TSR Newsletter

TESOLers for Social Responsibility E-Newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 3

by User Not Found | 11/01/2011
In this Issue...

Letter from the Chair Elect
Animal Rights Websites
Conference Announcements
Dealing with Global Issues through Poetry
Free Online Access to Journals
Journal Profiles: Society & Animals and the Journal of Engaged Pedagogy
Not in School
Pay Attention! Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Your Classroom
Quote
Web Resources on People with Disabilities
Web Resources on Population
About This Member Community

Letter from the Chair Elect

Greetings from Connecticut! It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the TSR caucus' second e-mail newsletter. I have been asked to write a message to you as the incoming chair of the caucus and I am happy to do so!

First, may I take this opportunity to congratulate TESOL on its switch to an e-mail format. As a former environmental science major, I am happy to speak for the trees (and "The Lorax" - see Dr. Seuss) and tell you that their longer lifespan is a result of e-mail technology! Along with saving trees, sending the newsletter via e-mail enables all of us to be able to pass on items of interest to others and perhaps get them more interested in the vital work that this caucus does and the purpose(s) that it serves.

On that note, I just finished rereading TSR's "Statement of Purpose" which I downloaded from the TESOL website. Although I have been involved in this caucus for a couple of years now (and remember when Kip first tried getting recognition for Peace Education many moons ago) I admit to not being as familiar as I should be with our mission and our goals.

We as a caucus, at least in my subjective view, are in a sense the conscience of TESOL. All ESL/EFL teachers should have some concern and knowledge of world situations as our students are literally the future of the world. If we do not make this a cornerstone of our teaching, we are doing our students a disservice. But what does "social responsibility" mean?

When I review the tenets of our caucus, to me the most important deals with helping our students develop critical thinking skills, helping them develop creative conflict resolution skills, and enhancing their ability in cross-cultural communication. Another important tenet is to work to overcome national stereotypes and negative images held by ESOL professionals and learners that hinder peace, cooperation and trust.

All too often we don't even think about how our own opinions, our own prejudices (and yes, we all do have them and no, we were not born that way), and our own stereotyping influence our students. I have heard some very responsible, respectable educators (yes, even in our own caucus) express and assign blame for one world situation or another. I have seen professors at Yale University, with whom I recently shared a dais, spend more time on "pointing fingers" than on working towards peaceful solutions, the latter being my focus. This even before the possibility of a war with Iraq! The reality is that TSR caucus members, no more and no less than others, have a responsibility to, at a minimum, foster an environment where students are free to express themselves and yet also, to have students see a situation from different angles. When we get so entrenched in our own mindset, no progress can possibly be made because we are not listening! We are the only ones who are right!

Our responsibility, as educators, is to introduce global issues and social issues and ideals for which we all stand without assigning blame. Last night my son (a 10th grader) pointed out to me that the far fringes of the left or the right in any political process or party actually have the same ideals - they don't tolerate anybody else's views. That doesn't do any of us any good.

My own background as an IEP teacher, academic director, program director, teacher trainer and curriculum writer, coupled with my present vocation as the president and founder of Teachers Against Prejudice, enables me to see that solutions never come from placing blame but rather from carefully cultivating a feeling of empathy. Our ultimate goals should never be merely tolerance, but rather acceptance, understanding, and respect for all peoples. If we cannot do that, all the other wonderful goals that we have will fall by the wayside.

Throughout this year, I would love to see suggestions from TSR members on how we can actively foster those feelings and empower our students, of all nations, all backgrounds, all ethnicities, all religions - for we are all part of humanity! We are all stronger when we work together. I take the responsibility of being chair of this caucus very seriously and ask for your help in creating an inclusive environment within TSR, within TESOL and within our own local and global communities!

Thank you and peace,
Elise Klein

About the author(s): Elise Klein, kllnt@aol.comtaporg@aol.com. For more information on Teachers Against Prejudice, please visit:http://hometown.aol.com/taporg.

Animal Rights Websites

Many, but not all, of the following websites are courtesy of Animal Concerns Research & Education Society http://www.acres.org.sg/.

Overall Animal Rights
1. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals: http://www.peta-online.org/
One of the best known organizations in this area.

2. World Society for the Protection of Animals: http://www.wspa-international.org/
The archives section of this site has lots of short newsy pieces.

3. The Captive Animals' Protection Society: http://www.captiveanimals.org/
"CAPS seeks to prevent the use and exploitation of captive and performing animals, and investigates cases of alleged cruelty against captive and performing animals."

3. Animal Rights vs Hunting: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~powlesla/personal/hunting/rights/
This page is not confined to support for hunting. It has a wide ranging assortment of articles debunking the views of many of the other sites in this list.

Meat in general
1. American Meat Institute: http://www.meatami.com/

Another site with a view contrary to the majority of sites in this list. The oldest and largest meat and poultry trade association in the U.S. "AMI is dedicated to increasing the efficiency, profitability and safety of meat and poultry trade worldwide." See their Animal Rights Kit.

2. Factory Farming: http://www.factoryfarming.com/
Here's the site's definition of factory farming: Factory farming is an attitude which regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit. In animal agriculture, this attitude has lead to institutionalized animal cruelty, massive environmental destruction and resource depletion, and animal and human health risks.

3. The Humane Farming Association: http://www.hfa.org/
HFA's goals are to protect farm animals from cruelty, to protect the public from the dangerous misuse of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals used on factory farms, and to protect the environment from the impacts of industrialized animal factories.

Milk

The issue of milk and other dairy products fits with the perspective that in modern society, other animals' lives are cruelly distorted to satisfy human animals' wants. In addition to the suffering of other animals, dairy products are seen as having adverse effects on health.

1. Not Milk: http://www.notmilk.com/
This seems like a one-person site by a very energetic chap.

2. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: http://www.pcrm.org/health/Info_on_Veg_Diets/dairy.html
Milk is just one of the topics here on this site. As you'd expect, this site has lots of scholarly references. This particular article on the site has 8 reasons for avoiding dairy.

3. The National Dairy Council (USA): http://nationaldairycouncil.org/
Go to their Consumers page and click on FAQs to read their view of the benefits of dairy products.

Eggs

If what these people say is half-way true, what the birds are made to go through so that we can eat eggs is quite horrific.

1. United Poultry Concerns: http://www.upc-online.org/
This organization was founded by a former university English teacher. Lots of information. These people stick up for chickens and other fowl, even criticizing other animal rights advocates who belittle chickens.

2. Ban Battery Cages: http://ca4a.org/bbc/
Here's what the site says about battery cages: There may be no experience of life more fraught with stress and pain than that of the battery caged hen. She does not live on a farm, but inside a gigantic metal factory like the one pictured here. Such facilities hold literally millions of hens who are confined in row after row of tiny wire 'battery' cages. These cages are too small to allow hens to stand in a normal upright position, much less stretch, unfold their wings, or exercise. Throughout the course of her short life, the battery caged hen will be forced to endure beak mutilations, overcrowding, filth, disease, and periodic starvation.

Companion Animals

I guess that 'companion animals' is sort of a synonym for 'pets'. In addition to helping these fellow animals live a good life, another reason for their protection is the view of many criminologists that serial killers and others started with violence against other animals, "These are the kids who never learned it's wrong to poke out a puppy's eyes."
--Robert Ressler, founder of the FBI's behavioral sciences unit, discussing serial killers' beginnings

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can be found in many countries and localities. Here are two examples.

1. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: http://www.rspca.org.uk/

2. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Selangor, Malaysia: http://www.themalaysian.com.my/spca

Vegetarianism

1. Vegetarian Resource Group: http://vrg.org/index.htm
This is quite a comprehensive site on vegetarianism.

2. Vegan Outreach: http://www.veganoutreach.org/
Includes the archives of the organization's newsletter: Vegan Spam.

Conference Announcements

Peace as a Global Language Conference

The second annual Peace as a Global Language conference, focusing on teaching about minority rights, gender issues, environmental awareness, conflict resolution, alternative educational approaches (including CL), and peace in the language classroom, will be held in Tokyo, September, 2003.

The two special guest speakers will be Spencer Kagan and Mizuho Fukushima. Spencer Kagan has published over 75 scientific books, book chapters, and journal articles focusing on the development of cooperation, cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, social development, cognitive styles and cognitive abilities. Mizuho Fukushima is a well-known human rights lawyer and Japanese Parliament member.

For more information, please visit the conference website: http://www.eltcalendar.com/PGL2003.

9th Annual Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference
May 29 - 31, 2003
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

CONFERENCE THEME: Making the Personal Political
http://www.unomaha.edu/~pto/conference.htm

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:
This conference features presentations on all aspects of emancipatory education and theatre including power relations in the learning environment, systems of structural privilege and oppression, popular education, and subversive challenge.

Presentations will explore the ways in which people can take personal circumstances and turn them into catalysts for political action. This relates to Paulo Freire's model of liberatory education and Augusto Boal's approach to interactive theatre.

INVITED GUESTS INCLUDE:

Nelda K. Pearson, a Professor of Sociology and the Chair of the Race, Class and Gender Studies Program at Radford University. She has done community development work using learning circles with farm women in Canada, with the Inupiat of Arctic Alaska, and with underserved communities in Central Appalachia. She is also president and founder with several of her students of Beans and Rice, Inc. http://www.beansandrice.org/). Nelda has been among the leaders in establishing the learning circle concepts, a cornerstone of the Invisible College.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:
Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Inc. is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to challenge oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice. We organize an annual meeting that focuses on the work of liberatory educators, activists, and community organizers. Conference attendees collaborate in investigations of the roots of class, race, and gender inequalities. This event provides opportunities to combine action and reflection.

Dealing with Global Issues through Poetry

This is a very much abridged version of a presentation with the above title by TSR member Esther Lucas (lucas@bezeqint.net) at the 2002 IATEFL conference in York, March 23-27. The presentation focused on four poems and activities to go with them. Below are excerpts from the four poems and a URL for finding the complete version of each poem. (Copyright restrictions prevent us from displaying the poems in their entirety.)

1. Incident by Countee Cullen
http://www.afroamhistory.about.com

The poem is told from the perspective of an eight-year-old African-American boy who recounts a visit to Baltimore (site, incidentally, of the 2003 TESOL conference). One day, upon seeing a white child of about the same age, the narrator smiled, but instead of smiling back, the white boy stuck his tongue out and called the African-American boy "nigger." The poem concludes.

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.

2. Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte http://boxschool.com/page5.html

The poem begins with these two lines:

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

Midway, the poem shifts from negative to positive. It ends with these two lines:

If children live with serenity, they learn to have peace of mind.
With what are your children living?

3. Human Family by Maya Angelou http://www.geocities.com/jdhosu/maya/maya_human.html

The poem opens with a focus on differences between humans:

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

After mentioning more of these differences in subsequent stanzas, the poem closes by emphasizing our similarities:

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends
than we are unalike.

4. Have I Left the Eagle to Soar in Freedom by Chief Dan George
http://www.wtv-zone.com/barronmak/sigpages/page53NativeAmericanSpirit.html

This is actually an excerpt from a speech. It looks at the beauty of nature and asks whether the humans living on the earth today have done enough to protect nature for the benefit of posterity.

Have I done all to keep the air
fresh? Have I cared enough about the
water? Have I left the eagle to soar in
freedom?

Esther's IATEFL presentation reports on how teachers enjoyed these poems with their students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades in Israel and the Czech Republic. Each poem was accompanied by activities that involved grammar, vocabulary, creative writing, and lots of thinking about the issues raised in the poems. Please write to Esther for a soft (electronic) copy of the activities.

To conclude, the power of these poems can be glimpsed in a letter (excerpted below) that Esther received from a 9th grade teacher in Israel after the teacher's students had read and discussed "Children Learn What They Live."

I handed out copies and told them that now that the first half of the year had gone by, it was time for reflection about what they're learning in the world, at home and at school. I told them to underline the line that they identified with most of all as the poem was being read aloud. There was dead silence when someone read out the poem.

The rest was unbelievable! I asked them to share with each other which line they had marked. From here on I didn't have to do anything. Most of them spoke about the first six lines of the poem (the negative ones). They spoke about violence in the country. They spoke about their families, friends, teachers. They talked about domestic and verbal violence. It was a marvelous opportunity for values clarification. Then I asked the question, "Which negative quality is your school guilty of?" It was a good opportunity for them to let off steam and emotions, referring to criticism, condemnation, abuse, ridicule. I was careful not to let them become personal in naming specific teachers.

The most amazing part was at the end, when one girl came up to me and said she wanted to apologize. "For what?" I asked. She said she wanted to apologize on behalf of the class for not being nice to me at the beginning of the year, when I first started teaching them. It just goes to show that the poem was a trigger for meaningful reflection on the part of the pupils.

Free Online Access to Journals

This is an abridged version of a message from Julia Sallabank of Oxford University Press, sallabaj@oup.co.uk. Is anyone aware of similar programmes by other publishers?

The world's 67 poorest countries can now benefit from free online access to the majority of OUP (Oxford University Press) electronic journals. OUP publishes journals across a broad range of subjects within the social sciences, humanities, science, and medicine. This offer is made in conjunction with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The 67 countries span four continents and have been identified according to criteria supplied by the WHO, World Bank and United Nations Development Programme. Free online access is offered to any established not-for-profit educational institution from those countries that apply for it through INASP or WHO or direct to OUP. Access will be available initially until the end of 2004. Furthermore, an additional 60 countries can obtain greatly discounted online access.

For further information see: http://www.oup.co.uk/jnls/devel (includes a list of qualifying countries and participating OUP journals).

Journal Profiles: Society & Animals and the Journal of Engaged Pedagogy

Society & Animals

Society & Animals is an academic journal that explores the interaction between humans and other animals. This quarterly publication deals with such topics as cruelty to animals, therapeutic uses of animals, and other human-animal interactions; uses of animals in research, education, medicine, and agriculture; dog fighting, circuses, companion animals, and other uses of animals in popular culture; attitudes toward animals conveyed by schools, religious institutions, and other socializing agencies; representations of animals in literature; the history of the domestication of animals; and the politics of animal welfare and the animal rights movement.

Back issues of Society & Animals can be read online at http://www.psyeta.org/sa/.

Journal of Engaged Pedagogy

A new alternative, multilingual journal for educators called the Journal of Engaged Pedagogy created by language teachers and inspired by black feminism and especially African American educator bell hooks is currently compiling its third issue.

To receive a copy of the journal or for further information please visit the website http://engagedpedagogy.org/.

On a related note, for information on the 2003 Peace as a Global Language conference, please visit the website http://www.eltcalendar.com/PGL2003.

Not in School

More than 10 years ago, UNESCO sponsored a conference entitled Education for All. That goal remains only a dream, even for children. According to a recent UNESCO report, in developing countries one of five school-age children do not attend school. A disproportionate percentage of these children are females.

Pay Attention! Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Your Classroom

Hunt, C., & Miyake, A. (2002, September). Pay attention! Human rights and conflict resolution in your classroom. Workshop presented at the Peace as a Global Language Conference, Tokyo.

Discipline in the classroom is something many teachers struggle with. Using methods for resolving conflict from How to Talk So Kids Can Learn by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish in a workshop format, participants were asked to brainstorm discipline problems teachers face and then to roleplay their own past experiences of conflict with a teacher.

Goals for the presentation were: to question the idea of the teacher as authority figure with right answers who controls discussion, to convince students to use each other as a resource before consulting the teacher (we made a value line with fluent English-only speakers at one end, and Japanese-only at the other and broke the line in half and folded to create bilingual groups), to think about how the structure of the room and teaching affect what is learned (students removed desks and discussed in groups), to show how students expressing and teachers acknowledging feelings can go a long way toward rehumanizing the classroom, to allow students equal input into decision-making through brainstorming solutions without judgement before discussing and coming to agreement as a group, and to think about what democracy means in the classroom.

Quote

Everything that happens under the sun is thinking people's business. p. 339

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, 1996, Child of All Nations, NY: Penguin.

Web Resources on People with Disabilities

Disability Information for Students and Professionals: http://www.abilityinfo.com/

The goal of this site is to link students and professionals studying disabilities and working to serve people with disabilities. The site includes news, job resources, and a discussion forum.

Disabled People International: http://www.dpi.org/

"Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) vision is for people with disabilities to become valued productive members and contributors of their respective societies. DPI strives for the full participation of people with disabilities in all segments of society as well as their attainment of equal opportunity and integration into education, the work force, and all social spheres in all aspects of everyday life. As a cross-disability organization, run by and for disabled persons, DPI is active in over 160 countries around the globe, and has regional offices on every continent representing disability communities and their organizations from all parts of the world."

ERIC Clearing House on Disabilities and Gifted Education: http://ericec.org/

ERIC is an acronym for the Educational Resources Information Center. ERIC has more than 15 clearing houses on various topics in education. This one contains more than 10,000 citations related to the education of students with disabilities.

The International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet: http://www.icdri.org/

This, as the name implies, is quite a comprehensive site. Included here are reports from Amnesty International on conditions in institutions for people with mental illness, links to sites related to children and youth with disabilities, disability clip art featuring positive images of people with disabilities, and information for caregivers.

United Nations - Persons with Disabilities: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable

This page provides an overview of how the United Nations promotes international norms and standards and global action related to persons with disabilities. Included is information on the UN Global Programme on Disabilities.

Web Resources on Population

The foundation of this compilation was an article by Katherine Isbell: Isbell, K. (2002, May). Population studies on the web. Global Issues in Language Education, #46, p. 11.

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research: http://www.aei.org/
Use the search function on this site, e.g., by typing 'population', for articles with views at variance with those to be found on other sites in this list. For example, one article on this site labels the following views as myths: overpopulation has an adverse effect on human welfare, introducing contraceptives lowers fertility rates, there is a huge unmet demand for modern contraceptive services in the third world, and population size can be controlled without coercion.

Family Planet: http://familyplanet.org/
This site was launched in 1999 in cooperation with a number of organizations including the Audubon Society, Care, and Save the Children. Its focus is on family planning. One feature of the site is a page with video and print advertisements that the organization has produced.

Family Planning Association of India (FPAI): http://www.fpaindia.com/
Later this century, India is due to overtake China as the world's most populous country. "FPAI provides a voluntary, non-governmental commitment to promoting sexual and reproductive rights and health, including family planning and child health. It strives to meet unmet needs and create demand for quality services and care among men, women and young people." The "Why FP" page contains a good deal of information.

International Planned Parenthood Foundation: http://www.ippf.org/
This site contains online journals and videos, an HIV/AIDS advocacy guide, fact cards on topics such as sexual and reproductive needs of refugees, and The Young Person's Guide to the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child and Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Population Action International: http://www.populationaction.org/
This site offers fact sheets on topics such as population and the environment, why population is still growing, and reproductive health. The organization examines policy issues and attempts to influence governmental decisions.

Population Connection, formerly known as Zero Population Growth: http://www.populationconnection.org/
This site has materials for teachers of students from preschool to upper secondary/high school level, as well as information for student organizations at college/university level. The organization believes that stabilizing Earth's population will help address a range of problems.

Population Reference Bureau: http://www.prb.org/
This site provides lots of statistics including a large collection of "QuickFacts" on a wide variety of population topics. If you enjoy gorging on statistics, this is the site for you.

Population Reports: http://www.jhuccp.org/pr/
This is an online journal published by the Population Information Program, Center for Communication Programs, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health,

Six Billion and Beyond: http://www.pbs.org/sixbillion/index.html
This website, created by the Public Broadcasting Service (USA), has several useful features. These include a running counter of the current world population and of how many people have been born since the user entered the website, a list of web resources on population, and detailed information on population in six countries: China, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and US.

United Nations Population Division: http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm
Among the features on offer here are wall charts in pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format on topics such as contraceptive use and population aging. You can also find information on UN conferences and activities related to population.

About This Member Community

TESOLers for Social Responsibility (TSR) Caucus

TESOLers for Social Responsibility (TSR) comprises TESOL members who are actively engaged in integrating language teaching with social responsibility, world citizenship and an awareness of global issues such as peace, human rights and the environment. The caucus aims to promote social responsibility within the TESOL profession and to investigate content, methods, and materials which promote tolerance, international understanding, and action for a better world.

Community Leaders, 2003-2004

Caucus Chair: Margo Abdel Aziz, e-mail tsr@tesol.org
Chair Elect: Elaine Klein, e-mail kllnt@aol.com Caucus Editor: George Jacobs, e-mail gmjacobs@pacific.net.sg