After leaving Jakarta, I travelled to Shanghai to participate in a study tour sponsored by Concordia International School. Concordia has been participating in NHD for 3 years under the direction of Mark Johnson (formerly a history/NHD teacher in Washington state). I’ll let the students tell you about the school and the study program. Meet Joey and Allen:
“My name is Joey and I am a 10th grader at Concordia International School Shanghai, and participated in NHD once (and am already working on this year’s topic). I am originally from Texas, but moved to Shanghai two years ago due to my father’s job.
Concordia International School is home to one of the finest educational systems in China, and is a multicultural school, with people from all around the world. At Concordia we have an interim school trip each year. Students get to choose between 17 different trips, and can go on a different one every year. There are three different kinds of interims: adventure, academic, and service. The 320 students go on interims and travel around China and other parts of Asia learning, helping, and achieving challenges. Last year I went on an interim to Nanjing (China) and Japan to study WWII in Asia.” –Joey
“Hi there. My name is Allen. I’m a ninth grader and I’m going on a spectacular Mao’s Revolution school trip with 10 comrade students and 3 adults. On this interim we are going to learn about the rich recent history of the People’s Republic of China, especially the period of Chairman Mao Zedong’s lifetime. Our party is made up of a melting pot of students from America, Korea, Singapore, Canada, the UK and Hong Kong.
We begin our weeklong epic today, Friday the 23rd, at Concordia International School Shanghai, where spent our morning in the upscale Xintiandi area, where the first Chinese Communist Party Congress was held in 1921. The museum was divided into several sections, a generally depressing beginning about China’s weakness and imperial ruin, a midsection of background building up to the congress, and a carefully engineered ending on the Party Congress and subtle messages (wax figures where Mao is the only one standing) alluding to Mao’s future ‘helmsmanship’. We explored the meeting room of the first congress, although on a podcast we were told that the meeting hall was a replica of the original, which was bulldozed to make room for urban development. We leave school at four for a flight at seven to Hunan province. “ –Allen
This trip embodies the 2012 NHD theme, Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History. The study tour will focus on the contradictions, debates, and different perspectives on the Chinese Revolution, its motives, and its consequences. The Chinese Civil War and the resulting victory of the Communists were turning points for China and the world. The implementation of many of the Party’s radical reforms led to chaos, destruction and fear. Nonetheless, China has gone from a weak and divided country to a superpower that demands attention in the 21st century. I anticipate learning a lot from the tour and the students. Stay tuned and learn with me! – Cathy Gorn