Ruta Saksens Kalmane
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE
Updated: Mar 3
I find it very difficult to plan my future, and I have noticed that my plans never work out at the end, so I find myself adapting to new situations in life as they come. Joining this course was one of such cases of spontaneous decision making. I knew I wanted to change my profession and this was a great opportunity to start a new chapter.
I have tried to experiment with different subjects and methods of obtaining images. This process of diverging has given me clearer understanding of what suits me and what doesn’t.
In general, I haven’t put a serious thought into where I see myself in a year, two or five, but I do have some areas in mind that I believe are a better fit for me than others. Coincidentally, I am currently having coaching sessions with a professional who is helping me to figure out what I would like to do in the future in relation with photography. It has been a helpful experience, and I have looked at the photography market within the Netherlands. From looking back at my previous work experience and figuring out what are the things that make me most happy, I have concluded that I like working with children the most (10 to 15 year old kids in particular). In 2012 I received an MA degree in English linguistics and methodology, and in 2013 I left a job as an English teacher in one of Latvia’s Secondary Schools (because of moving to the Netherlands), and that was a position that I actually enjoyed the most. Therefore, when looking into the future, I think I can see myself working with children again, but this time in relation with photography, visual communication, art, workshops, etc. This would give me an opportunity to work on private projects on a side as well.
In the Netherlands there are a few offers available for children in the age group 9 to 14 to participate in a one-day activity of learning photography in a small group (usually 4 to 10). I believe the current market offer is not too wide and there is a place for developing more photography courses for children as an after-school activity. Taking into consideration that Dutch is not my first language and the level of my English is higher than the level of my Dutch, I can estimate that my teaching activities would be carried out in English rather than in Dutch. I believe children would benefit greatly not only from learning practical things about photography and art, but also from improving and practicing their English language. I tried out this teaching method in Latvia, when I gave Economics classes to secondary school students in English. By integrating two different subjects, both subjects benefit from each other, enhancing the overall quality of education.
Dr Graham McPhail explains that
‘bringing various subjects together for learning is known by a variety of names such as interdisciplinarity, cross-disciplinarity, cross curricular learning, and curriculum integration’ (c. 2021).
The history of integrated teaching goes back to 1940s, and in the 1970s two well-known educators - Paul Hirst and Basil Bernstein – wrote extensively about this approach of teaching. According to Dr Graham McPhail,
‘it was thought that linking subjects through a relational idea could be more engaging for students and provide a ‘real-world’ stimulus for learning. Different subjects might offer different interpretations of a particular topic or problem. More recently, the idea of curriculum integration has re-emerged as one of the key themes of twenty-first century learning’ (c. 2021).
Therefore, I believe that parents would see this integrated learning approach as a great learning opportunity for their children.
In conclusion, life is unpredictable, and like I said before plans never really work out as intended, so for the time being I’m going to focus only on my current project and when the right time comes, I’ll think about the bigger picture.
MCPHAIL, Graham. c.2021. An introduction to curriculum integration. From The education hub [online]. 2021. Available online from https://theeducationhub.org.nz/an-introduction-to-curriculum-integration/ [accessed on 12 October, 2021].