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MUSIC's also a way...

   ... to the 'Anglosphere' :o)
29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 07:30


A list of 50 http://www.clker.com/cliparts/0/6/4/c/11954346011753238394valessiobrito_Fire_June_holiday_s.svg.thumb.png  banned topics

was included in a recently issued request for proposals to companies interested in creating new versions of tests given to New York City students. [These tests aim at measuring progress in  English, math, science and social studies throughout the year.] These words  -topics-  should now be deleted from city-issued tests, an edict issued by the city’s Department of Education says, for fear...  "the words could 4appear biased4 or 4evoke unpleasant emotions4 in students".

CNN latest Wednesday's edition of "Piers Morgan Tonight" :

Piers Morgan used its "Only in America" segment to discuss New York City Department of Education's intention to ban the 50 words from standardized tests.

List of words

  • Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
  • Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
  • Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
  • Bodily functions
  • Cancer (and other diseases)
  • Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
  • Celebrities
  • Children dealing with serious issues
  • Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
  • Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
  • Crime
  • Death and disease
  • Divorce
  • Evolution
  • Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
  • Gambling involving money
  • Halloween
  • Homelessness
  • Homes with swimming pools
  • Hunting
  • Junk food
  • In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
  • Loss of employment
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
  • Parapsychology
  • Politics
  • Pornography
  • Poverty
  • Rap Music
  • Religion
  • Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
  • Rock-and-Roll music
  • Running away
  • Sex
  • Slavery
  • Terrorism
  • Television and video games (excessive use)
  • Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
  • Vermin (rats and roaches)
  • Violence
  • War and bloodshed
  • Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
  • Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

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7 mars 2012 3 07 /03 /mars /2012 16:33


actually... it's for the STUDENTS' Lounge too !

In this TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson questions educational systems priorities -both witty & entertaining !

Watch the whole talk here   (20'04") -worth viewing !

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3 janvier 2012 2 03 /01 /janvier /2012 19:55


 A (French) lecture by Alain BOLLON  ⇐  

 on evaluating, skills... an overview of the French School system : a series of videos.

Above, my notes on the first video.

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13 novembre 2011 7 13 /11 /novembre /2011 16:46



"Considering the Future of Reading : Lessons, Links and Thought Experiments"  



[ By Katherine SCHULTEN & Shannon DOYNE-

November 3, 2011 ]

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30 octobre 2011 7 30 /10 /octobre /2011 19:14


Many of you may not know the novel yet -nor the film :  the official website SYNOPSIS  and the 'traditional' WIKIPEDIA article on "The Help"  are a good start.



You may also READ the first pages of the novel, and  LISTEN to the corresponding audio file  on the U.S. Penguin Books website.



Kathryn Stockett was interviewed by 'Time'  in November 2009 : the document may be compared with excerpts from the   CBS videointerview 


The book has been warmly praised : 'The Huffington Post' article "The Help : Kathryn Stockett's Controversial Hit"  is all the more worth reading. Jessie Kunhardt's article highlights controversial sides and refers to various press articles (+ URLs) : the Washington Post's, the New York Times', etc...

In the 'New York Times' Janet Maslin deals with " Racial Insults and Quiet Bravery in 1960s Mississippi" -the article was issued on February 18, 2009.

The http://www.pdclipart.org/albums/Sports_and_Recreation__Entertainment_and_Hobbies/thumb_film_strip_brown.png camera's eye

Thanks to G. Segrestain, the colleague who sent the  >>  SCRIPT of the film  URL -another good start ;)
"Civil Rights through a soft focus lens in 'The Help'" was written on August 10, 2011 by Karina Longworth on the Villlage Voice website ('Movies' section). You'll also find "Kathryn Stockett'southern discomfortby John Barber  -issued on the 'Globe and Mail' on May 07, 2011.
The Metacritic website  also reviews the film assets and flaws....


  African American English   : information on the African American dialects.

 The rise and fall of Jim Crow -also a PBS series- to get more on the Jim Crow laws mentioned in the novel. (interactive maps, tools & activities, a section for teachers, etc...).

The British cover of the book you can see on top of this article couldn't be released in the U.S.A. for it was considered too controversial. Here is the one that was chosen instead :

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41eKoQORnFL._SS500_.jpgESL students might analyse and compare both book covers and have to explain the American publishers' choice. They might also write their own back cover (and possibly illustrate their own too !).

"The Help" : a few themes

  Race       Gender        Society & Class

Justice & Judgement       Violence

Literature & writing

Education             Love          The Home


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24 octobre 2011 1 24 /10 /octobre /2011 18:24


& interested

Using Social Media &Technology in Educational Settings
 "Considerations, guidance and risk assessment templates for schools and educational settings considering the use of Social Media.

This Kent e-Safety Strategy Group   [...] document aims to help schools and educational settings consider safe practice in order to protect staff, pupils and the wider community.
Social media tools can include websites such as blogs, Wikis, social networking and video sharing sites. Sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr have become everyday forms of communication for both adults and children. [...] However social networking and media sites can have risks [...] behind everyday online activity.                            click & read


Online social media tools can also be excellent tools for teaching and learning and can provide exciting, new opportunities for schools to engage, communicate and collaborate with pupils and the wider community. [...]"

(1) : illustration by Brian Solis & JESS 3

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14 mai 2011 6 14 /05 /mai /2011 20:05


Many ICT tools you might feel like trying !

by Nick Peachey  -shared under the CC BY-NC license

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1 mai 2011 7 01 /05 /mai /2011 18:53


"English is big business and languages are dying as never before.

Is there a connection ? Is this another manifestation of McDonaldisation – the undesirable face of globalization ? Do we want to lose the variety of languages and all the rich culture that comes with them ?"

"Longtime English teacher Patricia Ryan asks a provocative question : Is the world's focus on English preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages? (For instance: what if Einstein had to pass the TOEFL?) It's a passionate defense of translating and sharing ideas."


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16 mars 2011 3 16 /03 /mars /2011 13:20


"20 ways to teach about the disaster in Japan across the curriculum" :

http://www.pdclipart.org/albums/Education/thumb_help-books-aj.svg_aj_ash_01.png(you need a free subscription to access the article)


The US Geological Survey  -or USGS-  website also displays resources and information on natural hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods....) :

  US Geological Survey - hazards       <<<


The USGS illustrated glossary   <<<

 see  "tsunami" <<<   for instance.

The Weekly Reader :



"Classroom News Break" - materials for the classroom

(March 14)

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5 mars 2011 6 05 /03 /mars /2011 20:14


"Historian and author Diane Ravitch joined Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show"  to discuss education reform".  Testing and (over)choice are undermining the US education Diane Ravitch says :


"Kids have to have a reason to go to school -I've never met any child [...] who said 'I can't wait to go to school for test prep' " D. Ravitch says.
The Huffington Post : "According to Ravitch, the preoccupation with standardized testing and teacher bashing won't remedy the education crisis when poverty and racial inequality continue to plague schools."
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