All posts by assema001

Hackschooling makes me happy (deconstruction)

Logan-Laplante-TED

Photo credit: https://www.lifecoachcode.com/2014/09/13/leave-traditional-education/

I was hooked by the presentation of 13 years old boy thinking as an adult but at the same time being curious as a child. The video is the TEDex talk presented by Logan LaPlante, a kid who created the Hackschooling approach. He talks about his homeschooling experience that is focused on main principles as to be healthy and happy. He makes the parallel between the word “Hack” and “innovate” or “ameliorate”. Hence, the hackschooling is making the learning process innovative, engaging, linked to reality and teach not to survive, but how to create own lives. Using his own life experience, he shows how this approach made him creative freethinker and raised his potential and intelligence.

His main claim is that schools do not teach how to be happy and healthy and it is separate from schools. He supports his claim by comparing the case if at schools it could be possible to learn and practice how to be happy and healthy. He emphasizes the practice as the key to succeeding in education. By doing so he elaborates main 8 things to practice: exercise, diet and nutrition, time in nature, contribution and service to others, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, religious or spiritual involvement. Also, he proves his arguments by relying on real research made by Dr. Roger Walsh named “Therapeutic lifestyle changes” (TLC). His counterargument is that schools do not account these eight important factors as the priority. Therefore, proposes his own approach – Hackschooling.

I enjoyed listening to Logan LaPlante as in his 13 years old he brought his own idea to modernize educational system, he recognizes consciously what he wants from education and how he sees it. The most impressive moment for me is his metacognitive skill to make the step back and synthesize the information, experience or feeling. I agree with him saying that the education which is focused on teaching facts and general skills is in the past and now educators, reformers should perceive that education should reflect the reality.

However, he could provide with pieces of evidence about omissions of schools concerning negative effects on raising creativity or diminishing eight important features of successful teaching and learning approach.

Overall, I am glad that the issue of transformation of the educational system is raised by people with different backgrounds, age, location, and beliefs. It triggers me to predict the revolution in several years. I would be more than happy to be in the list of enthusiastic innovators with hackers’ mindset.

Reference:

LaPlanta L., (2013). Hackschooling makes me happy, Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

Discourse analysis: Hochu seni polubit’

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Today the code switching in Kazakh society is the most frequent issue.  Especially youth Kazakhs used to mix Kazakh and Russian languages, hence they have integrated linguistic repertoire. Contemporary authors in this field try to announce about this issue and create songs to show how it looks in an ironical way. In this post, we will make deep discourse analysis of the song “Hochu seni…polubit”.

The author of the song “Hochu seni…polubit” (I want to love you) is the Kazakh Poet Almas Temirbay. He writes about contemporary issues in the social life of Kazakhs, as the language code mixing habits, the appearance of Kazakh girls, the behavior of authority in Kazakhstan etc. The song became popular 3 years ago and its purpose was to show how Kazakh youth used to code-switch and mix Kazakh and Russian words in their speech. Usually, Kazakh people from urban area speak in Russian and while talking in Kazakh they add Russian words in their discourse. Particularly in this song, we can observe crossing and style shifting of two singers.

In the plot of the song the singer Eltay (mail) plays the role of the man from aul (Kazakh village), who fall in love with city girl – Bota (female). She is from Kokshetau, the northern part of Kazakhstan, where Kazakhs assimilated to Russian ethnic group because of the large Russian population. There are 16 features of crossing (red lines highlighted by yellow color) in Bota’s text. In the first sentence “Ғашық болып походи” where gashik bolyp (Kazakh word) means being in love and походи ( the Russian word) means go ahead or with the meaning you can do that she builds the sentence with two predicates in two languages by using Kazakh language grammar. It demonstrates that she is bilingual and used to speak in two languages simultaneously. At the same time, er manner of speech shows her origin and style to switch from one language to another.

The author of the song attempts to add as many examples of crossing as it is possible. Moreover, by words “Не по теме сөйлемеші” (Do not speak beyond the theme) he distinguishes the age (youth), auditorium and language style. Usually, only 17-30 years old people may talk with their friends in such way, in other situation it perceived roughly and disrespectfully.

Turning to Eltay’s text (black lines) we may analyze that he speaks in Kazakh from the beginning, but starts to switch to the Russian language after Bota’s words. For instance “Хочу сені, хочу полюбить” ( I want to love you) may give the contextual understanding of the meaning without the Kazakh word сені, but he purposefully mixes two languages.The reason is to show that he knows the Russian language as well and for making his speech modern or prestigious he uses style shifting. Selting (1983) defines style-shifting as the switching of one speech style with another in the same communicative situation by the same person (Selting, 1983). Also, the example as “Че там говорить” (There is nothing to say) shows the way to display his belonging to Bota’s age and socio-cultural population group. In the song, there are 8 tokens of style shifting (black lines highlighted in green and yellow colors).

I found this song as a demonstrative example of style shifting and code switching. However, the limitation of the in-depth analysis is the preparation of the text by the author with the specific aim. It would be better to analyze impromptu conversation in different contexts for determining other different reasons and situations of language variations.

Overall, looking at the issue from the sight of future scholars we can realize that social phenomenon to switch languages deserves further research. At the same time, we will through the light on the issue of using the Russian language in daily conversations is more frequent than using Kazakh, as I discussed in the post “Why don’t Kazakhs speak in Kazakh as the native language”.

 

 

Reference:

Selting, M. (1983). Institutionelle kommunikation: Stilwechsel als mittel strategischer interaktion. Linguistische Berichte86, 29-48.

Temirbay, A. [Shaikenova B.]. (2013, July 13). “Hochu seni..polubit’” Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ar_VRftWZk

 

What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?

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In the century of new technologies and informatization, every individual has an opportunity to learn and explore the World by himself. Since most of the learners have an access to any information anytime and anywhere the teachers are not only recourses to gain new knowledge.  One can ask: “what could the teacher teach me if everything is on the Internet?” and his or her question is relevant today. The contemporary educational system requires changes in the content and methodology of pedagogy, also it is widely believed as a global issue in educational institutions. Aslan (2015)  explicates that nowadays teachers are facilitators who help to understand, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information, moreover trigger to make own decisions and find possible solutions. These are crucial skills in the 21st century to successfully conceptualize their knowledge in real life. In this post we will  determine the role of the teacher in the 21st century education.

I guess many of you saw the video of Richard Williams (2016) with inspirational monolog about the lack of changes in educational system and decrease of students’ potential through school programs. I am strongly agree with Williams in this case and claim that the form how educational system designed occurs to be old, moreover the content loses the link with reality. However, there are talented professionals who struggle with old model of teaching and make steps to ameliorate the education system for new global citizens. It is crucial to identify skills that those facilitators have.

Teacher of the 21st century is flexible, friendly, innovative, creative and has skills of the researcher. Students trust and respect the teacher who hears and supports the voices of his or her students, is open to communicate, differentiate students and more friendly than authoritative (Roffey & McCarthy, 2013). These characteristics relate to individual qualities than professional ones; however, the relationship between the student and the teacher one of the most important requirements of productive learning. Roffey and McCarthy (2013) in their study emphasize that the positive relationship affects on academic outcomes of students and they “ feel comfortable and safe in environments that are supportive and caring, and the importance of caring and enthusiastic teachers to make this happen” (p. 51). Thus, the student-centered learning based on positive relationship benefits in the academic outcomes.

In the era of innovations teachers underpin the significance of implementing new ways of delivering knowledge; therefore, they practice different approaches. One of the supporters of Innovative education projects is WISE Initiative by Qatar Foundations. With the help of this organization many creative educators could spread their ideas and implement new approaches successfully.  Little Ripples is one of the projects awarded by WISE in 2016. The aim of the project is to provide refugees with an access to education. But creators of the project do not support financially, they train mothers as teachers and introduce the skeleton of curriculum for early childhood development. Teachers in their turn use the skeleton and implement their activities which reflect their cultural values. The project doesn’t compromise qualified education, but gives the opportunity to rise the literacy of isolated refugees. In this example facilitators demonstrate sympathy, enthusiasm, collaboration skills and empower needy people with new approach to education delivering.

Also today it is necessary to be not only practitioners but researchers to discover needs of contemporary learners and design more productive processes of learning. Aslan (2013) in her study discovers that learning through teaching is beneficial approach “to gain many competences such as creativity, independence, self-confidence, self-efficacy, teamwork, communication, complex thinking, empathy, knowledge on searching and managing, research methodology, presentation and discussion skills, digital skills (using internet tools), punctuality, reliability, and patience” (p. 1142). In this approach learners teach the whole lesson or the part of the lesson on given topic. While the students take an active role, the teacher acts as an observer. With the help of accounting students’ abilities the teacher determines where and how to improve his or her teaching practice.

Now we see that today teachers’ ability to organize positive and engaging atmosphere of learning is valuable. So, what does it mean to teach in the 21st century? It means to motivate, to reveal, to trigger students explore the World by themselves, show how to synthesize challenging amount of information and master skills that are crucial in the 21st century, but not only lecture and force to memorize facts. What do you think?

Reference:

Aslan, S. (2015). Is learning by teaching effective in gaining 21st century skills? The views of pre-service science teachers. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 6, 1441-1457.

Roffey, S., & McCarthy, F. (2013). Circle Solutions, a philosophy and pedagogy for learning positive relationships: What promotes and inhibits sustainable outcomes?. International Journal of Emotional Education, 5(1), 36.

Williams, R. (2017). I just sued the school system. [online] Retrieved 16 April 2017 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8

Picture Retrieved 16 April 2017 from: https://allthingslearning.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/the-21st-century-teacher-trainer/

Multilingual and multicultural club

Being multilingual is the strong advantage for living in multicultural society. The individual with the baggage of linguistic knowledge is flexible and universal. While talking in diverse languages he/she gains more than just communication, but the deeper understanding and, in some cases, the sense of belonging to the number of cultures. This ability shapes personal characteristics and creates the global person, who thinks broadly and globally. Living in multicultural society everyone can be involved in interethnic communication, but to make it beneficial for learning, discovering, growing personally and enabling new horizons? The answer is “Multilingual and Multicultural club”. The platform for gathering different people with different backgrounds in one place, which is beneficial for every participant. Learning languages; exploring new cultural values, traditional food, lifestyle, the upbringing of children in multiethnic families, ethics in the international context are the directions for discussing in this club.

kids_around_globe

photo credit: http://kwickid.com/

Firstly, this idea came to my mind when I started to mention that my son tries to speak with English speaking children and he repeats English words after them. At the same time, those kids learn Russian from my son. Nobody planned this learning activity, it is the natural process of communication. This situation shows us that the purpose of the language is the communication and learning languages just for knowing is the deadlock. As Cenoz (2013) mentioned: “Multilingual speakers use the languages at their disposal as a resource in communication, and as their repertoire is wider, they usually have more resources available than monolingual speakers” (Cenoz, 2013, p. 11). In other words, language is the resource for exploring the world. Therefore, the existence of Multilingual and Multicultural club is the beneficial platform, which will create the atmosphere of effortless learning of languages and cultures.

What for do we need Multilingual and Multicultural clubs? In this case, Hummon indicates “community identity answers the question, “Who am I?”, but does so by countering “Where am I?” or, more fundamentally, “Where in the landscape of community forms do I belong?”” (Hummon, 1990, p. 143). Exploring others, we explore ourselves, we deeply analyze our beliefs, actions, acts and views. By doing so we learn how to respect others, be friendly, perceive community and educate next generation.

Do Multilingual and Multicultural clubs exist in other countries? They do! There are numerous of such clubs in every country. Mostly they promote their activities in social media. They are Multilingual club in JapanVancouverMalaysiaSpain, UAE ,USA , etc. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are supported everywhere all around the world. There is an information about the Multilingual club in Karaganda at the Karaganda State Medical University.

Nazarbayev University itself is the multilingual and multicultural community which may serve as the foundation for the Multicultural and Multilingual club, that’s why I am sharing my idea with you for espousing and empowering the project with new thoughts and support. Together we can amplify the club and develop the social project for preparing children and their families for trilingual education. Moreover, with the help of this club, we will demystify the advantages of multilingualism or plurilingualism in the multicultural society.

*For taking active participation in this project please contact assem.tazhiyeva@nu.edu.kz*

Reference:

Hummon, D. M. (1990). Commonplaces: Community ideology and identity in American culture. SUNY Press, p.143.

Cenoz, J. (2013). Defining multilingualism. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics33, 3. p.11.

photo credit: Kazhigalieva A. (2017) Mapping project on languages and cultures of Kazakhstan, Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=759242740911790&set=a.435316439971090.1073741830.100004782127386&type=3&theater

Academic freedom: from higher professionalism to recklessness

On the Kazakhstan Educational Research Association (KERA) conference speakers of the panel discussion consider the thought-provoking theme “academic freedom”. One of the speakers expressed own opinion that “it is not possible to control the way how professors can use this unique right; they may promote the terrorism or the suicide”. In other words, professors with academic freedom right are people in a risk group for the students, the government, and the society because they are knowledgeable to defend their point of view and nobody knows what type of idea they have in mind. However, the question is how smart and professional professors can be confusing in this term and is there any example of such abuse.

Doughty (2010) explains that the concept “academic freedom” defines differently for people with different perspectives as it relates to “democracy”, “equity” and “justice”. However, attempts to clarify that “Classically stated, academic freedom includes the right or teachers and students to pursue the truth without interference from illicit ideological influence by church and state. In practice, even this minimal definition is more complicated than it seems.” (Doughty, 2011). In this way, academic freedom is the right to explore and discover things that are limited to study by the state or other stakeholders.  At the same time, it turns out that the institutions do not support academic freedom in order to preserve their status, networks, and financial support. In other situations, it looks like institutions trust to their professors.

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Dr. Rabab Abdullahi

Photo credit: https://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/4220

There is an egregious example of using academic freedom as a way to promote terrorism. Rabab Abdulhadi is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU) (Canary Mission, 2017).  Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi became popular as a mentor and sponsor of students who are related with terror. Her student Mohammad Hamad identified by FBI as a terrorist because he posted his picture holding knife and expressed his desire to kill people, especially Jews soldiers. He is from Palestine and he wanted to protect his homeland from colonizers. San Francisco State University (SFSU) sent his down and didn’t give an official explanation of doing so (AMCHA, 2014). Today there is no information about Mohammad Hamad.

 

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Mohammad Hamad

 

Photo credit: http://www.amchainitiative.org/amcha-responses-sfsu/

SFSU supports academic freedom and has the Academic freedom committee, which uses the Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure described by the American Association of University Professors. It says “Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.” (AAUP, 1940). Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi guided by these principles promoted terrorism to her students and her speech was recorded and published in the Internet. AMCHA initiative, which is the “non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America” (AMCHA, 2014). They presented examples of promoting terrorism by Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and sent a letter to the President of SFSU on the fear about Jewish students in SFSU.

Before scrutinizing information about Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi there weren’t any thoughts that academic freedom may be the serious problem, which provides with dangerous consequences. The World is not the same as it was before!   Will you support academic freedom at your University?

Reference:

AAUP. (1940). 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. Retrieved      February 18, 2017, from: https://www.aaup.org/report/1940-statement-principles-academic-freedom-and-tenure

AMCHA. (2014). Four Jewish groups to Pres Wong: SFSU prof promoting terrorism; investigate. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from: http://www.amchainitiative.org/jewish-groups-to-pres-wong-sfsu-prof-promoting-terrorism-investigate/

Canary Mission. (2017). Rabab Abdulhadi. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from https://canarymission.org/professors/rabab-abdulhadi/

Doughty, H. A. (2010). Academic Freedom Revisited. College Quarterly13(1), n1.

 

Why don’t Kazakhs speak in Kazakh as the native language?

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One of the global thought-provoking issues is the interconnection of language with an identity. Some people think that language is the identifier of the individual’s nationality, his attachment to the specific ethnic group. Others believe that language is not always the tool to determine cultural background, especially if the person is multilingual. Kazakhstan one of the multicultural and multilingual country with the postcolonial history. After 25 years of getting independence from Soviet communism Kazakhs still speak predominantly in Russian. Foreigners from different countries puzzle when they realize that there are some Kazakhs who understand but don’t speak in their native language. Is that mean that Kazakhs assimilated to Russians in their own hometown?

History. Kazakhs used to live in the nomadic lifestyle, however, in the XIX century, the territory of Kazakhs started to be under the control of Tsarist Russia. First of all, the colonizer forced Kazakhs to live in sedentary lifestyle and the new way of living influenced negatively on the survival of the nation. Second, the Russian language was introduced in all schools and governmental organizations among Central Asia. And the next step of settlers was the immigration of 400 000 Russians and around 1 million of other nationalities to the Kazakh territory. Kazakhs attempted to defend their homeland, culture and traditions, but Russian authority suppressed the repression. The massive immigration and hunger in Kazakhstan led to the decrease of native population, which entailed the empowerment of influence on Kazakh identity. Russian was the language of intercultural communication and it still keeps this position.

Literacy. In most cases, educational textbooks, literature was translated from Russian to the Kazakh language. Some students prefer to read the original version in the Russian language for deeper understanding the subject. Therefore, most of them are well-read in both languages equally. The issue of trans languaging pushes Kazakh speakers to turn to Russian group. Parents who graduated Russian classes afraid to educate their children in Kazakh because they won’t be able to support children to do home works.  Today government is aimed to maintain Kazakh language and support educators who are willing to create and ameliorate Kazakh libraries with qualified and interesting Kazakh literature.

Intergenerational heritage. Since Russian became a language of education and future, Kazakh perceived as the language for intergenerational communication. It lost the stance in society and different domains. Today’s grandmothers and grandfathers are the graduates of Soviet education and they have the identity of Soviet communism. It changed the influence of traditional and cultural values on Kazakh families. Most of the traditional events stopped transmission from generation to generation and in the way towards vanishing.

History, literacy, family heritage are the main factors of forming the identity of the individual. Many Kazakhs who don’t speak Kazakh pose themselves as Kazakhs and don’t think that the language they talk identifies their nationality. According to the historical background, Kazakhs were forced to assimilate and Russian hegemony was the reason of changing in roots. However, as Kazakhstan is the independent country there are different ways to promote Kazakh language and revitalize Kazakh identity again. Here is the post about successful attempts to do so http://www.edgekz.com/relearning-native-tongue-bringing-kazakh-language-back-steppe/

Homeschooling or public schools?

Nowadays this question is popular due to the fact that children who were taught at home show higher results on achievement tests, SAT and ACT tests in the USA. One of the parents stay at home and deals with an education of a child to make him competitive in global arena. However, it is arguable that this child will gain the complex of knowledge as in the public or private schools. For weighing two sides it will be useful to identify reasons why parents choose homeschooling instead of public schools.

The cost of the education may be the first reason in favor of homeschooling.  According to Livingston one family with one child spend more than 3000$ for public school and more than 10000$ for private school per year (Livingston, 2016). Comparing to Kazakhstani Education cost it is twice higher. Parents with lower income have a choice to send their child to public school with the medium level of achievements or to give foundational education at home by themselves. The second one privileges to have more demonstrative achievements.

Individualization of the curriculum is also a weighty argument because it provides with child-centered education. 25 schoolchildren with one teacher vs one or two students with one teacher? Of course working with the less number of students is much easier, but the collaborative work is necessary for social development. At the same time, the individual approach looks more qualitative.

Safe environment plays a great role for some parents who protect children from bad influence. But again it may limit the worldview and impact on the acceptance of diversity people. Additionally, parents introduce family values and promote their own experience as an ideal way to live.

Every parent has a right to choose how to educate their children as they are responsible for it. If the parent is ready and motivated to teach their child at home, why not? But it is relevant to remind that the main aim of education is the preparation for adulthood. How do you think?

References:

Livingston, A. (2016, February 9). Student credit cards. Retrieved January 20, 2017, from http://www.moneycrashers.com/private-vs-public-school-cost-comparison/