Re: [xmca] Some thoughts on some issues in Hasan's papers

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Mon Jul 04 2005 - 21:18:42 PDT

> It seems to me that, in order to engage students with different
> notions of relevance, we need to relate the teaching of the topics
> prescribed in the school curriculum to real life situations and issues
> that students immediately recognize - or fairly readily come to
> recognize - as significant in their current or envisaged future lives.
> Much of the skill of the teacher lies in identifying such situations
> and issues in advance or from listening to what students have to say
> when their views are genuinely requested. This is what I have tried to
> capture in advocating the approach to curriculum through 'dialogic
> inquiry' that involves practical as well as intellectual actions.

This is what we attempted to do in a project described in part in
RETHINKING SCIENTIFIC LITERACY (with A. C. Barton), where we describe
children who learn science as they followed the call of environmental
activists to do something about a local creek. The children (7th grade)
subsequently reported what they found at an open house organized by the
environmentalists. The unit is interesting in the sense that parents
came out with us, some taught, environmentalists helped out, First
Nations people, it was a real mixing of a great variety of people.

PS We received the AERA Div K award this year--the book also contains
stories of people fighting for access to water, inner-city kids
converting an abandoned lot into a garden, women teachers in Pakistan
taking risks by teaching in different ways, for overcoming poverty.

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