December 2009

Thanks to Mousumi Mukherjee


The Canadian Modern Language Review


The Editors of the Canadian Modern Language Review invite proposals for the
annual special issue of the journal. Proposals should identify a
contemporary topic which will allow for the exploration of recent advances
in theory, research, and practice in second language learning and teaching.
The proposed topic should also be one that will attract diverse
perspectives, research methodologies, and pedagogical applications.

The special issue of the CMLR is an open call for papers; guest editors
therefore manage the submissions, following the standard double blind review
process. At least one of the editors should be fluent in both English and

Proposals will be evaluated by the CMLR Editors and members of the Editorial
Board. The criteria will include: relevance to the mandate of the journal;
significance of the topic to the field; and the qualifications of the two
editors. The successful proposal will be announced in the spring of 2010.

Guest editors should refer to the Guidelines for Special Issue Proposals on
the CMLR website for the details of the submission requirements.

Due date for proposals: January 5, 2010


The Virtual Library of Bibliographic Heritage is an ongoing project of cooperative digitisation by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, county libraries and other memory institutions. It includes more than 250.000 pages from about 1000 titles from manuscripts, old prints and rare books.

Link here

Reporting poverty is a new website created under the auspices of the  Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF),  assisted by the Society of Editors . The website provides a number of useful resources to understand issues related to poverty, and examples on the ways that poverty has been previously covered in the mass media. Posts at the Roy Greenslade’s blog and the AJE (Association for Journalism Education) provide brief descriptions on the website resources.  I highly recommend to check the Practical guidance resources for reporting on poverty at this website.

From Reporting poverty Website:

“The British are remarkably effective in disguising their poverty. Here are a couple of examples given to me by journalists from stories they covered:

– mother who lived on virtually nothing but bread so her children could eat well and have a few little luxuries.
– A children’s bedroom with the latest electronic games, so the kids didn’t feel ashamed at school, but with a mattress on the floor being the only piece of furniture”.

(David Seymour in his introduction to Reporting poverty in the UK).

This website brings together a range of resources to help journalism tutors, trainers and students to understand the issues and sensitivities involved in reporting poverty in the UK. It offers practical guidance and examples of how journalists have covered this complex subject in a variety of media.

Link: Reporting poverty Website

The Research Information Network published its latest report last week. The report explore the difficulties that researchers in Scotland encounter to access information, and strategies used to overcome those barriers. The authors of the report also produce a very comprehensive list of non-cost barriers to accessing information observed:

  • intellectual property restrictions, especially those associated with copyright and so-called ‘orphan works’
  • information held by public bodies that is not yet available under the terms of the Public Records Acts or the Freedom of Information Act
  • information held by corporate bodies that may be sensitive for commercial or other reasons;
  • information about individuals that may be subject to privacy restrictions
  • problems associated with digitisation or inadequate cataloguing, and  data that is locked up in formats that make them difficult to use

From RIN:

The report’s key finding is that access is still a major concern for researchers. Although researchers report having no problems finding content in this age of electronic information, gaining access is another matter due to the complexity of licensing arrangements, restrictions placed on researchers accessing content outside of their own institution and the laws protecting public and private sector information. This means that research into important information resources can be missing. Researchers report that they are frustrated by this lack of immediate access and that this slows their progress, hinders collaborative work and may well affect the quality and integrity of work produced.


From UNESCO in the Spotlight: Science and Communications:

This book was published by UNESCO’s India Office with comprehensive guidelines on how to create a website. 2005. (PDF, 244 pages)

This is a power point presentation with guidance on how to post on a website or blog. It is provided by UNESCO’s Bangkok office. (PPT, 4.7MB)

I always wondered why teacher training seem, for the most part,  specifically design to avoid the teaching of controversial issues in the curriculum or to provide critical outlooks of the realities of society in US. It is not difficult to answer that question when one reads on reactions such as the current attacks against proposals of change. For instances, the current debates against proposals at the University of Minnesota school of education to  broaden future teachers perspectives, by including  issues such as understanding the importance of “cultural identity”.

The chronicle of higher education reported last week on the debate taking place over the  the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative at the University of Minnesota and the attacks on their proposal of cultivating professional dispositions of teachers . Apparently the training of teachers to cultivate dispositions to interact in a diverse, multicultural society, requiring the critical dealing of controversial issues is under attack because it  may curtail “student’s academic freedom”.  The ACTA blog provide some useful comments on the critics by observers that deem the proposal as a heavy handed ideological approach. On the other hand, I should point out that students are increasingly require  to cultivate dispositions to deal with  globalize, multicultural settings in order to be economically competitive. This type of schooling requires of teacher prepare to deal with those issues.

The critics on the proposal are divided in two categories. First, those criticizing the heavy handed approach suggested, an not necessarily  the content of the proposal . Second, those criticizing the content of the proposal. The later are for the most part easy to identify. They   tend to launch diatribes such as “the University of Minnesota Adolf Hitler School of Education”,  etc.

Finally, I should indicate that  teacher training, and traditional schooling  in  general,  is usually ideologically charge though it is an ideology cultivating dispositions  towards conformity  rather than critical thinking.

From Chronicle of Higher education:

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has come under pressure to reject a faculty panel’s proposal to require students in its education school to doubt the United States is a meritocracy and to demonstrate an understanding of concepts such as “white privilege.”(…)

The controversy over the Minnesota proposal echoes a recent debate over whether it is appropriate for colleges of education to require prospective teachers to display certain professional “dispositions” showing an ability to work with diverse students — a requirement that schools view as ensuring teachers are effective, and critics regard as thinly disguised ideological litmus tests. In response to such criticisms, the governing board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education voted in 2007 to stop suggesting that teacher-preparation programs take their students’ views on “social justice” into account. (full article here)

Posted at the UNESCO In the Spotlight blog:

International work is interesting and fulfilling. Work in the U.N. system offers decent salaries and benefits and significant career opportunities. UNESCO provides virtually a unique opportunity for those interested in education, science, culture and communications to do useful and important work in an international setting [read full here].

Useful links:
UNESCO has an Employment Services Website.

The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO posts notices of fellowship and other employment opportunities on its website. It also provides timely information on UNESCO vacancies in its “updates” newsletter.

The U.S. Mission’s website also provides employment information.

There is a very helpful document provided by the State Department for those interested in “Employment Opportunities With the United Nations and Other International Organizations“. It is part of State’s website on “Employment Information: U.N. and International Organizations“.

Click here for more on jobs in multilateral development agencies.

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