It’s probably already tomorrow in China, but that’s not going to stop me from telling you about the June 4th Museum. It is the world’s first permanent memorial museum for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, which occurred exactly 25 years ago. The exhibit is just 800 square feet and hidden away on the 5th floor of the Foo Hoo Centre (which means you really have to find it as there is no indication the museum even exists, apart from a listing in the lobby directory). The protests remain a taboo topic in mainland China, but nearly 7,000 people have visited the museum since it opened a few months ago. At the entrance is a six-foot tall replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue that was famously erected by the protesters. While walking through a labyrinthine layout that reflects “the maze which is the China of today” visitors learn about the protests through photographs, artifacts, videos and written histories of the events. There is a grass-covered central area, modeled on Tiananmen as it looked back then. The area is surrounded by twisted maps of Beijing’s roads showing the 200 locations where students were killed. Visitors can also write messages of support on a narrow chalkboard running the length of a wall. Despite legal objections to the exhibit, curator Andrew Lam Hon-kin (shown in the photograph above) says it is a “civic space” open for debate. “We would like to extend the discussion about the country’s development from 1989 to today…Its goal is to change society…It is a museum of activism…and our ultimate goal is to rectify the verdict on June 4.”
Girls brave violence for their education in northern Nigeria.
The kidnapping of 234 girls from a physics exam by Boko Haram grabbed the world’s attention. But this isn’t isolated – fear of school has become ingrained in northern Nigeria
Halimatu Usman, 14, spends her days doing house chores in her home of Marte, near Lake Chad in Borno state, Nigeria. Her school has been shut to pre-empt attacks from members of the Jama’atul Alhul Sunnah Lidda’wati wal Jihad or Boko Haram (meaning western education is forbidden) a group waging an insurgency to establish an Islamic government in Nigeria. As she fills the earthenware pot, she counts herself lucky not to be in a refugee camp in neighbouring Niger Republic or among the 234 girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from a physics exam in GGSS Chibok and taken to the Sambisa Forest reserve, leaving their parents and an entire country distraught. (via Girls brave violence for their education in northern Nigeria | Global Development Professionals Network | Guardian Professional)
I’ve stopped being sorry for all my soft. I won’t apologize because I miss you, or because I said it, or because I text you first, or again. I think everyone spends too much time trying to close themselves off. I don’t want to be cool or indifferent, I want to be honest.
You know how we all complain about things and talk about how they should be, thinking that we are the most brilliant people in the world? Well I have come to see that some of my grand theories is, indeed, incorrect.
In the US, we like to complain about the standards. “They’re too constricting to what I can teach.” “They’re too much for the kids.” “Why do students even have to know that.”
I’m here to tell you that detailed standards for each grade level are not only important, but also highly beneficial. Here at the school I am student teaching in, they are working a lot on vertical alignment. Because it is an international school in another country, they are trying to run the American curriculum, but are not bound by state standards. At the beginning of the year, they set up the scope and sequence for each grade level. It’s vague and some teacher stray away.
Accountability is hard to maintain because there is not major assessment that tells exactly what was taught. My school emphasizes discussing with the teachers below and above to maintain as seamless of a curriculum as possible, but it has taught me to appreciate the state standards more. I know exactly what content to cover and exactly how familiar my students should be with it.
I understand that common core and state standards are FAR from perfect and that I have been fortunate enough to learn and work in states that are more flexible with them. They are not my ideal system, but I do see the positives of having them.