Team of teacher candidates helps Ghana folktales come to life in print
Education students Jessica Bens, Holly Corbett, Meghan Epp, Alisha Hoy, Dorothy Marcy, Stephen MacInnis and Sara Pereira, worked with local junior high school students in Ghana to choose, illustrate, and write, the folklore for seven storybooks—committing traditional stories to print for the very first time.
The project developed as part of PhD student, and team leader, Cindy Bourne’s research on the development of policy and practice around sustainable and ethical international student experiences.
Bourne’s model includes extensive preparation before the trip to ensure it is culturally relevant.
The team of teacher candidates travelled to Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region of Ghana, to work with local junior high schools to create the books which share folklore that has been passed from generation to generation of the Nabit culture.
Bourne describes the moment the community opened the books as unforgettable.
In the Nabdam school district where there are limited books for children to learn how to read, students poured over their own colourful illustrations on the pages and read the words they helped translate.
Working closely with in-country partners, Bourne and her doctoral supervisor Dr. Susan Crichton developed the book project that provides teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education with an opportunity to position their knowledge in a meaningful way, thereby increasing English competency for high school students, and providing culturally relevant material for primary students.
“Reading stories to children is one of our society's greatest pleasures and it has lasting impact—opening doors to imagination, learning, and a love of literature,” says Bourne.
“Providing relevant books that reflect their unique culture and the artistic talent of their young people was an honour and an experience that the teacher candidates from UBC's faculty of education will never forget. “
Interest in the books is widespread across the Nabdam school district. Fundraising activities are underway both in Canada and in Ghana to ensure that copies of the books become available in the primary schools of Bolgatanga.
The UBC team blog is available here: http://blogs.ubc.ca/ghana/
To view the books visit: http://issuu.com/ubcedo