The Great Raleigh Trolley Adventure by Xuan Wang

Before fall break, I participated in the Historic Raleigh Tours/Trolley Event organized by Dr. Candy Beal. It was a wonderful experience to discover the historical stories of the City of Raleigh that I live in! During our tour, Dr. Beal introduced the history of North Carolina and Raleigh to us, which has left a deep impression on me!

I was surprised to view many important historical statues in the downtown area. One of my favorite is the Statue of Sir Walter Raleigh. It is said to be one of the biggest statues in Raleigh. Sir Walter Raleigh was an entrepreneur, adventurer, and an English colonizer who established a colony which would then become known as “the Lost Colony” in 1587. It was the first colony where Europeans settled in America. In 1588, the western part of England was engulfed in war. Therefore, Sir Walter Raleigh returned to Roanoke Island but all settlers on the island disappeared. After the tour, Dr. Beal took us to the doughnut shop to eat fresh doughnuts. The interesting thing was that you can observe the entire process of doughnut making.

I’m really inspired by this event! As a teacher, it is necessary to understand teaching and learning does not merely happen in the classroom, but also it should take full advantage of social practice activities after class to help students to gain a better learning experience. Theoretically, social practices are designed to integrate individuals into their surrounding environments, accompanied by the assessment of how environments and cultures are interacting with personal practices.

In addition, social practice builds on an effective relationship between the society and individuals, in which the focus is on the skills, knowledge, and understanding of people in their private, family, community, and work settings. Students can be organized as volunteers to take part in community events, in which they can properly introduce their own communities. These kinds of social practices are extremely helpful for their learning development. Take Historic Raleigh Community Tour for instance, upon understanding the community history, students can engage in volunteering to introduce their communities and cultures to everyone else. Therefore, better comprehension and promotion of their local history and culture can be effectively achieved.

To sum up, social practices are instrumental in transforming and expanding the theoretical knowledge gained by students, who will then develop the ability to solve practical problems and become creative. Meanwhile, the frequent engagement in society and nature enables them to form values and social perspectives.