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17557Dennis: Forward from GISIG list ongoing discussion arising from "The Dickensian Turn"

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  • Dennis Newson
    Oct 24, 2013
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      Having started cross-posting is seems only fair to all contributors to continue.
      Margit, co-ordinator of GISIG, just posted the following on the GISIG list:


      [Margit writes]

      Hello Everyone out there, 

      This is a very interesting discussion - and very timely for gisig as we are planning to have a 4Corners Discussion during our Open Forum at the IATEFL Conference on the topic: 'teaching as a political act'. 4Corners - to briefly present 4 different aspect on the topic (rather than an 'either-or' debate). 
      So I would really appreciate it if more of you out there on this list could send a brief message giving us your perspective. It would be extremely helpful for us in preparing for the IATEFL event. ... Do you think teaching is a political act? If so, in what way? 

      greeting from an unusually warm October morning in Budapest, 

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 10:48 PM, Chris (Hunt) <lists@...> wrote:
      In response to n.m.white who wrote:

      " I try very much to avoid presenting students with an overt political
      bias in the content they read and hear ...  So, for instance, on the
      tourist industry I have presented students with
      texts from both the ethical/Fair Trade perspective and from the more
      overtly (neo-)liberal trickle down view"

      I think it is important to consider volume. Students are saturated with
      noise from what Daniel Quinn describes as "Mother Culture", so I think
      exposing students to views that they are unfamiliar with is important. I
      think neo-liberal/capitalist messages are over-represented so beyond
      language learning if I were to use them it would be with the purpose of
      getting students to respond critically. The same goes for stuff I
      personally have more sympathy with.  I think it is essential that a
      teacher avoids browbeating students or abuses the power that comes with
      the position. So, as a practical example, I mainly teach children and I
      exclusively use co-operative and non-competitive games and activities. I
      see no need to balance this approach with competition. But if children
      want to play a competitive game I won't use my position as teacher to
      prevent them from doing so.


      Chris (Hunt)


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