WorldView is a new opportunity for self-discovery and continuous education. Laura Grkikyan

WorldView is a new opportunity for self-discovery and continuous education. Laura Grkikyan

Laura Grkikyan had no intention of becoming a history teacher: her dream was law. She never even thought about teaching. Her work experience began in a shoe factory. After working for two years, she took a break, but in the end, “all roads led to school,” resulting in a favorite job and 33 years of teaching experience. Ms. Grkikyan, who teaches history at High School No.1 and Basic School No.15, says she loves not only teaching, but also constantly learning, and in that sense, the WorldView platform has become a new opportunity for her to learn and continue her education.

– This may sound unusual, but I would like to start my first question with the “connection” between your profession and your last name.

– My grandfathers loved to read, and the root of the family name actually means ‘book’. My love of books was instilled in me by my father. He especially loved historical novels. There are six of us sisters, he named us all after the heroines of the book, except for my youngest sister. I am Petrarch’s Laura. I loved reading as a child, but never thought about becoming a history teacher. My dream was to become a lawyer. It wasdifficult to enter that faculty during the Soviet years. My marks were good; but they also required work experience, which I did not Trying for four years, I made sure in the end that law was not a “girly” profession. So, I have never regretted my decision to enter the Faculty of History, as I love my profession very much.

– How many years have you been teaching?

– I have been working since 1991, and have 33 years of pedagogical experience. I even joined the Communist Party for the entrance exam, as it was also considered an advantage.

– Try to divide your pedagogical experience into periods, how do they differ from each other?

– When I started working at the school, we were going through hard times: the collapse of the Soviet Union, the earthquake of 1988… And there was a nostalgic desire to study Armenian history. After working for two years, I was destined to move to Russia, and my student Nariné Ghazaryan brought me back to school. She often wrote letters on behalf of the class, saying that they would always remember me. I still have those letters. One day, she wrote that whoever came to teach them would have to give up the class. So, I returned to Armenia, went back to school and realized that I had to meet the expectations of the children. I must say that it was difficult to work during those years. Often, there were no textbooks and we dictated. Then textbooks on the history of Armenia in the context of world history appeared. This also made teaching difficult. Serious changes took place in the sphere of education when we switched to 12-year education and 10-point evaluation system. These innovations also attracted me, and since 2007, I have been a teacher trainer, studying European school programs, new teaching methods and peculiarities of non-formal education. Continuous education has become a way of life for me, and the latest program that interests me is the WorldView.

– Apart from the view that education should be modernized, there is also an approach according to which the school is not an experimental site and not all innovations should be applied there. Can you say that in the case of WorldView at least the principle of “do no harm” was applied?

– I can say with certainty that not only did WorldView not get in the way, but we have long felt the need for such a platform.  It used to happen that a student would ask the location of a country, for which I did not have a map, but now with WorldView I can very quickly find complete information: a video, a map, and didactic material. WorldView also helps students in their career orientation, as many people become interested in archaeology and excavations when they study finds. The use of this platform facilitates standardized assessment, as it allows not only to test knowledge, but also to find out the student’s position and attitude.