War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Interestingly enough there is a new book being introduced – so I got a copy of the old and the new World History textbooks – wow! I got a dilapidated old book that will probably be used to teach the class – but just I in case I also got a copy of the new book…?
Take a gander:
In any case, the master instructor is very experienced and flexible in his teaching approach. I was impressed by his performance in one of his classes. It promises to be a very good experience…taking me one step closer to the finish line in the journey to become a teacher. .
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
The title of the conference is: “Donde Educación y Tecnología se Encuentran” meaning where Education and Technology meet. So far the whole experience has been positive. The program now lists my presentation “El Uso de Tecnología en la Enseñanza de la Historia” formally:
It promises to be a very interesting event: NECC 2006 San Diego July 5 through the 7th.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
One of the useful experiences has been the BCLAD program. BCLAD for non-cognoscenti is a certification requirement by state law (California) that authorizes the holder to provide specialized instruction to English learners (EL). The certificates are issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) after the candidate has either a) passed a test, or, b) completed a specified coursework. To clarify the certificate acronym, (BCLAD ®) stand for Bilingual Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development.
It also my understanding that the whole program is in transition... Find more information at this web site California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL ™)
You obtain a BCLAD certification if you desire to work with English learners – and that indeed was my motivation in signing up for this optional added certification. I understand now that there is also a lucre motive in regards to this certification - it pays a little more so there are many teachers, in addition to aspiring students, that take the BCLAD program.
Having said all of that, the BCLAD approved classes at CSUSM are two semester. Both classes were lead and taught by Dr. Juan Necochea. What a treat! Kudos to Juan and the leadership team that make this possible.
Juan is the most motivating individual I know – he is very shrewd in all he does… he plays himself very low key and then takes off with his enthusiasm for people, music, laughter, and writing! He starts his classes with music and moves his famous quick-writes and then to his stories. He loves to give the floor to others and validates their contribution – no one is exempt. He treats the university students sometimes as kindergarteners other times as PhD students. He is an amazing individual. I grew to like and respect Juan through my observation of how he handled himself and he handled people in general. I don’t agree much with his politics – but he is a tremendous asset to his profession and I feel privilege to have taken his class as I learned a lot from this man… is that a recommendation? YOU BET! If you can take him, take him – you are in for a treat.
The second semester was a special cross-border pedagogical exercise where the classes met both in San Marcos and in Tijuana. The getting from place to another was an experience by itself – but considering exactly the transition that California has gone through with the student walkouts, immigration marches, etc. The timing was uncanny. The cross-cultural portion of this class was well worth the time spent traveling. I ended up falling in love with the Mexican teachers – they are a great bunch of people.
Well the classes are now over, so here are some of the pictures from our last meeting… by sheer accident we got to see a group at the school that was practicing some folk dancing… this was a very nice added delight to wrap up a wonderful BCLAD year.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
But memories have collectively shrunk, and Americans no longer remember as they used to. Korea is forgotten, the Cold War is a non-event to most Americans, Vietnam is but a festering sore to the aging baby boomers… and yet there are events that will shape history none-the-less and we will remember forever… Although the historical lens is too close – there is one prescient event that might foreshadow others to come if victory is not achieved. Only history will tell.
Where are you? Where are you in relations to others? Where did events occur? How does geography affect history? Do you know the capital of Germany? How does Germany sit among other European nations? How about the United States? Let’s try something simple… Do you know where New Orleans is at? What state? Can you point it in a map?
Elementary? Unfortunately not, as this AP story points out: “Poll Shows Many Can't Find La. on Map” It is so tragic that our students do not have a sense of geography. In my brief experience teaching 10th graders European history – it became clear that they not only did not know their geography, they were not encouraged to learn it. Why? I was told it was something they had not been exposed to and would perhaps be too difficult?
I have to admit I was shocked to hear what I heard. I proceeded with my convictions and did in fact teach geography as we covered Europe during WWI. Was it difficult considering the students did not have any prior exposure (incredible as it sounds)? The answer was yes, it was, but how can you explain the “Schlieffen Plan” without a map for example? How can you point to the critical nature of the Dardanelles or Gallipoli without breaking out he maps?
With all the tools available to teachers and students there is little reason not to touch this critical subject… Here are some references – just in case for your use
World Clock – fantastic reference tool for setting up meetings or finding out what time is it in any part of the world, or even set up a series of clocks for different parts of the world. Great tool.
Google Earth – a 3D view of the world – outstanding teaching tool
National Geographic – outstanding lesson plans for teachers
Perry Castañeda – outstanding map collection at The University of Texas at Austin both current and historical maps - truly an excellent collection at your fingertips
Hopefully this will give any reader a start…