Laura Jackson is hoping a study tour will help her make history come alive for her students at LCCVI.
Jackson will be part of the Lucinda and John Flemer Netherland’s Study Tour in July. The purpose is to learn more about specific battles, which Canadians fought during the liberation of Holland 70 years ago.
Jackson, who has participated in a similar tour before, says there is a lot of work involved as the teachers research soldiers and their stories and are expected to participate in discussions and complete assignments throughout the tour.
Before she leaves Canada, Jackson is researching the life of a World War II soldier – an assignment she gives students in Petrolia around Remembrance Day. She says studying the life and death of the soldier makes history come alive.
Jackson is excited about the opportunity to dig deeper into a part of history, which affects many of her students. “We look at the liberation of Europe as an over all thing in class but we don’t take enough time to look at the specific battles,” she says. “We need to learn more about this kind of stuff…especially in this area, we can teach the Dutch immigrants’ children on what their grandparents went through.”
Jackson says by going to the place the battles took place, she can bring something extra to the lessons in the classroom. “Just the geography…in a textbook you don’t realize the distance things are from each other; we talk about battles and running across fields, we often forget the distance it would be and how hard it would be…that extra little bit makes it more real to you.”
There is also a personal element to the tour; Jackson’s grandparents both served – her grandfather helping to liberate the Netherlands.
And she hopes the Study Tour will help her prepare for the next time she brings LCCVI students to Europe so they too will feel the personal connection to history.
“It’s always emotional – start to see these connections – you think; “these people were younger than I was, doing braver things than I was.
“You start to think what can I do to make a bigger difference in the world to honour what they did.”