Logiske konnotationer, eksternalisering og positive omformuleringer

Logbogsnotat på baggrund af 2. lektion: Perspektiver på klasseledelse

Jeg har valgt de følgende begreber fra dagens undervisning samt litteratur: 

  • Logiske konnotationer — At stille sig selv spørgsmålene; Hvilke logiske konnotationer eksisterer mellem elevens præmisser og handlinger? Hvordan kan man forstå elevens handlinger, hvordan giver de mening?
  • Eksternalisering — Problemet er problemet! Problemet frigøres fra personen og gøres til objekt. Person og problem skilles ad f.eks. ved at give problemet navn. ”Hvornår kommer vreden på besøg?”, ”Hvad forsøger vreden at få dig til at tænke om dine kammerater?”, ”Hvad mon vreden vil?”, ”Er der situationer, hvor du kan få vreden til at fylde mindre?”
  • Positive omformuleringer — Kan bruges som et redskab til, at skabe et nyt narrativ både for læreren men også den som eleven har om sig selv.

Vi har i dag, på trods af modulets nogen gange abstrakte og teoretiske natur, arbejdet med meget konkrete cases — både vores egne, men også to på skrift. Det har vi gjort ved at talende flydende og dele holdninger, erfaringer, observationer, men Malene har også skubbet os til at sætte argumenterne i teoretisk kontekst, hvilket har givet super god mening. De cases vi har arbejdet med, har været tragiske, men ikke noget, vi ikke alle har oplevet enten i egen skolegang eller på job/i praktik. Derfor har det været rigtig gavnligt, at få begreber som eksternalisering og logiske konnotationer, som et perspektiv til øget refleksiv distance samt redskaber til at komme ud af en fastlås relation.

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Psykologi som videnskab

Logbogsnotat på baggrund af 1. lektion: Introduktion til modulet og det psykologiske felt

Det jeg har taget med mig fra i dag, er en befriende men ikke fordummende beskrivelse af de psykologiske felt. Her har jeg hæftet mig ved følgende tre opdelinger/retninger indenfor psykologi som videnskab: 

  • Psykologi som humanvidenskab
  • Psykologi som naturvidenskab
  • Psykologi som samfundsvidenskab

Psykologien som videnskabsfelt kan have svært ved at begrænse it genstandsfelt, idet der er overlapninger mellem psykologi og tilgrænsende videnskaber e.g. filosofi, sociologi og medicin-studier. Habermas derfinerer psykologi som befindende sig midt på et spændeingsfelt mellem de tre videnskabelige hovedområder: Naturvidenskab, humanvidenskab og samfundsvidenskab. Vi skal beskæftige os med alle tre retninger (perspektiver), da de er afgørende at have kenskab til hvis man vil forstå baggrunden/filosofien for materialer (forfattere), resultater, kontekst, fokuspunkter, argumentation – briller, om man vil. Psykologien som humanvidenskab undersøger det enkelte menneske og dets kulture, erkendelse og psyke, der er fokus på det enkelte individ, der anses for at være unikt, frit og fortolkende til at danne sin egen personlighed og dermed ligeledes har ansvar for egne handlinger. Indsamling af empiri sker hovedsageligt af fortælling (kvalitativ data; interviews, breve, nedskrevne beretninger m.v.). Modsætningsvist kan man også studere psykologi som en naturvidenskab hvor mennesket ses som et objekt, selve individets perception og kognition undersøges, og der drages typisk sammenlignelighed gennem kvantiative data. Habermas’ 3 videnskabelige hovedområde er psykologien som en samfundsvidenskab – den fokuserer på fællesskaber, altså menneskelige kollektive og institutionelle forhold og bruger observation og interviews for at forstå hvordan individet fortolker og forholder sig til de sociale og samfundsmæssige betingelser. 

 

Visual Culture

Reflection on Michael Ryan’s chapter on Visual Culture with Brett Ingram in Cultural Studies – A Practical Introduction.

Visual culture is a field of study. Our life is visual. This encompasses television, films, advertisements, photographs, comic books … anything that relays its story through pictures and images rather than text and words. The chapter introduces The Skeptical Eye, which is to be critical and not believe everything you hear or see in the media. The media often creates a narrow sighted view of the reality, in which some people (mis)take for a fact. It is therefore important as a teacher to give a divers explanation to the students, so they understand that it is a dominated narrative. Having a skeptical eye on’ digital media (news, videos etc) is important to identify the sender of the message and understand the background and context of the dominant narrative represented.

In visual culture, the values that structure dominant narratives are often circulated through mythical stories that condense the complexities of existence into simplified conflicts between good and evil p. 139

Power Structures in Films
It is not just important in today’s media, but it is also not all bad. In contrast to previous (old-school) representations of women on screen: idealised mothers, supportive wives or whores, in Sex and The City the women are representing different and modern female perspectives/roles/personalities, e.g. The character Samantha, who is prioritising career and sex over creating a family – but she isn’t only portrayed as a woman who has sex with a lot of men – but a strong feminist character who is putting her own needs first.

When looking at the old Disney movies, there are plenty of stereotypical representations. One of the most criticised might be Alladin, introducing a lost list of stereotypes of Arab culture –  all the women a represented as sexy or erotic dancers, The Middle East is portrayed as a brutal place where the men are walking on cal, hypnotising snakes, crooks or sword-swallowers – besides the women that are sexy and dancing, the rest of them are covered up and doing laundry. And, finally, the princess Yasmin is seen as being in need of a man to control her.  The original lyrics of Arabian Nights included 

“I come from a land
From a faraway place
Where they cut off your ear
If they don’t like your face
It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.”
Though changed in 1993 as they were deemed racist.

Writing this reflection I stumbled upon these videos, which pretty much sums up the Disney issue, empathising that Disney has changed course to a degree, we now see female heroes in movies like Frozen or Brave.

Audience, Performance and Celebrity

Reflection on chapter 12 Audience, Performance and Celebrity from Ryan, M (2010) Cultural Studies: A Practical Introduction.

Only traumatised people want to be famous. – Alanis Morrissette

This chapter explores celebrity attachment as an essential part of psychological constitution, inasmuch as our lives start out being attached to another human’s body, then we grow being attached and depending on family, and later to friends and lovers, meaning that becoming human happens through our attachments; moving from a selfish core to a social, mediated, civil. Thus to some, identifying with a celebrity, gives guidelines and hopes for the future, in the same way as religion does. Celebrity attachment highly makes sense in the society of which not everyone gets to be important, fulfilled or recognised. So to identify with a star allows for momentarily changing into being someone else.

Further, the chapter presents the concept of moral sensibility, which is the hot topic of the gossip of, especially female celebrities, some classic examples that most of us know of would be Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Even due to the positive development of gender equality and women’s rights, women are expected to act and behave in a certain way – or – at least not do certain things. Female celebrities are often reminded to remember that they are role models for their fans.

Personally, I experience, that some of the women’s harshest critics are often other women, I also often see concept of feminism being turned into the hateful bashing of men (especially Caucasian and privileged men (who, by the way, was just born into this world like everyone else)) – there is still an imbalance between the way media portray female vs. male celebrities (and transgender celebrities for that matter as well). I won’t say too much about the following videos, they speak for themselves, but they are my arguments for the importance of bringing these issues into the classroom when talking about media, identity, and culture.

Listening & Speaking (TELL)

Reflections on the presentation by a student group on chapter 3 from the book Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL).

The chapter lays out a series of skills students need to acquire to improve their language proficiency, along with a series of technology-enhanced lesson ideas designed to help students improve those skills, and additionally, the chapter offers a range of internet- or technology-based tools and class exercises that are contemporary (available) and free to use. One example is, that it is suggested to use chatbots, as a means of language practise or improvement – so chatbots, along with other already available free technology tools, are already available and eve though they were made for something else, are really benificial to include in the language teacher’s classroom (even more so; BECAUSE they are not made for educating purposes).

Language acquisition:

1. Psycholinguistic (Kantor)

  • How the mind process language
  • Using our cognitive skills
  • perception, memory and thinking

2. Social features

  • Using the contextual situation as a way of understanding language
  • The environment, context, genre, subject

And happens on 3 different levels:

– (Psycholinguistic) Acoustic-phonetic professor (the voice in your head, interpreting accents, dialects and

– (Psycholinguistic) Parser (making it into words you know)

– (Social) Conceptualiser (contextual)

Listening strategies:

Listening strategies is good for compensating for lack of skills (fields).

Strategies

Examples

Inferring

Guessing the maning of words the listener is uncertain about, or has missed, from clues in the linguistic or non-linguistic context

Seeking clarification

Getting the speaker to repeat something which the listener has missed.

Predicting

Rehearsing in your mind what speakers are likely to be going to say, in order to help you to understand better when they actually start speaking.

Focusing

Concentrating and persevering despite problems with understanding. Trying to get the main idea and not worrying about understanding every word.

 

Speaking Skills

Core skill

Examples

Pronounciation

Pronouncing vowels, consonants, and blended sounds clearly.
Using different intonation patterns to communicate old and new information.

Performance speech acts

Knowing how to make requests.
Knowing how to give opinions.

Managing interaction

Initiating, maintaining and ending conversations.
Turn taking.
Clarifying meaning.

Organising discourse

Using discourse markers and intonation to signpost changes of topic.
Being able to structure discourse for different communicative purposes such as stories or instructions.

Speaking Strategies

Strategies

Examples

Cognitive (or psycholinguistic) strategies

Finding ways round a lack of vocabulary through paraphrases, substitution, coining new words, etc.

Metacognitive strategies

Planning or rehearsing what you are going to say.
Monitoring your language while you are speaking.

Interaction strategies

Asking for help.
Checking understanding.

Requesting clarification.

When carefully picked, the language teacher can actually use internet-based technology tools to start humanising the classroom again, instead of the contrary (and unfortunate) common belief, that, technology, iPads and so on, are bad for students, their attention span, etc.

One example I came to think of regarding this subject, is how Khan Academy is allowing students to keep track of their own individual learning curve meanwhile the teacher get’s to use their time on the students when and how they need to be helped.

A teacher’s reaction on using Khan Academy in his classroom (and curriculum):

A brief introduction to Khan Academy:

The Red Line

This reflection is based on the reading of The Red Line by Charlie Higson (origin; 1993, pub. René Bühlmann, 1995) and is different than my previous reflections in as much as I am proposing the usage of the short story in intercultural citizenship education as a part of English teaching.

Wikipedia: Red line, or “to cross the red line“, is a phrase used worldwide to mean a figurative point of no return or line in the sand, or “a limit past which safety can no longer be guaranteed.

The short story has a 3rd person narrator and happens in the tube of London – On the red line. The chapters of the short story are named of and in the same order of the stops of the tube. Following is a brief recap of the chapters:

Chapter: Oval
We find out, that the story takes place in London. We are in the head of an unnamed man. This 1st, an unnamed character is introduced and described as; male, white, pale, hairless (routine), perfectionistic, loves karaoke, infatuated w. Bob Seger, and hates change. We meet him in a situation, where his world has fallen apart as he finds, that the (/his) karaoke machine has been removed.

Chapter: Embankment
Now we are at the actual tube. The 2nd character introduced – we are now in his head; Berto – He is new in London visiting Cathy, from Venice — met Cathy there. Even though they are not on the tube, the 3rd & 4th characters are introduced; Cathy — English, in an open relationship, Cathy’s boyfriend; Talks a lot, friendly. Berto is confused about his relationship with Cathy and her relationship with her boyfriend. Upsets Cathy for an unknown reason and she leaves him alone on the tube in London.

Chapter: Leicester Square
Flashback to a situation where the unnamed guy tries to find a new karaoke place to sing Bob Seger at, he fails. We find out he is disgusted by people, as they are all ugly and hairy. 

Chapter: Goodge Street
Berto is trying not to panic at the tube — tries to gather the courage to ask anyone for help, is scared no-one will understand him. Is scared to be laughed at. He is considering the fellow-tube-riders; “Old people are all deaf, the middle-aged man is half asleep and must be a drunk, he wants to ask a sympathetic person, a young woman, she is probably nice.”

Chapter: Euston
Now the 5th character; Denise (the young woman on the train) — she is both paranoid and scared. She is interpreting Berto as; dark-skinned, dark eyes, looks a bit like a model, but like all men a potential rapistA 6th character is briefly introduced; Neil (Denise’s boyfriend) — thinks Denise should relax. The unnamed guy is described by Denise as having curly blond hair. Denise feels like the unnamed guy and Barto are staring at her in the tube and she is very uncomfortable.

Chapter: Tufnell Park
The unnamed guy feels stared at by both Denise (snotty girl) and Barto (greasy monkey) and is getting really worked-up in his own head about some tape, that he hopes is strong enough…

Chapter: Archway
Barto is listening to his cassette with an Italian voice trying to teach him English.

Chapter: Highgate
Barto has finally gathered the courage to ask Denise for help, but she sees him approaching as a nightmare (almost) coming true. She rushes out of the train (one stop too early) and up the stairs just to find that ‘the man’ (Barto) didn’t follow her. She is frozen by fear and starts crying.

Chapter: East Finchley
As Barto passes the unnamed man in the tube, regretting he didn’t follow Cathy or got to ask Denise for help before she got off, he walks in the opposite direction of the train. The unnamed man stabs Barto with a kitchen knife wrapped around his wrist with tape. Before Barto realises what is happening, he is left to die on the floor of the train, and whilst watching his own blood forming a red line, he suddenly remembers how he could’ve found his way back home to Cathy’s place.

The short story was in 2014 published as a short movie of just 19 minutes:

I haven’t been able to get a hold of the full 19-minute version of the movie, but I think a combination of first the short story, then watching the movie, would enable students’ awareness of prejudices. The story itself is written in an easily understandable English, and with a little help from a glossary list and/or repetition of the new vocabulary, I think the students would find it easy to identify the actions, different persons and perspectives within the story as listed above chapter per chapter. Thus after discussing the story thoroughly, the students have created images in their heads of both the characters and their situations, most likely many of them can identify with the fears of the characters – I think no one can say that they have never been there; on a train, judging someone or feeling irrational fear. These discussions are important, especially if we want the students to be able to reflect on their own behaviors and attitudes, past and future. And the end goal would be for the students to receive some sort of critical political awareness, for example combining this module with The Red Line, with continuing to discussing how the media (incl. the Red Line film) affects our perceptions of certain groups of people.

Intercultural Competence in Foreign Languages

 

Reflection on Michael Byram’s text, The Intercultural Speaker and the Pedagogy of Foreign Language Education, chapter 18 of Intercultural Competence in Foreign Languages.

“The weakness in education for citizenship is the assumption that the focus of attention should be local and national, that political literacy means knowledge about processes and institutions within one’s own school, neighborhood, and state/country, and activity should be focused at one or more of these levels. There is nothing surprising in this sense education systems are usually national and were formed with the intention of creating identification with nation-states. But this is now a weakness in the contemporary world of global economies and international organizations, both civic and political” – Michael Byram

The intercultural speaker is a speaker that possess a linguistic proficiency but also an intercultural competence when engaging cross-culturally, thus has no connection with the term native speaker. Michael Byram has created a 5-dimensional model (beneath) to showcase the desired skills of the intercultural speaker (or learner). The categories are divided as follow:

  • Skills of interpreting/relating
  • Skills of discovery/interaction
  • Attitudes-curiosity/openness

  • Knowledge
  • Critical cultural awareness

Worth stressing is, the final dimension mentioned, critical cultural awareness, can be compared to the German educational tradition Bildung aiming of encouraging learners to reflect critically on the society, and this is also one of the most important elements of intercultural citizenship education, thus the category/dimension is placed at the centre of the model, as it is absolutely essential to ensure language teaching has an intercultural – It is essential and ensures that language teaching has an intercultural educational purpose.

Model: Michael Byram’s ICC (Intercultural Competence)-Model

The additional dimensions don’t require a specific priority of the teacher, rather an individual “when it makes sense” implementation.

Worth noting is that Rathje (2007) and others criticise the term intercultural competence as there isn’t any officially-agreed definitive definition, which makes the teaching of it, too soft and unsystematic, thus the models or definitions thereof becomes a contradiction of itself according to Rathje.

“The problem with taking a national culture and identity as the basis for teaching intercultural competences is not, therefore, the problem of essentializing or reductionism. The problem lies in the exclusive focus on one identity and the assumption that, in interaction in a foreign language, it is the only identity present.” – Michael Byram