Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Topic: Discussing Social Issues

10-second review: Nonfiction texts often involve unpleasant social issues and are therefore avoided by teachers.

Title: “Keeping It Current: Using Technology to Teach About Social Issues.” NB Sardone and R Devlin-Scherer. English Journal (March 2010), 61-64.

Quote: “In thinking about teaching nonfiction, we acknowledge that many contemporary and important nonfiction texts that students should be encouraged to read take up social issues that are not easy to talk about or even to think about.”

Comment: I present the problem. You need to think about reasons for discussing issues with the emotions that are likely to occur.

Long ago, I was present in a class that was designed to provide insights into group process. The instructor set up a simulation between an “administrator” and a “teacher” who had been given a bad review of his teaching. I watched in amazement as the “administrator” tried desperately to sugar coat the negative review and the “teacher” who literally exploded with anger as the situation became very real. The instructor did not know how to cope with the very real situation that that simulation had become.

I think one needs to consider very carefully how to deal with issues that will generate serious emotions. RayS.

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