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Teachers Teaching Teachers #258 What would Peter Little think? Inquiries for curriculum on the Horn of Africa 8.3.11


60:00 minutes (13.73 MB)

This episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers started a couple of weeks ago on Google+. Here's the story of why we invited anthropologist Peter D. Little to join us in our planning for classes this fall. 

It started when I (Paul Allison) asked a couple of questions after reading about a meeting in Rome, where the international community rallied "to the aid of drought- and famine-affected populations in the Horn of Africa with an immediate, twin-track programme designed to avert an imminent humanitarian catastrophe and build long-term food security in the region" (The Standard, 07/25/2011). I wanted to learn more about what was happening on the Horn of Africa, and so I ventured forth by quoting a couple of paragraphs from this article, and by asking a couple of questions.

These two paragraphs leave me with a lot of questions. The notion of a pastoralist is new. I want to learn more about these livestock owners who travel from place to place. How does that work? And the notion of "agropastoralists" seems to imply that they also do farming, which would mean that they move less often. How do these people work in Somalia and other countries? Are they in one ethnic group? Is the famine affecting these folks? Can they provide long-term solutions?

Soon after I posted this, and some back and forth had begun, we received this note from Kris Jacobson, a high school librarian who is interested in learning, libraries, education, professional wrestling, news and politics:

I'm glad that the proposed solutions include letting agropastoralists & pastoralists maintain their nomadic way of life and their animals. Development specialists should not be in the habit of trying to make people abandon their cultures and economies. If you're interested in East African pastoralists, Peter D. Little is one of the top researchers in the field:
http://esciencecommons.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-we-can-learn-from-african.html

What a wonderful lead this turned out to be into my ongoing inquiry into the Horn of Africa as we plan curriculum together for this fall. With a hat tip to Kris Jacoboson, I continued to read and to write on Google+ about what I to what I was learning:

Thanks to +Kris Jacobson I've just been educated on the pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Carol Clark writes with knowledge and clarity about the the pastoralists, whose lives, Professor Peter Little has been documenting for some time. As he writes:

During the past 27 years, my research has addressed the anthropology of development and globalization, political economy of agrarian change, pastoralism, environmental politics and change, informal economies and statelessness, and food insecurity in several African countries. Most of my field studies have been conducted in Africa, with a primary emphasis on eastern Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia).

I was off and running, inspired because I had a frame to work with. I followed up by reading a couple of studies and a chapter in a book by Peter Little, and I found that his voice was echoing in my head, with hope in local solutions in Somalia. At least librarian Kris Jacobson and the writer of the Emory University blog, Carol Clark had sent me through Peter Little on a quest to find what local knowledge and indigenous culture and industry and agriculture there might be in Somalia and Ethiopia and Kenya and the rest of the Horn of Africa. How are the people there dealing with the droughts and what's preventing them from finding their own solutions? I began to ask. 

As my inquiry continued, I found myself wondering, "What would Peter Little say?" His work had provided for me a perspective, perhaps a conscience as I have been reading (and writing) about the complex, ever-developing issues surrounding the famine.

And so, we asked him to come on Teachers Teaching Teachers to guide us toward the questions we might be asking our students, to wonder what approaches he will be taking this fall himself, and to dialogue with him about the famine that we are facing on the Horn of Africa.

Thanks also for our other thoughtful guests, Shannon Sullivan who developed curriculum for PBS, Chris Sloan, Zac Chase, and Adam Cohen.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #249 - Writing, Making, Sharing, and Learning about Gardens: National Writing Project Makes! 6.1.11


64:20 minutes (14.72 MB)

Do you garden with your students? Do they make things? And do they read and write about these experiences, japan_136.jpg.scaled.1000and sometimes publish the results online?

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, you'll hear National Writing Project teachers from Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and California describe the gardens and writing projects they are doing with their students.

One of the guests, Patricia Paugh, recently did a session at the National Writing Project’s Urban Sites Network meeting in Boston.

Adventures in Text Analysis: Reading and Writing a Community Garden Project
Mary Moran and Patricia Paugh,
This session investigates theories related to genre pedagogy enacted in a year-long project on community gardening in an urban neighborhood. The session will include analysis of multi-genre texts and sharing of artifacts related to purposeful writing by students who worked with an urban farming collaborative. (Patricia C. Paugh, is an Associate Professor Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Massachusetts Boston.)

We were also joined by an elementary school teacher, Denise Ferrell, who told us about the multiple garden projects she has been doing with Annie Ortiz and other colleagues at the Skyline Elementary in Stillwater, Oklahoma:

We are fortunate at Skyline to have several kinds of gardens. We have a butterfly garden, an 83 ft raised bed, 5 small square raised beds, a cistern, some small dwarf fruit trees. We also have an outdoor classroom.

Fred Mindlin, Associate Director for Technology Integration at the Central California Writing Project, joined us from a Whole Foods store! Fred has been working with gardeners and digital stories and videos, and more as part of the National Writing Project’s Makes project.

Marshall Woody from the Southern Colorado Writing Project who has just starting gardening with his students, was on the call with us as well.

Enjoy!

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.


Teachers Teaching Teachers #240 - A crisis that will be resolved or a crisis out of control? Stories from Japan - 3.23.11


39:39 minutes (9.08 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we talk with a couple of teachers in Japan to get a local perspective on the disaster there. The other guests agreed to come398px-US_Navy_110315-N-5503T-756_A_Japanese_search_and_rescue_team_searches_the_rubble_near_a_high-rise_building_in_Wakuya%2C_Japan on the show in the hallways of the East-West School of International Studies (East-West) in Flushing, Queens, where Paul Allison teaches English. 

After inviting his principal, the founding principal of East-West, Ben Sherman onto this episode of TTT, Paul asked Ben who he knows in Japan who we could invite into the conversation. Ben immediately thought of Alan Bergman "a guy that I went to grad school with in Tokyo." Alan who teaches at a university in Tokyo, in turn, put us in touch with Eric Bossieux, providing us with this introduction:

Eric is originally from Louisiana. His father was a pilot with Japan Airlines, so Eric went to international high school in Yokohama and to Sophia University in Tokyo. He does consulting and translation work, and he has done translations for TEPCO (the company that runs the reactor in Fukushima) of their operating manuals for hydroelectric and nuclear power plants.

Rounding out this list of guests are two students, seniors from East-West, Martha and Christian.

This is the middle of three webcasts/podcasts that we've done so far with teachers (and we hope others) in Japan since the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Our first conversation took place the week before: Teachers Teaching Teachers #239 - Bringing the crises in Japan into our classes: Dave Mammen, Kim Cofino, and Scott Lo -03.16.11. Last week, on April 6th, we spoke again with Eric Bossieux and Kim Cofino. Look for that conversation in the upcoming TTT #242.

We plan to continue to talk about these issues, questions, assessments of the situation, and ways we can help. What can we learn and teach now and in the future about the Great Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011?

(Image from U.S. Navy on Wikipedia)

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #239 - Bringing the crises in Japan into our classes: Dave Mammen, Kim Cofino, and Scott Lo -03.16.11


54:59 minutes (12.59 MB)

Teaching about the crises in Japan is the focus of this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. What relevance does the earthquake/ tsunami/ nuclear power catastrophe unfolding in Japan have to our students lives and our curriculum? We suspect that there are many “teachable moments” in the stories coming to us from Japan. But what are they?  What are the lessons we might be learning alongside our students?

Many teachers contributed their thoughts and links in the chat (see below), and four guest joined us in the Skype conversation:

  • To help us answer some of our questions, we invited Dave Mammen to join us. Dave is an urban planner who has worked on disaster recovery efforts in Kobe, Japan and Aceh, Indonesia. He was a Visiting Professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) at Kyoto University and has directed many joint research projects with Japanese government agencies, universities and thinktanks. His research on ten years of recovery efforts in New York after 9/11 will be published later this year in Japanese and English by Fuji Technology Press. Recently Dave answered question on a CNN blog: Lessons from 9/11 will apply to helping earthquake victims in Japan – In the Arena - CNN.com Blogs http://t.co/030uvui.

  • We were also joined by Martha, a senior where Paul Allison teaches, East-West School of International Studies. Martha is not shy about her love of all things Japanese, an affection that only grew after she was able to visit Tokyo on a school trip in the summer of 2009. This was the podcast we did with Martha her Japanese teacher and another student upon their return in the summer of 2009: Teachers Teaching Teachers #161 - 07.29.09 - Summer Special: Submitting Your Own Docs Templates, Japan, and Digital Storytelling.

  • Kim Cofino gave us her perspectives as well. Kim is currently the Technology and Learning Coach at Yokohama International School in Japan. On her blog, Always Learning, Kim writes, "As in all my previous schools, I enjoy working with my colleagues to design authentic and engaging international projects incorporating social networking, blogs, wikis, and podcasts, and whatever comes next!" On the podcast, Kim talked about how difficult it was to write about this crisis, but she found a way. Kim was able to develop some of her thoughts in a post well worth checking out, Two Crises, Many Connections.

  • Our fourth guest, Scott Lo also has a few wonderful places where you can continue to hear his perspectives. It's often a treat to check out Scott's Radio Tokyo, especially these days. Scott's plan "is to make the live recordings of these podcasts on Friday evenings on ds106 Radio." We were delighted to learn from Scott on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers as well!
As is often true in crises like this, a great source for teachers is the Learning Network at the New York Times. On Friday, March 18, 2011, Shannon Doyne and Katherine Schulten collected teaching ideas in a post, Teachers Respond to the Crisis in Japan. What a service they continue to provide!

We encourage you to share your teaching and learning ideas and your questions!

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #234 - On a mission to save the Earth with Matt Montagne and Peggy George! 2.2.11


63:36 minutes (14.56 MB)

Matt MontagneMatt Montagne joins us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. Matt has been a leader in putting together a 24-hour Earthcast in April the last couple of years at Earthbridges.net. Matt also helped us build the community and to launch Voices on the Gulf. Matt’s students have also been building the Gator Radio Experience at his school, Castilleja School. Please join Matt, Peggy George and others as we try to build some curriculum together, looking toward Earth Day 2011. Here's the link to a Google Doc that Matt opened during this webcast: Missions Brainstorm.

Click Read more to see Paul Allison's description of why we might want to create curriculum missions for Youth Voices and to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

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