Learning Quest

I Background

      Wooden churches in Binarowa and Sękowa, located withing the Gorlice Region, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List not long ago, in July 2003. Local people are not particularly aware of the fact that the UNESCO list is so important and prestigious. They simply do not pay proper attention to such things, and they do not appreciate the role of these unique buildings, not only for our region, but also for the entire country and continent, as an element of common cultural heritage. The main aim of the "Learning Quest" project is to involve children and teenagers from Binarowa and Sękowa, who would not only be the authors of texts and other materials connected with world heritage places in the Gorlice Region, but who would also learn more and more about those places themselves, while working on the project.
      In this way, young people could learn how important our heritage is, and they would naturally and spontaneously become advocates of their own region and country.

II Project Layout

      "Learning Quest" can be seen as a project inspired by a once popular strategic game for teenagers, "Civilisations". The main idea is to go through five levels of knowledge, which symbolically represent five periods in the region's history:

Level I - Settlers
- period: around 14th - 15th century
- showing ethnic diversity of the region

Level II - Inhabitants
- period: around 16th - 17th century
- tracing the process of transformation from settlers to inhabitants, with their own religion, genuine habits, cuisine and crafts; showing the impact particular groups had on one another

Level III - Builders
- period: around 16th-18th century
- analysis of the development of sacred architecture in the region (appearance, ornamentation), as an effect of coexistence of a variety of cultures

Level IV - Industrialists
- period: around 18th - 19th century
- showing the region of Gorlice and Biecz from the perspective of oil industry: people getting rich, impact on churches, their equipment and ornamentation (role of Vladislaus Długosz in saving the church in Sękowa during World War I)

Level V - Heritage Guards
- period: 20th century
- history of the churches after World War II and during communist times, role of individual people and whole communities in protecting the priceless cultural heritage

      The project has two stages. At first, a group of young people will be chosen, whose task will be to work out each stage of the story. The group's work will be immediately evaluated by their teachers, and each student will get an appropriate "title", depending on their work results (e.g. "settler", "industrialist", etc.).
      The second stage of the project will be open for all the students who want to get involved. They will have to write a test, checking their knowledge. The tests will be prepared during the project work, and they will be based on the information from the project webpage and from other sources. The test will be available on the website on a particular day only, and the date will be announced beforehand. Again, students will be given '"titles", depending on the number of points they will get in a test. On each level, students will get diplomas, confirming their knowledge. The students who will get the title of "Heritage Guards", will be given their diplomas during a special ceremony.

III Materials

      All the materials prepared by the students will be available on a special website.
      The basic aim of that information is teaching how important the wooden churches are for the past and present of the region in so many aspects: economical, political, ethnic, social, as well as for social awareness of every individual person. It is very important to show these buildings not only as static pieces of art and monuments, but, above all, as living places of worship, uniting local community just like it used to be in the past.
      Students will be free to choose the methods, techniques and materials used for preparing the project. Variety and creativity of these techniques will be greatly appreciated.

Kinds of materials and suggested topics to be placed on the website:
- Texts (general descriptions, introductions to each stage of the project)
- Photos and presentations (as a support for the texts, but also as independent galleries, showing e.g. Polish wedding, christening, funeral, etc.)
- Audio recordings (e.g. interviews with people working in the church, newly-wed couples, parents of christened children, as well as fragments of songs characteristic for the region)
- Films (stories, interviews with a priest, village councillor, fragments of wedding ceremonies, etc.)
- Famous people connected with the churches (e.g. Vladislaus Długosz)
- The Trails of Wooden Architecture and of World War I Cemeteries
- Cuisine (the most popular meals chracteristic for the region and for local ethnic groups, photos of meals, perhaps a short report from preparing one of such meals)
- Virtual exhibitions of all the materials prepared by children and teenagers (drawings, sculptures, etc. All of them should be somehow connected with the two churches)

Gmina Sękowa Powiat gorlicki Biecz Szlak architektury drewnianej