Week Without Walls

The Experience:

Every year all of our secondary students have the opportunity to participate in Week Without Walls. This program is designed to give students the experiences that will inspire them to become caring global citizens.

Our students will engage in sustainable service and gain awareness of issues that transcend national borders. They will develop an understanding of issues of poverty, indigenous people, and environmental degradation and preservation, while simultaneously helping people and building up cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Philosophy:

The GWA Week Without Walls program is designed to give students the experiences that will inspire them to become caring global citizens.  A global citizen is someone who is aware of the wider world, cares about people and the environment, and takes action to make the world a better place. Students will engage in sustainable service and/or gain awareness of issues that transcend national borders. They will develop an understanding of issues of poverty, indigenous peoples, and environmental degradation and preservation while simultaneously helping people or building up cultural awareness and sensitivity. Students will often plan and work as teams, strengthening their teamwork for a common goal of greater-good. 


Connections to the IB:

 

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The Week Without Walls Program is a formidable tool for this purpose:

The Week Without Walls learning objectives closely mirror the IB Learner Profile.  In particular, there is a strong correlation to the CAS program (Creativity, Action, Service) and the Service as Action program.

  
The SA and CAS programs encourage students to increase their awareness of areas for personal growth, to undertake new challenges, to plan and initiate activities, to work collaboratively with others, to show perseverance and commitment, to engage in issues of global importance, to consider the ethical implications of their actions, and to develop new life skills.  All of these objectives can easily be met through meaningful participation in the WWW program.  

Students in need of demonstrating CAS learning outcomes will be able to apply the experiences and reflections from their WWW trips directly to their profiles.


Experiential Learning:

Learning about symbiotic relationships, indigenous cultures, ocean swells, the biodiversity of the rainforest, or the effects of erosion in a classroom setting is valuable.  However, to make these lessons memorable and formative in the long term, there needs to be an experience attached to the idea. 

There exists a wealth of academic documentation that champions the importance of learning in context: learning by doing rather than observing.  The Week Without Walls program provides students with these contexts.  As a result students:

• See the application of academic learning and personal or social skills to real life

• Bring real benefits to themselves and/or others

• Understand their own capacity to make a difference

• Make decisions that have real, not hypothetical, results

• Develop skills to solve problems

• Develop a sense of responsibility and accountability for their actions.