to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring this city and its beautiful coastline before returning to Sulmona to prepare for the next day’s lessons.

On Wednesday, we travelled to L’Aquila to tour the city, which was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 2009. The schools in L’Aquila, which hosted Nipissing University teacher candidates in 2007 and 2008, had to be rebuilt in new locations following the earthquake, as did the rest of the ancient city. The teachers and students in the new schools greeted the Canadian teacher candidates enthusiastically with a small reception and tour of the classrooms. The children at one of the schools had prepared a program for the Nipissing contingent and their singing, speaking (in English) and dramatization were among the highlights of the day for us. We were pleased to have some Canadian songs to share with them, including our national anthem O Canada. They responded with a rousing rendition of the Italian national anthem. It was wonderful to see and hear the students sing their anthem with such passion and pride!

Our next stop was the Faculty of Education at the University of L’Aquila where we met with professors and teacher candidates. It was interesting to compare the different programs in Canada and Italy. They are more similar than we thought they were! Two of the Italian teacher candidates gave us a guided tour of the city. We were delighted that one of our associate teachers from the Superiore school, who also teaches at the university, was able to join us for the day. Fabrizio Buoncompagno was an informative and entertaining tour guide!

Many buildings are still being repaired after the earthquake. We were fortunate to be able to go into a church, which reopened only last week after experiencing extensive damage in the earthquake. The city was very busy preparing for the upcoming reunion of the retired Alpine military personal. Italian flags and other symbols of Italian pride can be found everywhere. The city will double in size over the weekend’s celebration!

As much as our teaching informs our personal teaching practice, experiencing some of the history and culture of Italy provides us with a much deeper understanding of this beautiful country, which we can bring into our teaching.

Until next time,
Ciao!

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