Issues Month 2020 – Contributions

Do you have relevant material for teaching about this issue? Lesson plans, interesting articles, videos? Share them with us here in the comments below!

18 Responses to Issues Month 2020 – Contributions

  1. Xavier Munoz November 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm #

    Here’s a promising webinar “LGBTQIA+ Topics in Adult Basic Education (ABE) Spaces” by Literacy Minnesota on November 12 from 6:30-8:30 PM CST.

    Description:
    What do welcoming spaces in adult education look like? How can we make sure LGBTQIA+ learners, volunteers and professionals feel they belong? In this session, ABE professionals in the LGBTQIA+ community will invite participants to reflect on and discuss topics of gender and sexuality in ESL/ABE classrooms and instruction. Participants will brainstorm how to include more queer representation in adult education curricula, program environments and materials. Presenters will provide lesson examples for teaching gender-inclusive language. It is our intention to create a space where participants are welcome but not required to share aspects of their identity or experiences related to the topic.

    LGBTQIA+ representation has, in my opinion, been largely silenced since I started in U.S. adult education, so I’m thrilled that this webinar is being offered.

    Details and registration here – https://www.literacymn.org/lgbtqia-topics-in-abe-spaces-webinar-advanced-registration-required

    #IssuesMonth2020

  2. Bill Templer November 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm #

    1. Kidversation episode 5 – Children have the right not to be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin

    This about Jayla the young rapper, in Detroit: https://live.firstnews.co.uk/kidversation-bfi/kidversation-episode-5-children-have-the-right-not-to-be-discriminated-against-because-of-the-colour-of-their-skin/

    Aired Nov. 1 2020 on Sky News, FYI children’s feature videocast. Students can watch and discuss some key points regarding discrimination, very much about racism in the US and recent protests, Black Lives Matter.

    2. This of interest as extended focus from Black History Month in the UK October 2020: https://youtu.be/cExXMDoIk70 What does it mean to be Black and British? Students can discuss its main points. There are a range of videos from Black History Month UK 2020 available on YouTube.

    3. Campaigners call for teaching Black History in the UK schools https://youtu.be/j-5-DWYcAT0 Why is this change needed and how do students see it? What about where you teach? Do students in the Balkans learn much about a main ethnic minority there, the Roma? Racism against the Roma is quite fierce in many countries in Eastern Europe, worse than 30 years ago.

    4. Black British history you’re not taught in the schools https://youtu.be/Rgrou4Ohy68 What are the main takeaways for students here?

  3. Dennis Newson November 6, 2020 at 9:04 am #

    I pause before articulating a comment wondering how relevant the considerations are of an 85-year old and the intensity of the pause deepens and darkens as I attempt to take full account of the new, frightening world thrust upon us by the coronavirus and a clutch of anti-democratic, awfully, dangerous political leaders…

    So let me be evasive and hide behind the role of Devil’s Advocate……

    We are specialists in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language, or, preferably put, in enabling learners to learn English. We are language learning enabling experts. Surely we must never abdicate from accepting this as our defining, primary responsibility. And, as language pedagogues, are we really trained to assist young people with such sensitive matters as emerging sexual identity or coping with personal experience of racial prejudice? Shouldn’t we focus on our specialist duty and leave these undeniaibly vital issues to those trained to deal with them? Dennis

  4. Bill Templer November 6, 2020 at 10:36 am #

    Two major Black US public intellectuals/activists speak out: Cornel West & Angela Davis
    (1) Extraordinary interview with one of the major Black American public intellectuals/philosophers/activists, Cornel West https://jacobinmag.com/2020/10/cornel-west-commodification-spirituality-race-oppression-democratic-socialism >We must fight the commodification of everything and everybodyOn the Struggle for Socialist Internationalism and a Real Democracy< Angela talks at points about a central concept in her thinking, 'abolition', and the current growing 'abolition movement'. Abolishing what?
    https://jacobinmag.com/2020/10/angela-davis-socialist-internationalism-democracy

  5. Bill Templer November 6, 2020 at 11:16 am #

    Re Queerness

    Zinn Education Project has materials on LGBTQ: https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/?cond%5B0%5D=themes_str:LGBTQ

    Such as this: >Beyond Tolerance: A Resource Guide for Addressing LGTBQI Issues in Schools.Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality<
    Teaching Guide. Edited by Annika Butler-Wall, Kim Cosier, Rachel Harper, Jeff Sapp, Jody Sokolower, and Melissa Bollow Tempel. 2016. Rethinking Schools.
    A collection of essays on how to create a nurturing classroom at different grade levels, curriculum … teachers integrating LGBTQ+ content into teacher education programs and ongoing teacher education.
    https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/rethinking-sexism-gender-and-sexuality/

  6. Bill Templer November 10, 2020 at 11:47 pm #

    Giroux’s new article 10 Nov. 2020: https://truthout.org/articles/trump-ousted-the-spirit-of-insurgent-democracy-is-rising >TRUMP OUSTED. THE SPIRIT OF INSURGENT DEMOCRACY IS RISING<

    As he stresses, “critical education, civic courage, historical consciousness, moral witnessing and political outrage must become central elements of a pedagogical practice capable of producing citizens who are informed, politically aware and willing to struggle to keep justice, equity and the principles of a socialist democracy alive. …
    It is also crucial to think big and create a civic vision that puts in place a notion of democracy that is truly radical in its call for social justice, broad-based political representation and economic equality. This project is not merely a political task but also an educational necessity. Politics has to be reinvented and rethought and it has to be done through social movements working simultaneously at the local levels and federal and international levels.”

    I think colleagues everywhere in TEFL, and also those teaching social studies, history, other subject areas, should read this article and take it to heart and mind.

  7. Bill Templer November 13, 2020 at 9:24 pm #

    A new book from the Socialist Project in Canada that you can readily download and explore. SANDERS MOMENT AND AFTER: SOCIALIST STRATEGY AND STATE CRISIS https://socialistproject.ca/content/uploads/2020/10/Sanders-Moment.pdf

    See, for example, Marty Hart-Landsberg, “Racism, COVID-19, and the Fight for Economic Justice,” pp. 142-149, very germane to the focus on racism and its intertwine with the pandemic. Many thoughtful articles, much to learn from. 176pp.

  8. Bill Templer November 15, 2020 at 11:48 am #

    RACISM
    “Teaching should be political. How to talk about race in the classroom” https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/12/bringing-politics-into-the-classroom/616934/ This by Clint Smith, a staff writer in the US at The Atlantic.

    Britain needs to understand its slave history, Rachel Shabi speaking on ‘The Pledge’ on Sky News 14 months ago. https://youtu.be/nU0qOXcEQ7E In a related talk on socioeconomic inequality, Rachel on The Pledge speaks on ‘Social mobility is failing, we need social justice’ https://youtu.be/xnkf-5IKHNI

    LGBT
    On toxic masculinity and language: ‘Boys will be boys’ https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/say-no-to-boys-will-be-boys

    Re toolkit for “being there for non-binary youth”: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/summer-2016/toolkit-for-being-there-for-nonbinary-youth

    Maajid Nawaz on The Pledge raising the issue of sexuality as a spectrum: https://youtu.be/TIwG8eDtS-s Good video for provoking discussion.

    MORE MALE TEACHERS NEEDED?
    I also think the question of more male teachers as ‘role models’ in primary and lower secondary education is a topic largely avoided, and should be discussed, its impacts more openly researched. Of course it remains a ‘sensitive’ issue, even controversial for some. Yet the extreme feminization of primary education staffing has deleterious fallout for some boys, esp. those from fatherless families. That is broadly recognized in the Black community stateside.

    In Britain, men make up just 15% of teachers at nursery and primary and schools and only a third of secondary school teachers are men, although some 90% of head teachers (school directors) in Britain are men, a huge imbalance. Significantly, statistics indicate that in the UK only 2.7% of male teachers are Black. What about where you live and work? And as I have mentioned elsewhere, there are almost no Roma teachers on contract working with Roma kids in the public school systems anywhere across Europe. That is racist to the core.

    ‘THE PLEDGE’ ON THE NEED FOR MORE MALE TEACHERS
    Listen to June Sarpong speaking on ‘The Pledge’ on Sky News, Oct 2018: https://youtu.be/jP-lo2psUXA She is a well-known Black feminist in the UK and advocates: ‘setting targets for more men in our schools.’ Listen also to Afua Hirsch in this 9-min. discussion, responding to June, but stressing that the teaching profession as a whole deserves better pay, greater respect and status, a systemic transformation toward a liveable and sustainable working life. Significantly, most of the Pledge panel, female and male, largely agree with June, esp. Maajid Nawaz. Listen also to LeBron James speaking there in an inserted clip. In our own field of EFL, there are very few males (perhaps except in some corners of the Arab world) teaching at lower grades in a great many countries. I think all our colleagues in TEFL and other fields should listen to and discuss this particular extract from The Pledge, very germane to being an educator.

    In some countries these days, there are almost no males — straight, gay, trans — teaching EFL in secondary schools, and in university English departments. That is driven by comparatively low salaries, markedly declining status for educators, increasing workload and work hours, new mazeways of ‘accountability’ — and weak trade union activity. All this now exacerbated by an ongoing distance education tsunami. Bulgarian public education in recent years is paradigmatic of that, a trend now accelerating. And also exacerbated by the gargantuan skill and brain drain, massive human capital outflow (including their children) westward from Bulgaria. During socialism there were many male and female teachers of EFL in Bulgaria at all post-primary levels, since the status of teachers in the society was markedly greater — and their fair & equitable salaries were guaranteed within the non-capitalist socialist political economy. Now that has largely vanished, gone with the free-market wind.

  9. Bill Templer November 16, 2020 at 9:15 am #

    *** The site Teaching tolerance is very relevant to the issues of this present Issues Month and upcoming Web carnival: https://www.tolerance.org/ Read: “The Burden of Critical Active Conscience” https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/the-burden-of-critical-active-conscience Written by a colleague based at the Univ. of Chicago.

    *** The Black Educators’ Conference of the NEU in Great Britain will take place virtually 19-21 November See: https://neu.org.uk/event/black-educators-conference-2020
    The NEU uses Black in a political context to encompass “all members who self-identify as Black, Asian and any other minority ethnic groups who do not identify themselves as white”.

    *** The first ever virtual NEU LGBT+ Educators’ Conference will take place on Saturday 28 November 2020. https://neu.org.uk/event/lgbt-educators-conference-2020
    “There will be keynote speakers, motions debate and interactive workshops to aid in strengthening networks and building a powerful and intersectional LGBT+ movement. This conference is for NEU members who identify as LGBT+”.

  10. Bill Templer November 20, 2020 at 3:50 pm #

    In Cape Town, South Africa, issues of racial separation, neo-apartheid have surfaced at a school, triggering protests this week:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/20/anti-racism-protest-in-s-africa-over-whites-only-school-party What can students learn from this video? What do students know about the history of racism and apartheid in South Africa?

  11. Bill Templer November 20, 2020 at 9:25 pm #

    Pledge to Participate in the Black Lives Matter at School “Year of Purpose”
    by Black Lives Matter at School
    https://rethinkingschools.org/articles/year-of-purpose/

    Find out more about this BLM YEAR OF PURPOSE and how it could be related to and drawn upon, integrated into your own teaching environment. READ THIS WHOLE ARTICLE

    Extract: “The Uprising for Black lives has prompted the Black Lives Matter at School movement to expand its proposed activities to a ‘Year of Purpose,’ (https://www.blacklivesmatteratschool.com/year-of-purpose.html ) in addition to the annual Week of Action held during the first week of February. The centerpiece of the Year of Purpose is asking educators to reflect on their own work in relationship to anti-racist pedagogy and abolitionist practice, persistently challenging themselves to center Black lives in their classrooms. In addition, educators will be asked to participate in intentional days of action (below) throughout the school year uplifting different intersectional themes vital to making Black lives matter in schools, communities, and beyond. The learning environments we aspire to create reflect a deep understanding of the experiences of Black children, families, and communities, as well as our own ongoing work of critical self-reflection and personal transformation. Are we creating humanizing communities that respond to the concerns of our students? Are we committed to leveling up our expectations for Black students?”

  12. Bill Templer November 21, 2020 at 8:46 pm #

    Transgender Liberation: A movement whose time is now!

    This an article that appeared in Workers World, a weekly paper of the Workers World Party in the US. The WWP is a longstanding Marxist party, and here the article stresses the need for dealing with transgender inclusivity, centering especially on the plight of Black trans women. It combines the concerns for race and queerness from a Marxist perspective. Published on Nov. 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance. Some excerpts below.

    ==> Read the whole brief article: https://www.workers.org/2020/11/52616/

    Transgender Liberation: A movement whose time is now!
    Nov. 20 – Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. As of today, 2020 is the deadliest year on record for transgender violence in the U.S. Over 30 murders of transgender people have been recorded in the country, with 350 murders recorded worldwide. Since 2008, at least 3,600 transgender people have been murdered worldwide. (tinyurl.com/y5a2kcdq)

    Of these killings, 98 percent were committed against transgender women and trans feminine people, primarily Black trans women and other trans women of color. Transgender sex workers were 62 percent of the people who died.Those figures do not count the countless trans people who died “in the closet,” not having publicly revealed their identity, or those whose deaths were covered up by hateful family members. The figures do not count the countless trans people who have died by suicide, died due to inadequate healthcare and/or constant mistreatment, or died unhoused on the streets.

    Capitalist war on trans and gender non-conforming people […]

    The struggle for transgender liberation is part of the class struggle. Trans people are part of the working class and the oppressed. At various intersections, one will find Black trans women, who face the highest amount of violence of any other demographic, as well as Brown trans people, Indigenous Two-Spirit/trans people, undocumented trans people, disabled trans people, HIV+ trans people, incarcerated trans people, trans sex workers, homeless trans people, and, of course, trans workers of all kinds. […]

    To win revolutionary socialism means to struggle for solidarity between and among oppressed people and workers. So it is mandatory that the transgender liberation struggle within the U.S. – and the LGBTQ2S+ struggle as a whole – unite with other struggles: […]

    • Bill Templer November 26, 2020 at 2:53 pm #

      This article “Transgender liberation: A movement whose time is now!” is now on pp.2-3 of the weekly WORKERS WORLD, Vol. 62, No. 48, 26 Nov. https://www.workers.org/wp-content/uploads/ww2020nov26web.pdf

      A Marxist US-based journal published weekly that you can get cost-free, take a look.

  13. Bill Templer November 24, 2020 at 6:47 am #

    EDUCATION WEEK has had numerous articles on teaching about race and racism Here a listing with access: https://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2020/06/qa_collections_race_racism_in_schools.html Well worth exploring.,

    These articles may remain open-access cost-free at EDUCATION WEEK into the 1st week in December 2020. EDUCATION WEEK is a superb US journal, but a bit costly to subscribe to, US$5 a month online. I think for a kind of new journal-based CPD a good source from the US.

  14. Bill Templer November 27, 2020 at 7:58 pm #

    >Race and Revolution – Will Britain Change?< A one-hr special program on Sky News aired Nov. 26 with panel discussion and audience participation (some 47 on Zoom) online about attitudes toward race and discrimination in the UK. Will 2020 be a year when things finally begin to move toward real change? Worth watching, or perhaps using with students in excerpts. Here the full video recording: https://youtu.be/WWRffZCiigA

  15. Bill Templer November 29, 2020 at 5:20 pm #

    Teaching Anti-Racist Lessons from Open Minds to Equality
    Remotely Two Lessons Drawn from the Book

    What a challenging time it is for social justice educators. We do our best to deal with the pandemic, often by teaching remotely. We try to educate our students to better understand the history and dynamics of structural racism — most visible now in police violence, health care, the criminal justice system — and the outpouring of resistance to it. These are complicated ideas and necessitate careful and challenging teaching to address news that can be frightening and confusing to students.

    Open Minds to Equality (4th edition, 2014) is a valuable resource for addressing these challenges. It provides a sequential series of learning activities to educate students about racism and other forms of discrimination so they can respond with understanding and critical perspectives to current manifestations of white supremacy and be more able to act for change in developmentally appropriate ways.

    Below are two lessons from Open Minds to Equality, adapted for remote learning, that can address such students’ concerns and feelings. While lessons in the book are developmentally appropriate for students from grades 4-8, the ones highlighted here are particularly appropriate for grades 6-8. If these activities are too advanced for your students, earlier lessons in the book provide more basic understandings.
    We hope two lessons will pique your interest. If you don’t already have Open Minds to Equality, we encourage you get it as a resource for your ongoing teaching as we continue to teach so that Black Lives Matter. See the full pdf on the two lessons here: http://rethinkingschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Teaching-Anti-Racist-Lessons-from-OMTE-Remotely-FINAL.pdf

    — A LEGACY OF RACISM
    — DIFFERENT KINDS OF BIAS: DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES

    Here on the book: OPEN MINDS TO EQUALITY https://rethinkingschools.org/books/open-minds-to-equality-4th-edition/

  16. Bill Templer November 30, 2020 at 12:46 pm #

    THE RACISM THAT GAVE BIRTH TO THE BRITISH COLONIES IN NORTH AMERICA

    Decolonizing Thanksgiving And Supporting Indigenous Peoples https://popularresistance.org/decolonizing-thanksgiving/ by Margaret Flowers

    >This week, as some people in the United States celebrated the mythical ‘Thanksgiving’ dinner, Indigenous Peoples held a National Day of Mourning and continued their resistance to defend the land and water. As Native American, Matt Remle, writes: Despite colonial efforts to exterminate, terminate, relocate, and assimilate Indigenous populations, Native communities continue to resist efforts to both desecrate Unci Maka and strip Native peoples of their languages, spirituality and communities.”
    Settler colonialism continues to this day in the United States and around the world as do resistance efforts to reclaim what has been lost, including land, access to sacred sites, clean water, culture and sovereignty. Remle makes the point that non-Indigenous people benefit from this resistance. Around the world, Indigenous people are leading the way to end exploitation and build a better future for all of us.

    An article well worth reading.

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