Freedom is "the ability to make your own choices, without the fear of
persecution or infringing on someone else's freedom," said senior Richard
Swaidan, reading a statement he authored with a group of students.
The exercise, performed by a Glendale High club that seeks to promote
harmony, was just one of many activities observed by the two teams of
seven teachers visiting Glendale and Hoover high schools this week in an
effort to learn about civics education in the U.S.
The three-day visit, which ends today, is part of a program of the
Washington, D.C.-based Academy for Educational Development and sponsored
by the U.S. Agency for International Development, an agency of the
federal government that implements foreign economic and humanitarian aid
programs. The visiting secondary school teachers are representing Junior
Achievement of Armenia, a program that provides educational programs in
more than 300 schools in Armenia.
By openly expressing their ideas, Swaidan said he hoped he and his
fellow students could serve as role models to the visiting teachers, "to
show them how they might want to interact with their students."
Students also have something to learn from the visit, Swaidan said.
"After meeting the teachers, you get to know what people don't have,"
he said. "We have so much more than other people and, sometimes, we take
that for granted."
In her second day at Glendale High, Nelli Danielian, who teaches
secondary school in Yerevan, the capitol city of Armenia, said she had
noticed students in the U.S. are allowed to speak freely in classes.
"Students have more freedom here," she said, through an interpreter.
Danielian said she was impressed to hear the students' ideas on
freedom and the restraints that accompany it.
"Everybody believes in rules, regulations and laws but they are not
afraid of them," she said. "It's because they really feel that is the
Hoover High counselor Sirvart Mouradian said the team of teachers at
her school is enjoying meeting teachers and students and asking them
The teachers are touring the schools through today but will remain in
the U.S. through early February.