Here at Amadeus, we are lucky to live in a city that has both a strong cultural identity and a diverse representation of globalization.  A short tram ride from school finds us in the city centre with narrow, cobblestoned streets,  grand baroque palaces, specialized boutiques and traditional, old-world coffee shops.  At the same time, we can turn around and come face to face with multinational fast food franchises and high street stores like McDonalds, Gucci and Prada; Vienna has it all.  This makes it a fantastic backdrop for examining the intersections of globalization and cultural identity, which is an idea that Grade 9 have been exploring and building on in both their Individuals and Societies and Global Perspectives classes this term.
With this in mind, it was with great pleasure that we took advantage of this fantastic opportunity last week when, on Monday 13th of February, Grade 9 took to the streets of Vienna in search real world evidence to support the topics they were enthusiastically debating in class.   Working collaboratively in small groups, our courageous students practiced their communication skills as they played the role of journalists, surveying members of the public about their personal views on how globalization has affected Vienna’s cultural identity.
 Many of our students had the opportunity to use their mother-tongue to connect with a wide cross section of the community – from tourists, to shopkeepers, to policemen.  They also photographed and filmed scenes for their own video productions, which will be finalized later this month. All of this evidence will contribute towards their final class projects, strengthening their arguments and adding depth and subtlety to their understanding of the learning they do in class.
Just as importantly, our students relished the opportunity to get out of the classroom and ensure that their learning was firmly grounded in the real world.  Having an authentic context makes classroom learning more meaningful and engaging, and being able to learn in an incredible city like Vienna is a true pleasure.  Grade 9 are already planning their next field trip and we look forward to seeing their final projects on globalization later this month.