A recent article in The Atlantic highlighted an initiative spearheaded by Dr. Rachel McCormack, a professor of literacy education at Roger Williams University, to provide Arabic-language books to refugee shelters across the Netherlands. McCormack emphasized that “returning to school, particularly when it’s in a new language, is a huge adjustment for many Syrian children” and “maintaining their birth language and culture is key to every child’s identity.” She hopes providing access to Arabic-language texts will help Syrian children and their families integrate into Dutch society while maintaining their own culture and language.
Link to the article: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/05/balancing-integration-and-assimilation-during-the-refugee-crisis/482757/
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a screening of the film The Stanford Prison Experiment at the APA (American Psychological Association) conference. The screening of the film was followed by a Q&A session with the led researcher and distinguished psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo. The film was adapted from Zimbardo’s book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. I first learned about the Stanford prison experiment during my undergraduate studies in psychology. The ethical implications of this landmark study are still discussed in undergraduate and graduate psychology classes. It was interesting to now revisit the study as a researcher who has designed and carried out various research studies.
The Stanford prison experiment, a study conducted in 1971, examined the psychological effects of prison life. The male college students who volunteered to be part of the study were randomly assigned to be either prison guards or prisoners. The study was originally planned to run for a two-week period, but it was ended after six days because of what the situation was doing to the participants. Within the first couple of days the guards exhibited sadistic tendencies and the prisons showed signs of extreme stress. Watching the film was distressing (as it should be), as the study itself was controversial and the results quite shocking. It was interesting however, to hear Dr. Zimbardo discuss how the Stanford prison study inspired his notable research on shyness and his recent work the Heroic Imagination Project.
The official Stanford Prison Experiment website: http://www.prisonexp.org/
I am looking forward to reading the recently released Dr. Seuss book entitled What Pet Should I Get? His widow Audrey discovered the manuscript and illustrations a few years ago, however, it is believed that Seuss originally created the work between 1958 and 1962. A New York Times review describes the book as “short and Seuss-ish” and “filled with creatures both real and zany.” Another book to share with the student teachers in the primary division.
Link to the review:
Many of us who write frequently have at one time or another had to cope with the dreaded writer’s block. Through a simple web search one can uncover various strategies recommended to avoid or cope with writer’s block, such as, engaging in a free write, brainstorming ideas, talking out the ideas, concept mapping or the bride/reward yourself technique. A friend of mine finds it helpful to cover her laptop screen with a towel and then proceeds to free write any ideas that come to mind. The inability to see her computer screen prevents her from trying to edit her work as she is trying to get the ideas down. Her mantra is “editing is different than writing, the processes are separate.” Any of us who have experienced writer’s block might find it interesting to hear what some established writers have to say about how they deal with writer’s block: http://www.clickhole.com/article/6-worlds-greatest-writers-explain-how-they-deal-wr-2748?utm_campaign=default&utm_medium=ShareTools&utm_source=facebook For example, Neil Gaiman notes, “the secret to writing is just to write. Write every day. Never stop writing. Write on every surface you see; write on people on the street. When the cops come to arrest you, write on the cops. Write on the police car. Write on the judge. I’m in jail forever now, and the prison cell walls are completely covered with my writing, and I keep writing on the writing I wrote. That’s my method.”
This summer Toronto is hosting the Pan Am Games. I took a break from my studies yesterday to support the incredible athletes competing in the rowing events. It was amazing to cheer on the Canadian women’s single sculls, the women’s lightweight double sculls, and the men’s quadruple sculls as they each won GOLD medals. Well Done!!
I’ll admit it, I often include emojis when I text. I can’t help it they are just so cheerful and amusing. I had not thought, however, about using emojis to teach, until I saw Bill Nye, “the science guy,” use emojis to explain about climate change and super materials. To see his creative videos follow the link below:
With today being Canada Day it seems fitting to share the news that some uniquely Canadian words, such as dépanneur and inukshuk, were recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Link to CBC news: http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/canadian-words-d%C3%A9panneur-inukshuk-among-500-new-oxford-dictionary-entries-1.3127277
Happy Canada Day!!
An article in the New York Times highlighted the work of high school English teacher Brian Mooney, who uses the lens of “hip-hop ed” to engage students in the study of complex literary themes. A blog Mr. Mooney created to share his curriculum and student work caught the attention of a broader audience — rapper Kendrick Lamar visited the high school. Students from Mr. Mooney’s English class and the after-school poetry club performed spoken word poems and raps for Kendrick Lamar.
Link to article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/nyregion/kendrick-lamar-rapper-who-inspired-a-teacher-visits-a-high-school-that-embraces-his-work.html
To mark National Poetry Month (April), the Toronto Public Library launched the poetry map, an interactive map that allows users to explore Toronto through a collection of poems associated with the city’s neighborhoods and landmarks. The project was the result of a collaboration between the Toronto Public Library and the city’s poet laureate George Elliott Clarke. Clarke suggested, the “map brings the city alive in terms of it being a living, pulsing, breathing organism that gives creative people – poets – inspiration. It reminds us that Toronto is a great city for the arts.” The Library hopes to expand the project by encouraging the public to submit their favorite poems related to Toronto.