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April 30, 2010

Principal to Parents: Take Kids Off Facebook

From CNN and written by Jason Kessler this story appeared on April 30, 2010:

In a move likely to earn him few Facebook friend requests from tweens, a New Jersey middle school principal is calling for parents to yank their children from all social-networking sites.

Anthony Orsini sent an e-mail blast to the Benjamin Franklin Middle School community in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on Wednesday, urging parents to take down their children's online profiles on Facebook and elsewhere.

"There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!," he wrote. "Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!"

After issuing a rallying cry --"It is time for every single member of the [school] Community to take a stand!" -- Orsini enumerated the reasons he opposes social-networking by his students.

The main problem, he wrote, is that tweens do not have the resilience to withstand internet name-calling.

They are simply not psychologically ready for the damage that one mean person online can cause," he said.

Interesting Journal Article: Teachers' Environmental Education as Creating Cracks and Ruptures in School Education: A Narrative Inquiry and an Analysis of Teacher Rhetoric

This article was written by Seyoung Hwang and appears in the December 2009 issue of
Environmental Education Research (Volume 15, Number 6):


This article discusses a narrative inquiry as a methodology for understanding and examining teachers' interpretations of their environment-related teaching experiences. Focusing on the value of teacher stories for interrogating the discursive practices of schools as institutional contexts, four main rhetorical themes are identified to illustrate how teachers' engagements in practice and thinking with environmental education display ongoing identity work. Five Korean secondary science teachers' stories illustrate the dynamic processes and interplay between multiple discourses, such as the "proper", "good", "science" teacher, and the cultural norms, resources and subject positions available to them, as they take up and explain their own and others' meanings and subject positions in science education and environmental education. The paper discusses the value of narrative inquiry to conceptualising teacher agency in ways that offer alternatives to conventional research perspectives in this field, and in taking account of the possible meanings of environmental education, the possibility of creating cracks and ruptures in the "sense-making" discourses and "sense that is made" of experiences of environmental education and school education more widely.

April 29, 2010

Interesting Journal Article: Student Experiences of a Culturally-Sensitive Curriculum: Ethnic Identity Development Amid Conflicting Stories To Live By

This article is a little older (2007) but it has Canadian information. It was written by E. Chan and it can be found in the JOURNAL OF CURRICULUM STUDIES (Volume 39, Number 2):


This study examines ways in which students' experiences of a culturally-sensitive curriculum may contribute to their developing sense of ethnic identity. It uses a narrative-inquiry approach to explore students' experiences of the interaction of culture and curriculum in a Canadian inner-city, middle-school context. It considers ways in which the curriculum may be interpreted as the intersection of the students' home and school cultures. Teachers, administrators, and other members of the school community made efforts to be accepting of the diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds that students brought to the school. However, examination of students' experiences of school curriculum events and activities revealed ways in which balancing affiliation to their home cultures while at the same time abiding by expectations of their teachers and peers in their school context could be difficult. The stories highlight ways in which curriculum activities and events may contribute to shaping the ethnic identity of students in ways not anticipated by teachers, administrators, and policy-makers.

Narrative Inquiry

The Journal of Educational Research (Volume 103, Numbers.2, 2009) has two articles that may interest the students taking the course ED9576:

1. Narrative Inquiry Invites Professional Development: Educators Claim the Creative Space of Praxis

2. Teachers Responding to Narrative Inquiry: An Approach to Narrative Inquiry Criticism

Interesting Journal Article: Parables, Storytelling, and Teacher Education

Written by Robert Bullough, this article appears in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (Volume 61, Number 1-2).


Arguing that teacher education has become rule bound, even in the use of teaching narratives and cases, and for the need to challenge beginning teachers' conceptions of teaching and learning, the author suggests parables as promising means for enlivening teacher education and for stretching understanding. After defining parable, the author presents an analysis of three examples--The Storm, The Sower, and The Fish and the Turtle--to illustrate some of the rich interpretative possibilities they offer for thinking critically and imaginatively about teaching and learning and for generating fresh educational metaphors useful for guiding thought and action.

Interesting Journal Article: Clinical Supervision: Dialogues on Diversity

This article appeared in February 2010 issue of Training and Education in Professional Psychology (Volume. 4, Number 1).


Integration of diversity issues into supervision training and research has been sorely neglected, in spite of the recognition that diversity is a core component of psychological training. Several barriers to this integration are described. The author suggests that these barriers can be surmounted by implementing pedagogy developed for diverse and underserved populations. The author suggests that the supervisor works within the supervisees' zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978, 1986), use mediated learning experiences that intentionally create collaborative learning environments (Feuerstein, 1979; Feuerstein, Rand, Hoffman, & Miller, 1980), and mentoring relationships (Huang & Lynch, 1995). Disguised case vignettes are presented to illustrate how diversity issues emerge and are discussed within the learning environment.

Interesting Journal Article: A Mixed Methodological Analysis of the Role of Culture in the Clinical Decision-Making Process

This article appears in the Winter 2010 issue of Journal of Counseling & Development (Volume 88, Number1):


Even though literature indicates that particular cultural groups receive more severe diagnoses at disproportionate rates, there has been minimal research that addresses how culture interfaces specifically with clinical decision making. This mixed methodological study of 41 counselors indicated that cultural characteristics of both counselors and clients--including the degree of match between these characteristics--affect attention to cultural issues in clinical decision making. In addition, there was a significant relationship between participant cultural bias and perceived level of client functioning.

April 28, 2010

People We Know and Interesting Journal Article: Knitting Teacher: A Narrative Inquiry of a Researcher Who Has Been Researched

This article written by Rachel Heydon appears in the February 2010 issue of Qualitative Inquiry (Volume 16, Number 2):


From the vantages of a teacher who has been researched and an educational researcher who has researched teachers, this inquiry constructs a knitted narrative from journals, letters, and stories written about my time teaching English studies in a remote First Nations' community and articles written about me when I was a research participant in a study concerning White women teaching in the Canadian north. The goal of this narrative inquiry is to explore the ethical and methodological issues, including issues around representation, which arise during the course of studying and writing about other people, particularly teachers who are doing border work.

New Book: Becoming a Teacher Through Action Research: Process, Context, and Self-Study (Second Edition)

Becoming a Teacher through Action Research (Second Edition) skillfully interweaves the stories of pre-service teaching with the process of action research.

This engaging text focuses specifically on the needs of pre-service teachers by providing assistance for all stages of the research experience, including guidance on how to select an area of focus, design a culturally-proficient study, collect and interpret data, and communicate findings.

With an updated preface and introduction, this revised edition fully develops a convincing response to the framing question of the book, "Why pre-service teacher action research?"

The new edition offers a more robust overview of research methodology, including mixed methods examples as well as quantitative data collection strategies.

The authors also touch on digital photography and audio collection tools for presenting action research.

Using additional activities and examples, the authors clarify how to ask critical questions using literature reviews.

Interesting Journal Article: Direct and Indirect Measures of Social Perception, Behavior, and Emotional Functioning in Children with Asperger's Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disability, or ADHD

This article appears in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Volume 38, Number 4) and is written by Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, Jenifer Walkowiak, Alison Wilkinson and Elizabeth Minne


Understanding social interactions is crucial for development of social competence. The present study was one of the first to utilize direct and indirect measures of social perception to explore possible differences among children with nonverbal learning disability (NLD), Asperger's Syndrome (AS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Combined (ADHD-C), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Predominately Inattentive (ADHD-PI), and controls (N = 342). Multiple informants provided ratings of the child's behavioral and social functioning. Results indicated that the NLD and AS groups experienced the most difficulty understanding emotional and nonverbal cues on the direct measure. In addition, children with AS or NLD showed significant signs of sadness and social withdrawal compared to the other groups. Attentional skills, while related to social perception, did not predict social perception difficulties to the same degree as number of AS symptoms.

April 23, 2010

Friday Fun: "Cookie Monster's Search Story" Video

Tired of doing research? Have a look at this "Cookie Monster's Search Story" video!

People We Know: Harvey Weingarten

Harvey Weingarten, who stepped down as president of the University of Calgary, has been named the new president of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. He begins his duties a HEQCO on July 1st, 2010.

People We Know: Jill Carter and Alan Leschied

Jill Carter and Alan Leschied's article " Maintaining Mental Health and Youth Justice-Involved Students in Mainstream Education: Implications for Ontario's New Mandatory Requirement for School Attendance" appears in the March 2010 issue of the Education & Law Journal (Volume 19, Number 3).

Summer Camp To Engage Students in Nutritional Chemistry Using Popular Culture and Hands-On Activities

This article appears in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education (Volume 87, Issue 5). The article is co-authored by Joanna M. Skluzacek, Joshua Harper and Emily Herron and Jacqueline M. Bortiatynski.


Action Potential Science Experience (APSE) is a five-day summer camp offering science opportunities for K−8 students. The focus of the APSE curriculum is to teach science concepts and methods while challenging the participants to solve an overarching problem from the popular-culture context. The participants in the APSE entitled Burger 'N Fries Chemistry became food chemists to help a fictitious school board decide whether to continue serving a hamburger-and-French fries lunch. Students collected data using classical food chemistry analytical techniques and drew their own conclusions about the nutritional value of not only a typical hamburger-and-fries lunch, but also alternatives to this meal. On the last day, the young food chemists reported their findings to parents and faculty. Written precamp and postcamp surveys were administered to evaluate students' nutritional knowledge and their appreciation of science. The results indicated that the curriculum was successful in improving the students' knowledge of nutritional concepts. The data also revealed that self-motivation was a factor in knowledge gain. The survey data supported the conclusion that the majority of students found science interesting and would elect to participate in camps whose titles followed a theme from popular culture.

Teaching as a Subversive Activity

A good course leads students to see "Not only where they have been but also where it is, tomorrow, that they might go."

This article appears in the April 2010 issue of Response (from Seattle Pacific University) and was written by Luke Reinsma, SPU professor of English and Director of the University Scholars Program.

Professor Reinsma writes:

The other day, I taught a "History of English" class that went badly in all the usual ways: the guys slouching in the back of the room; the sound of my voice beating, like ocean waves, against a wall of irritation and boredom.

Now, I'll be the first to concede that a lecture on Early Modern English is a tough sell. But I love the idea of the English pirating words from across the globe: concert, madrigal, oratorio, and aria from the Italian; hashish from the Arabic; ketchup from the Chinese; raccoon, opossum, moose, moccasin, and more from the Native Americans.

What magic is it that removes the barrier -- that allows teachers to converse with, rather than to talk at, our students? It's my private theory that the solution is analogous to writing itself: that good classes, like good papers, need a thesis, a plan, a problem, and, finally, a sense of larger significance.

Why it's difficult to call a professor by his first name

Written by Nicole Baute this Toronto Star article was published on Thursday April 22, 2010:

In our increasingly casual world, social titles spell confusion

When Jack Chambers introduced himself to a classroom of students 30 or so years ago, the University of Toronto professor would try to counter the 1970s "aura of elitism" with this preamble:

"Even if it's difficult for some of you, call me Jack."

He still prefers Jack, but the 65-year-old has come to accept that many students will insist on "Professor Chambers."

"It's difficult for students to call somebody who's old and grey by their first name," he says.

Chambers, a professor of linguistics, says society has become less concerned with honorifics and social titles.

Archie comic welcomes first gay character

This article was written by Linda Barnard (one of my favourite newspaper writers) and published in the Toronto Star on Thursday April 22, 2010:

Veronica is finally about to meet the one hunky guy she can't get in the pages of Archie -- the comic series' first gay character.

"We want to make Archie Comics move forward and make it fun and inclusive," Jon Goldwater, chief executive officer of Archie Comics Publications in Mamaroneck, N.Y., told the Star Thursday.

Sex-ed backlash inhibits McGuinty

News stories abound about this change in plans. This particular article is from the National Post and is written by Lee Greenberg (Canwest News Service) and published on Friday, April 23, 2010.

New curriculum needs a 'rethink,' Premier says

Just days after defending a new sex education program that would include mention of homosexuality in Grade 3 and anal intercourse in Grade 7, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has backed down in the face of a public backlash.

Mr. McGuinty said the government failed in its job consulting on and communicating the new plan to parents.

"I think for most parents it came out of nowhere," he said.

"We spent a good 24, 48 hours listening to parents and caucus -- and parents through our caucus -- and it's become pretty obvious we should give this a serious rethink."

Although the curriculum was released in January, it didn't receive any public notice until this week, when a Christian conservative banner group heard of the changes and planned a protest in response.

That action in turn revealed a massive gulf between the province's publicly funded secular and Catholic school systems, a gulf Mr. McGuinty himself seemed to ignore.

He insisted the new curriculum applied to "all students in publicly funded schools, including Catholic schools."

His education minister, Leona Dombrowsky, also said the Catholic Church supported the new curriculum.

April 21, 2010

American "Blueprint for Reform"

Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

On Saturday, March 13, 2010 the Obama administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which would ask states to adopt college- and career-ready standards and reward schools for producing dramatic gains in student achievement.

The proposal challenges the nation to embrace educational standards that would put America on a path to global leadership.

The blueprint provides incentives for states to adopt academic standards that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and create accountability systems that measure student growth toward meeting the goal that all children graduate and succeed in college.

How Augmented Reality Works

This information is from the How Stuff Works web site:

Video games have been entertaining us for nearly 30 years, ever since Pong was introduced to arcades in the early 1970s. Computer graphics have become much more sophisticated since then, and game graphics are pushing the barriers of photo-realism. Now, researchers and engineers are pulling graphics out of your television screen or computer display and integrating them into real-world environments. This new technology, called augmented reality, blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. Read more...

How Social Gaming Is Improving Education

This information is from the Mashable: The Social Media Guide web site:

For decades, educators have been scrambling to find better ways to prepare students for the real world. Read more...

The Librarian is reading...

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realm by Ethan Gilsdorf.

About the book:

Fantasy. Science fiction. Role-playing games.

People around the globe turn away from the "real" world to inhabit others. Movie fan-freaks design costumes and collect Lord of the Rings action figures.

Some attend comic book conventions and Renaissance fairs, others play live-action role-playing games (LARPs).

The online game World of Warcraft (WoW) has lured twelve million users worldwide.

Even old-school role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) are still wildly popular.

What could one man find if he embarked on a journey through fantasy world after fantasy world?

In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop culture analysis, and memoir, forty-year-old former D&D addict Ethan Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds -- from Boston to New Zealand, and Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar.

On a quest that begins in his own geeky teenage past and ends in our online gaming future, he asks gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood. He speaks to grown men who build hobbit holes, and to grown women who play massively multi-player online games. He seeks out those who dream of elves, long swords, and heroic deeds, and mentally inhabit faraway magical lands. What lures them--old, young, male, female, able-bodied, and disabled -- into fantasy worlds, and for what reasons, whether healthy, unhealthy, or in between?

Our noble hero battles online goblins, trolls, and sorcerers for weeks on end. He travels to pilgrimage sites: Tolkien's hometown, movie locations, and castles. He hangs out with Harry Potter tribute bands. He LARPs. He goes to fan conventions and gaming tournaments. He camps with medieval re-enactors -- 12,000 of them. He becomes Ethor, Ethorian, and Ethor-An3. He sews his own tunic. He even plays D&D.

What he discovers is funny, poignant, and enlightening.

Disclaimer: Not all of the books featured in "The Librarian is reading..." category will be available through Western Libraries, and some of these featured books will be personal copies of the librarian.

FINALLY: The Difference between Nerd, Dork, and Geek Explained by a Venn Diagram

As explained by Great White Snark...

Netflix Founder Acquires Online Education Start-Up

This is a New York Times blog entry written by CLAIRE CAIN MILLER on Tuesday April 20, 2010:

Reed Hastings, the founder and chief executive of Netflix, used the Web to make it easier for us to rent movies. Now Mr. Hastings, who is also a former high school math teacher, is using the Web for a less entertaining, more educational cause -- teaching math to children.

And, I Quote...

As U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said, education is the "civil rights issue of our generation."

China's Quiet Education Revolution

China has attracted global attention in recent times for its inspiring and staggering achievements in the economic arena. The impeccably organized Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the prospects of the biggest expo in history in Shanghai this year have fired the public imagination and worked wonders for national pride.

Yet, a quiet revolution that has underpinned many of these achievements has gone relatively unnoticed. This is the transformation of China from a largely illiterate country in 1949, when the People's Republic was established, to a country where almost all children attend school for nine years and the literacy rate of young people aged 15 to 24 is 99 percent.

These historic achievements have contributed to China's ranking in the Human Development Index (HDI) rising to 92nd out of 180 countries.

This speaks volumes for the vision and determination of the Chinese leadership. Nevertheless, China faces challenges in addressing disparity and quality in education. Viewed in this context, China's Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development Plan Outline is a timely response to the challenges of creating a knowledge-based society. The outline was released to the public in February after intensive consultations.

Premier Wen Jiabao demonstrated firm commitment of the Chinese leadership to education reform by convening five separate sessions to engage in a dialogue with people from different parts of the country. This is by no means an ordinary occurrence, as the UN believes and has repeatedly emphasized the critical importance of political commitment for the achievement of the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The process of consultation continues as millions of people use the power of the Internet to send in their comments on the outline. It is evident that the Chinese people are eager to contribute and participate in the reform of the education system.

The Chinese government deserves to be commended for developing a comprehensive outline that sets strategic goals and targets for education development in the next 10 years.

The outline stresses the right of all citizens to receive education and promises allocation of resources in favor of rural, impoverished, ethnic and vulnerable groups.

It emphasizes the importance of all round development of the personality of learners. Incentives are provided for greater participation of the non-government sector in education.

Malaysia to Introduce Sex Education in Schools

This news report was written by Channel NewsAsia's Malaysia bureau chief Melissa Goh and posted on 21 April 2010 at 1927 hrs:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia plans to introduce comprehensive sex education in schools, to help curb a rise in unwanted pregnancies and abandoned babies.

Students took part in a recent programme on social and reproductive health by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Quebec to Review Special Needs Education

The Quebec government is rethinking how it integrates children with special needs into regular classrooms, because of teachers' concerns about overload.

MOE Document: Realizing the Promise of Diversity: Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy

This information is from the Introduction of this document:

On April 6, 2 0 0 9 , the Minister of Education released the document Realizing the Promise of Diversity: Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy (the strategy).

That document sets out the following vision for an equitable and inclusive education

We envision an equitable and inclusive education system in Ontario in which:

• all students, parents,1 and other members of the school community are welcomed
and respected;

• every student is supported and inspired to succeed in a culture of high
expectations for learning. (Ontario, Ministry of Education, 2009, p. 10)

This vision and the action plan that accompanies it demonstrate the Ontario
government's goal to create the best publicly funded education system in the world,
based on three core priorities:

1. High levels of student achievement

2. Reduced gaps in student achievement

3. Increased public confidence in publicly funded education (Ibid., p. 5)

An equitable, inclusive education system is fundamental to achieving these core

We believe that Ontario's diversity can be its greatest asset. To realize the promise of
our diversity, we must respect and value the full range of our differences. Providing a
high-quality education for all is a key means of fostering social cohesion, based on
an inclusive society where diversity is affirmed within a framework of common
values that promote the well-being of all citizens. In reaffirming the values of
fairness, equity, and respect as essential principles of our publicly funded education
system, the Ontario government's equity and inclusive education strategy will help
ensure that all students have the opportunities they need to fulfill their potential.

And, I Quote

Michael Reist, a well-known Toronto-area educator and passionate advocate of ''what boys need,'' says the current ''boy problem'' starts with the very fact that we define it as a problem.

"We need to stop pathologizing boys," says Mr. Reist. "We need to stop talking about them in negative language, as if the vast majority of them are living with some intractable disability."

Michael is the author of The Dysfunctional School: Uncomfortable Truths and Awkward Insights on School, Learning and Teaching. He has published over 70 articles on topics ranging from education, spirituality and parenting to movies, books and popular culture.

New Book: Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

From the publisher's web site:

Boys are falling behind in school.

The world has become more verbal; boys haven't.

Even in their traditionally strong subjects of science and math, boys are hit at a young age with new educational approaches, stressing high-level reading and writing goals that they are developmentally unable to achieve. The gap between male and female achievement has reached the college level, where only 40% of graduates next year will be male. This doesn't just mean fewer male doctors and lawyers, it also means fewer men in the careers that previously did not require post-high school degrees but do now.

Why Boys Fail examines the roots and repercussions of this problem and spells out the educational, political, social and economic challenges we face as we work to end it.

About the Author:

Richard Whitmire is a former editorial writer for USA Today and President of the National Educational Writers Association. A highly recognized and respected education reporter, his commentaries have been published in The New Republic, U.S. News, Politico, Washington Monthly, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Education Week. He also appeared on National Public Radio's Morning Edition to discuss boy troubles.

Click HERE to see a list of other NEW BOOKS recently added to the Education Library collection.

Ontario premier defends sex-ed curriculum

This information is from a National Post article written by Linda Nguyen (Canwest News Service) and published on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, but many other media reports are also available:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty defended the province's new sex education curriculum, saying children as young as eight years old should be learning about a variety of issues, including gender identity and sexual orientation.

"I think I speak with an understanding of the information available to children today. They are going to get this information. We [can] provide it in a format and in a venue in which we have some control, or they can just get it entirely on their own and be informed by potentially uninformed sources like their friends at school."

The revised curriculum, which will be implemented in Ontario schools beginning in the fall, will see Grade 3 students being taught about gender identity and sexual orientation. This is the first time this topic has been specified in the sex education curriculum.

Students in Grade 6 will learn about masturbation and wet dreams while those in Grade 7 will be taught about oral and anal sex.

The curriculum was developed after more than a year of consultations between academics, students, educators and ministries from other provinces. For example, children learn about puberty, including menstruation, in Grade 4 in schools in B.C. and Alberta.

Rev. Ekron Malcolm with the Institute for Canadian Values said Tuesday that he and a number of other "family-focused" groups have launched a campaign against the new curriculum and are set to protest in Toronto on May 10.

April 20, 2010

Thesis: Investing in Financial Literacy: Critical Democratic Instructional Practices and Learning Object Technologies

Author Elizabeth Judith Anne Coulson

Author's Abstract:

This research project contributes to advancements in the fields of financial literacy and online education. The purpose of the study was to consider the prospects of a set of computer-based learning objects in supporting critical democratic instructional approaches to financial literacy learning with students in grades 11 and 12. The key question of the study asked: How do online learning objects mediate the teaching and learning of financial concepts, especially as these tools may support critical democratic educational practice?

To ascertain the educational attributes of specialized object technologies in cultivating democratic learning conditions, classroom observations and semi structured interviews were conducted with Mathematics and Business students in 1 urban and 1 rural secondary school in southern Ontario, Canada. This qualitative case study investigation provided insight into: (a) the ways that financial literacy is currently being defined by these students and their teachers, (b) the technological features of the learning objects being used and their educative effects, and (c) the relevance of the digital financial curricula in serving specific learning preferences. Data collection in this project were used to construct a research-based curriculum model that identifies technical and pedagogical qualities of online learning objects that correlate with a critical democratic vision for financial literacy learning.

Click HERE and HERE to get lists of other Faculty of Education (UWO) theses housed in the Education Library (found in the lower level book STACKS collection).

People We Know: Kathy Hibbert

ATM Confessions: Curriculum Project Aimed to Support Financial Literacy Learning

Kathy Hibbert writes:

Frustrated and dissatisfied with the haphazard and unfocused curriculum development in the financial literacy field, we asked, 'in what ways are our youth engaging in learning outside of school, and how might we tap into that momentum?' The resource that emerged, ATM Confessions: A Financial Literacy Library, sprang organically from the interactions, discussions, and debates of a research and development partnership between The Investor Education Fund (IEF) the Faculty of Education at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) over a five-year period. Positioning students and teachers as collaborators at the center of the research and development process allowed us to get to the heart of what would engage the populations we were seeking to help. The resulting curriculum project is a culmination of numerous digital learning objects which we developed and leveraged within a social networking system designed around the metaphor of an ATM machine. Access to the resources is available to anyone, with special supports built in for teachers who register and make use of the materials with their classrooms.

You can access the ATM Financial Literacy Library.

Consultation Document: Leveraging Excellence: Charting a Course of Action to Strengthen Financial Literacy in Canada

The Task Force on Financial Literacy has prepared a public consultation document, which provides background information and identifies some of the issues and questions we would like to present for public input.

Task Force on Financial Literacy

This information is from the Task Force's web site:

In the 2009 budget, the Minister of Finance announced his intention to establish a national task force dedicated to the issue of financial literacy.

Appointed in June 2009, the Task Force on Financial Literacy is
comprised of 13 members, drawn from the business and education sectors, community organizations and academia.

The Task Force on Financial Literacy will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Finance on a national strategy to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.

This strategy will outline the following:

* the overall objectives, as well as a focused, concrete plan of action for strengthening the financial literacy of various segments of the population;

* ways to leverage existing resources to enhance financial literacy in Canada;

* the best means of promoting financial literacy in Canada;

* a framework for collaboration among all stakeholders − including government organizations at all levels − which would maximize financial literacy efforts in Canada and reduce duplication;

* ways in which the different stakeholders should collaborate to advance the state of financial literacy research in Canada; and,

* methods of assessing the progress made in implementing a national strategy, including identifying appropriate timelines and milestones for achievement.

The Task Force will draw on global "best practices" and build on the strengths of successful initiatives that are already in place, in Canada.

The Task Force will submit a final report by the end of 2010 that recommends to the Minister of Finance a national strategy on financial literacy.

The Task Force will make its report available to the public.

Invitation from the Task Force: "We invite you and all Canadians to assist us in this important initiative by sharing your views on financial literacy with us, until May 13, 2010"

Interesting Newspaper Article: New teachers' local options slim

This article, written by Jennifer O'Brien appeared in the The London Free Press (April 16, 2010):

Graduating teacher Christie Davis-Amyot has big plans for next year.

She's going to combine her skills as an artist with her education as a teacher to start producing children's books. And she might continue to help out at her husband's advertising business.

It's not exactly the picture she had in mind when she signed up for teacher's college at UWO's faculty of education.

But that was before she realized how slim the pickings would be for area teaching jobs.

"My feeling is that there will be a healthy competition just to get onto the supply teaching list at the TVDSB, which already has 1,500 teachers listed and may end up being 'closed' to new teachers," Davis-Amyot said in an e-mail. "This is what frustrates me."

At a recent Thames Valley District school board meeting, human resources superintendent Mike Sereda said he would advise post-secondary students to choose other options rather than teaching or plan to go overseas after graduation.

Last year, the board hired 93 people to almost 52 full-time positions, meaning none of those given a permanent contract in September is teaching full time. On top of that, 60 of the 93 people hired to permanent contracts were already board employees, working as occasional teachers on short-term contracts.

Ontario Education minister eyes crackdown on retiree supply teachers

From the Toronto Star Parent Central web site written by Tanya Talaga and Kristin Rushowy (April 19, 2010):

Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky is considering a limit on how many days a retired teacher can work in a year.

"We are in discussions with the Ontario Teachers' Federation on this very issue, because we do believe it is important for newly qualified teachers to have teaching experiences," she told reporters Monday.

School boards should try and "strike a balance," she said.

It's estimated that school boards across Ontario spend millions more than they need to by using higher-paid retirees as supply teachers when younger, newer educators could be hired, often for half the cost.

Two years ago, the Star reported that a coalition of supply teachers was calling for changes to the system that blocked younger or visible minority teachers from finding work. They called it a "sweetheart deal" for retirees who collect pension while being paid top rates as occasional supply teachers because of their years of service.

Start Your Planning Now for Canada-wide "Culture Days" in September 2010

Information from the web site:

Culture Days is a free, interactive celebration of arts and culture from coast to coast to coast. This fall, Canadians everywhere will participate in thousands of free events that bring creators and the public together to celebrate the creative vitality of our communities.

Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

A national Steering Committee, together with provincial committees (known as Provincial Task Forces) are self-mobilizing at the grassroots level to implement concurrent annual province-wide public participation events each September beginning in 2010.

This year's celebration with be September 24th to 26th, 2010

The annual, concurrent Culture Days events across Canada will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate "behind the scenes," to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers... in their community.

In support of these annual provincial events, Culture Days will drive a major annual national communications and public relations campaign designed to help inspire and catalyze greater public participation in the arts and cultural life of our communities.

Culture Days is a collaborative movement that relies on your participation.

April 19, 2010

Interesting Web Site from the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF): Teaching to Diversity: ESL, Learning Assistance, Special Education

This is a joint project of BCTF Research, Special Education Association, Learning Assistance Teachers' Association, and English as a Second Language Provincial Specialist Association.

Teaching to Diversity: ESL, Learning Assistance, Special Education is a subsite of the BCTF web site.

It is designed to support educators of school aged students of all abilities with information, strategies and resources related to special education, learning assistance and ESL.

For information on other diversity issues such as antiracism, homophobia and heterosexism, poverty, and status of women, please go to the BCTF social justice page.

MOE News: More Students Benefiting from EcoSchools Partnership

An Ontario partnership is helping more students learn about the environment and how to reduce their schools' environmental impact.

The Ontario government is supporting Ontario EcoSchools to recognize and encourage environmental initiatives in classrooms. This year, the government is providing $500,000 to Ontario EcoSchools to promote environmental education and action in schools.

Over the past seven years, the number of certified EcoSchools has risen from 13 to 906.

Partnering with Ontario EcoSchools is one of many ways the government is enhancing environmental education.

New Thesis: Drama Pedagogy and Possibility: Building Community and Critical Literacy in the Classroom through Artistic Means

Author: Diane Florence Brown

Author's Abstract:

This thesis investigates the role of drama pedagogy in facilitating both critical literacy and community in the classroom. To achieve this objective, I provide a theoretical overview of several theorists in the areas of classroom community, critical literacy, and aesthetic and experiential learning and compare their research findings to my own experiences with drama pedagogy, both as a student and teacher. These experiences are structured using narrative, and it is hoped that this personalized format will reveal the lived experience behind facts and events, and better illuminate how aesthetically-based, experiential learning might contribute to the development of both critical literacy and engaged learning communities. Ultimately, I hope to bring together the traditionally disparate fields of the aesthetic and critical literacy through drama pedagogy, and suggest possible pedagogical implications for today's classrooms. This thesis incorporates some discussion of feminist theory, and instances of feminist advancement are highlighted as they arise.

Click HERE and HERE to get lists of other Faculty of Education (UWO) theses housed in the Education Library (found in the lower level book STACKS collection).

Interesting Journal Article: An Adaptation Toolkit for Teaching Music

This article is written by Carol McDowell and appears in the February 2010 issue of TECPlus (Volume 6, Issue Number 3) as a feature article.

Teaching Exceptional Children Plus (TECPlus) is the Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) online-only practitioners' journal that expands the content of Teaching Exceptional Children.

Abstract of this article:

Music-education majors often struggle when making classroom and curricular modifications for
their lesson plans during their university coursework. This article offers behavioral, curricular,
environmental, motivational, organizational, and presentational strategies for planning instruction
for various disabilities in the music classroom.

April 15, 2010

New Book: Artist-Teacher: A Philosophy for Creating and Teaching

Is an artist-teacher a mere professional who balances a career -- or does the duality of making and teaching art merit a more profound investigation?

Rejecting a conventional understanding of the artist-teacher, this book sets out to present a robust history from the classical era to the twenty-first century.

Particular pedagogical portraits -- featuring George Wallis, Walter Gropius, Johannes Itten, Victor Pashmore, Richard Hamilton, Arthur Wesley Dow, and Hans Hoffmann -- illustrate the artist-teacher in various contexts.

This book offers a revelation of the complex thinking processes artists utilize when teaching, and a reconciliation of the artistic and educational enterprises as complimentary partners.

About the Author:

G. James Daichendt is associate professor and exhibitions director in the Department of Art at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California.

Click HERE to see a list of other NEW BOOKS recently added to the Education Library collection.

Interesting Web Site: A Virtual Schoolhouse

From the Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) web site:


By Charles Levi, Ph.D., MISt
Member, Canadian History of Education Association
Welcome to A Virtual Schoolhouse, a website that presents how young people in Canada experienced education over 100 years ago. Since 1900, much has changed in Canadian education. Children now learn more subjects; they attend school in different types of buildings; and their classrooms are divided into grades and made up of a diverse population. The purpose of education has also changed; it focuses less on moral instruction than in earlier days.

But much remains the same. Students are still expected to attend classes on a regular basis. Teachers are expected to reach and maintain certain academic standards, and possess knowledge of the material that they teach. The experience of going to school still produces moments of pleasure and moments of dread. More importantly, education continues to be regarded as a valuable asset. People who lived before 1900 might not recognize the modern classroom (although they would recognize elements of it), but they would understand the value of the educational process and be grateful for its continuity.

Featuring digitized textbooks, photographs and other records of the schoolhouse experience, this exhibition attempts to connect Canadians to their past. Not everyone's experience of schooling today is the same, nor was it the same for everyone in the past. Historians of education make approximations and generalizations to which there are always exceptions.

Accordingly, A Virtual Schoolhouse builds on this historical foundation. The website highlights the public school, which was the predominant form of education in Canada during the 19th century. Other schools, such as private schools or Aboriginal residential schools, have not been examined in detail, but this is not meant to minimize their historical importance. Students and other visitors are encouraged to read further on the subject of public education, and to conduct additional research to increase their knowledge of the ways and methods of the past.

And, I Quote...

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance".

Derek Bok, the former President of Harvard University

Archie Loves Robert Frost

From the US Library of Congress web site:

Robert Frost, was the Consultant in Poetry (Poet Laureate) at the Library of Congress from 1958 to 1959. He is the most widely known poet of the 20th century, and his poetry continues to be enjoyed by millions of people, including--as it turns out--Archie Andrews of Archie Comics fame. In the current issues, Archie is making decisions about his life, and imagines marrying Veronica Lodge and reading his favorite poem, "The Road Less Traveled" by Robert Frost, to their two children. But, oops, in the very next issue of the comic, Archie goes down a lane that splits into two paths and takes a less-traveled one, just as Robert Frost described in his poem. By choosing a different route for his walk, Archie's story and his life change.

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure

From the US Library of Congress web site:

Ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse? It's not what you might think. An Exquisite Corpse is an old game in which people write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold it over to conceal part of it and pass it on to the next player to do the same. The game ends when someone finishes the story, which is then read aloud.

Our "Exquisite Corpse Adventure" works this way: Jon Scieszka, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has written the first episode, which is "pieced together out of so many parts that it is not possible to describe them all here, so go ahead and just start reading!" He has passed it on to a cast of celebrated writers and illustrators, who must eventually bring the story to an end.

Every two weeks, there will be a new episode and a new illustration. The story will conclude a year from now.

"This story starts with a train rushing through the night...." No one knows where or how it will end!

How Tweet It Is!: Library of Congress Acquires Entire Twitter Archive

News from the US Library of Congress web site:

Have you ever sent out a "tweet" on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress.

That's right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter's inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That's a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions.

Read the rest of the Library of Congress News Release.

This information comes to us from the Twitter Blog:

The Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and it is the largest library in the world. The Library's primary mission is research and it receives copies of every book, pamphlet, map, print, and piece of music registered in the United States. Recently, the Library of Congress signaled to us that the public tweets we have all been creating over the years are important and worthy of preservation.

Since Twitter began, billions of tweets have been created. Today, fifty-five million tweets a day are sent to Twitter and that number is climbing sharply. A tiny percentage of accounts are protected but most of these tweets are created with the intent that they will be publicly available. Over the years, tweets have become part of significant global events around the world--from historic elections to devastating disasters.

It is our pleasure to donate access to the entire archive of public Tweets to the Library of Congress for preservation and research. It's very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history. It should be noted that there are some specifics regarding this arrangement. Only after a six-month delay can the Tweets will be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.

April 14, 2010

April is National Poetry Month (NPM)

From the League of Canadian Poets web site:

Established in Canada in April 1998 by the League of Canadian Poets, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries and poets across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada's culture.

Communities and businesses participate through readings, festivals, book displays and other events in several unique venues including parks, movie theatres, art galleries and a local zoo.

Building on the success of past years' NPM events, the League is also encouraging events which take place in non-traditional venues. Some successful venues from previous years include readings in parks, movie theatres, art galleries, and a local zoo.

For more information on National Poetry Month and to see a full listing of events in Canada, please click here.

On a related note - have a look at the Poetry London web site.

Poetry London was created by poet Cornelia Hoogland in partnership with the Landon Branch Library in the fall of 2004 to serve as a focus for poetry in London, Ontario. Poetry London's mandate is to provide a venue for Londoners to gather and celebrate the diverse voices of Canadian poets, and to encourage the discussion of poetry in a mutually supportive atmosphere.

The Education Library has an extensive variety of poetry books for teachers and students to enjoy.

Here is a link to a selected bibliography of poetry resources in the Education Library called "For the Love of Poetry".

Are you wearing pink?

Wednesday April 14, 2010 is International Day of Pink.

Day of Pink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination and Homophobia in schools and communities. We invite everyone to celebrate diversity by wearing a pink shirt and by organizing activities in their workplaces, organizations, communities and schools.

New Book and People We Know: Greg Dickinson and Jerry Paquette

Information about this new book from the publisher's web site:

The adoption of the Canadian Constitution Act in 1982, with its embedded Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ushered in an era of unprecedented judicial influence on Canada's public policy. The Courts, the Charter, and the Schools examines how the Constitution Act has affected educational policy during the first twenty-five years of the Charter by analyzing landmark rulings handed down from appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

The contributors consider the influence that Charter cases have had on educational policies and practices by discussing cases involving fundamental freedoms, legal rights, equality rights, and minority language rights. Demonstrating why and how the Charter was invoked, interpreted, and applied in each of these cases, this volume also highlights the resulting consequences for Canada's public schools.

An illuminating collection of essays by prominent legal scholars and educational commentators, The Courts, the Charter, and the Schools: The Impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on Educational Policy and Practice 1982-2007 is a significant contribution to the study of educational law and policy in Canada.

Jerry Paquette's chapter contribution is titled "Equity, Equality of Opportunity, Freedom of Religion, Private School Funding, and the Charter"


Greg Dickinson's chapter contribution is titled "School Searches and Student Rights under the Charter: Old Wine in New Bottles"

Click HERE to see a list of other NEW BOOKS recently added to the Education Library collection.

Research in Education Symposium - Wednesday April 14, 2010

On Wednesday April 14, 2010 you are cordially invited to attend the Faculty of Education's Research in Education Symposium.

The Symposium runs from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm in various locations around the Faculty of Education. Posters, Self-moderated Roundtables and Paper Presentations on the topics of arts education, authorship, collaboration, gifted education, health, literacy and language, educational policy, mathematics and science, special education and theoretical and methodological issues in Education will all be available to you to enjoy.

Be sure to stop by the Education Library's poster presentation table to see a display of current research resources. And, have a look at the Education Library display of research resources in the display case right outside the Community Room doors. We have also prepared a new bibliography of current research resources that is now available on the Education Library's web site.

People We Know: Carol Beynon

From the Western News web site (April 13, 2010):

Professor Carol Beynon will serve as Acting Dean for the Faculty of Education beginning July 1.

Earlier this year, Dean Julia O'Sullivan announced she will be stepping down from the role effective June 30 when she will assume a new position as dean at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

Beynon is currently Associate Vice-Provost (Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies) and has previously served as Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008. She is filling the position on an interim basis as the university undergoes a search for a permanent replacement.

She has also served the Faculty of Education as Chair, Graduate Studies in Education from 2002 to 2006, and before that was Director, Student Services; Director, Practicum Services; and Coordinator, Primary-Junior Preservice Program at the Faculty of Education.

"I am delighted that Professor Beynon has agreed to assume the decanal responsibilities in the Faculty of Education at this important time," said Fred Longstaffe, Provost & Vice President (Academic), in a letter announcing the appointment.

Beynon received an Ed. D. at the University of Toronto, OISE, in 1997 in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies. She completed a M.Ed. at Western in 1983 in Educational Administration and received a Dip. Ed. Ontario Teaching Certificate in 1972 in Senior Music; Primary/Junior - Music. In 1971, Beynon received a B.Mus.Ed. from The University of Western Ontario and an A. Mus. From the Western Conservatory of Music - Voice Performance.

In 2007, Beynon was honoured with the Women of Excellence Award for Arts & Heritage in London, and as part of the Amabile Choirs of London, was inducted into the London Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Canadian Council on Learning Report: State of Learning in Canada: A Year in Review

From Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) web site:

The 2009-2010 State of Learning in Canada: A Year in Review report provides the most up-to-date information available on Canada's learning landscape, and in the process helps contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of how Canadians are faring as lifelong learners.

As in previous State of Learning reports, this report reflects CCL's vision of learning as a lifelong process. Time and again our research affirms that the skills and knowledge that citizens bring to their families, workplaces and communities help determine a country's economic success and overall quality of life.

It is this core value that continues to guide CCL's research and our commitment to fostering a learning society in which all members can develop their full potential as active, engaged learners and contributing members of their community.

This report adopts a life-course approach, beginning with data related to learning in the early childhood years and school-based education through to the formal and informal learning of adults.

Also included is a chapter devoted to Aboriginal learning in Canada which features highlights from the ground-breaking December 2009 CCL report The State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success. This report, which introduced the first application of a unique approach to measuring Aboriginal learning, represents the most current and comprehensive assessment of Aboriginal learning ever conducted in Canada.

Interesting Newspaper Article: Saving the Google Students

From the Los Angeles Times

Published on March 21, 2010 by Sara Scribner

The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders -- those born between 1991 and 2004 -- has no memory of a time before Google. But although these students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the Internet, they know a lot less than they think. And worse, they don't know what they don't know.

As a librarian in the Pasadena Unified School District, I teach students research skills. But I've just been pink-slipped, along with five other middle school and high school librarians, and only a parcel tax on the city's May ballot can save the district's libraries. Closing libraries is always a bad idea, but for the Google generation, it could be disastrous. In a time when information literacy is increasingly crucial to life and work, not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read.

Western Libraries is looking for focus group participants

In an effort to better serve the research needs of graduate students, Western Libraries will be hosting focus groups to explore online personalization and customization habits of this group.

If you are a graduate student and enjoy using software such as iGoogle, LibX or Zotero consider sharing your customization experiences with us!

Focus groups will last one hour (5:00 pm to 6:00 pm), will be held at a main campus location, and refreshments will be served.

For focus group dates (coming up in late April and early May) and to register please use THIS FORM.

Interesting Web Site: On the Path of the Elders

This information is from the On the Path of the Elders web site:

This is the story of the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples of North-Eastern and North-Western Ontario, Canada and the signing of Treaty No. Nine (James Bay Treaty) in the indigenous territory known as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (People's Land). Our goal is to provide you with an understanding of the historical times in which Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe peoples signed Treaty No. Nine, and how this treaty has impacted the lives of our people.

We are very committed to documenting Elder knowledge that is slipping away in so many communities across Canada. Elder and traditional knowledge is a key resource that has been used to create the content for 'On the Path of the Elders'.

Take your time now and explore the site. Jump right in and play the game, watch a video, view some photos or listen to a story. Read the essay. It contains a great deal of important, cultural information that will give you a firm understanding of the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples. Our hope is that this site enriches your life and you come to appreciate, more deeply, the history and culture of our people.

Walk with us, on the Path of the Elders.

MOE NEWS: More Students To Receive Hands-On Technology Training

McGuinty Government Supports FIRST Robotics Technology Competition For Students

More Ontario schools will put their technology skills to the test through the expansion of the FIRST Robotics Canada competition across the province.

Ontario is helping FIRST Robotics Canada offer its competition to all school boards by fall 2010.

FIRST is an acronym for: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The competition is designed to increase student interest in science and technology careers through team challenges based on design, manufacturing, programming and testing.

Students who participate in FIRST Robotics competitions are more likely to attend post-secondary education, pursue a career in science, technology or engineering, and volunteer in their community according to a study by Brandeis University in Boston.

Through the competition, students also develop their problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills.

The winners of the two recent Ontario regional competitions -- 10 teams in total -- will be heading to Atlanta, Georgia, for the Robotics World Championships on April 15 to 17, 2010, where they will face 340 teams from around the world.

New Report

The Canadian Education Statistics Council (CESC), a partnership between the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Statistics Canada has just published a report investigating the use of student-level data tools to understand student transitions and mobility at elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. The title of the new report is:

The Use of Student-Level Data to Provide Information on Student Pathways and Mobility: A Study of the Statistical Journey Through Canadian Lifelong Learning

The report looks at:

-- the policy significance of student transitions and mobility in education;

--currently existing pan-Canadian, provincial, and territorial tools for understanding student mobility and transitions;

--the use of unique identifier systems in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom;

--the state of student mobility and transitions data collection and use across Canada and internationally .

We have a first...

Graduate student Abdul Malik (M.Ed Curriculum Studies) is the first to upload a poster presentation from Research Day 2010 to Scholarship@Western. Congratulations, Abdul!

What is Scholarship@Western?

Scholarship@Western is a multi-functional portal that collects, showcases, archives, and preserves a variety of materials created or sponsored by The University of Western Ontario community (hereinafter called Western). It aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and broaden the international recognition of Western's academic excellence by providing open access to Western's intellectual output and professional achievements. It also serves as a platform to support Western's scholarly communication needs and provides an avenue for the compliance of research funding agencies' open access policies.

The Librarian is reading...

Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint

This information is from the publisher's web site:

To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. The activist, writer, and mother of three grew so fond of her bustling community that it became a touchstone for her landmark book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. But consummate power broker Robert Moses, the father of many of New York's most monumental development projects, saw things differently: neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village were badly in need of "urban renewal." Notorious for exacting enormous human costs, Moses's plans had never before been halted-not by governors, mayors, or FDR himself, and certainly not by a housewife from Scranton.

The epic rivalry of Jacobs and Moses, played out amid the struggle for the soul of a city, is one of the most dramatic and consequential in modern American history. In Wrestling with Moses, acclaimed reporter and urban planning policy expert Anthony Flint recounts this thrilling David-and-Goliath story, the legacy of which echoes through our society today.

The first ordinary citizens to stand up to government plans for their city, Jacobs and her colleagues began a nationwide movement to reclaim cities for the benefit of their residents. Time and again, Jacobs marshaled popular support and political power against Moses, whether to block traffic through her beloved Washington Square Park or to prevent the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, a ten-lane elevated superhighway that would have destroyed centuries-old streetscapes and displaced thousands of families and businesses.

Like A Civil Action before it, Wrestling with Moses is the tale of a local battle with far-ranging significance. By confronting Moses and his vision, Jacobs forever changed the way Americans understood the city, and inspired citizens across the country to protest destructive projects in their own communities.

Her story reminds us of the power we have as individuals to confront and defy reckless authority.

Disclaimer: Not all of the books featured in "The Librarian is reading..." category will be available through Western Libraries, and some of these featured books will be personal copies of the librarian.

April 9, 2010

"I'll Fight You For The Library" performed by Taylor Mali

Some Friday fun...

This reading was as part of the Page Meets Stage Series at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City on April 29, 2009.

Research in Education Symposium - Wednesday April 14, 2010

On Wednesday April 14, 2010 you are cordially invited to attend the Faculty of Education's Research in Education Symposium.

The Symposium runs from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Posters, Self-moderated Roundtables and Paper Presentations on the topics of arts education, authorship, collaboration, gifted education, health, literacy and language, educational policy, mathematics and science, special education and theoretical and methodological issues in Education.

Click HERE for more information regarding presenters, topics and locations.

See you there!

CC in Education

From the Creative Commons (CC) web site:

Why Creative Commons licenses for education?

The Internet and technology have transformed how people learn. Educational resources are no longer static and scarce, but digital and freely accessible. Teachers and learners everywhere can access world-class materials and participate in their creation and evolution. The potential impact of digitally enabled education is huge, but is also hindered by current legal and technical restrictions. Creative Commons provides the tools necessary to overcome these restrictions, opening up educational resources so that they are not only accessible, but adaptable, interoperable, and discoverable -- helping to realize the full benefits of digitally enabled education. Read more in Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources (OER).

Creative Commons & Education Landing Page And Wiki Project

From the Creative Commons (CC) web site written by Mike Linksvayer (April 7th, 2010):

Today we launched two important resources for anyone interested in Creative Commons and education.

First, there's an education landing page prominently linked from our home page. Its goal is to quickly introduce our site visitors to the vast number and range of Open Educational Resources (OER) available for use as well as the role of Creative Commons licenses in enabling OER to reach its potential. We'll be testing various iterations of this page in the coming months as well as add further assets (e.g., video) to make it an effective introduction to OER for the general public.

RiP! A Remix Manifesto by Brett Gaylor

Join filmmaker Brett Gaylor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copyright and content creation in the digital age. In the process they dissect the media landscape of the 21st century and shatter the wall between users and producers. Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow also come along for the ride.

RiP! A Remix Manifesto has been nominated for a GENIE Award, Canada's top film prize.

Creative Commons (CC)

From the Creative Commons (CC) web site:

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

We provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

Par for the course

From the UK's Times Higher Education (THE) (April 8, 2010):

In pursuing excellence, whether in golf or in research, the time invested in training and preparation is vital. So how long should a master's degree be? asks Don Olcott Jr

In some circles, "masters" means only one thing, and it certainly is not higher education, especially at this time of year. For early April is when the year's first major golf competition, the Masters Tournament, gets under way in Georgia.

The Masters, its rich history and traditions and the majestic setting of Augusta National Golf Club would make for an excellent tale. It is, however, a story better suited for a journalist hoping for a magical storyline that enters Masters folklore, or perhaps to see Tiger Woods "take it to the limit" one more time (a story best left out of bounds here).

My story here is about another tradition, the master's degree. Today, there is growing interest, debate, reflection and concern about what constitutes a sound, high-quality master's degree. But there seems to be little movement. Universities seldom go out of their way to call a penalty on themselves, unlike genuine golfers who embrace the rules that govern their sport as sacred literature. Whether it is admissions debacles, suspect practices on athletics programmes or diploma-mill marketing, it is often left to those outside the academy to add up the penalty strokes on the ethical scorecard.

In discussing the master's, academics argue over quality parameters, content, research requirements and other intricacies of the degree, but perhaps the issue that causes most argument is that of course length. Here again is an analogy to the golfer, for whom the ability to get length or distance on a drive is a tactical and strategic advantage. In the university, however, the issue is simply what is the optimal length of time in which to complete a 21st-century master's degree.

The range of viewpoints on this question is diverse. Across the globe, master's degrees range from nine months to more than two years in length. Many academics do not see a problem with this variety: it's our degree and it's accredited, they argue, so we decide, period (mix academic freedom with a dose of parochialism and the similarities between a graduate degree and a 300-yard drive begin to diverge).

A Discussion on Education Reform with Arne Duncan - US Secretary of Education

On Tuesday, April 6th, the Honorable Arne Duncan joined Organizing for America supporters for a special, first-of-its-kind, live webcast about student loan reform and the administration's efforts to prepare our children to compete in the global economy.

Arne Duncan is currently the administration's Secretary of Education, and was previously the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and the head of the non-profit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative in Chicago.