Bahá'í Language Educators SIG Program26th Annual Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies North America
Friday, August 30, 2002archives: 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005
On Friday, August 30, over 50 language educators, students, and interested people attended the second meeting of the Baha'i Language Educators Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Association for Baha'i Studies, North America, at the Association's annual conference held in Toronto. A full day's program was provided, followed by the annual meeting and a networking session. In the evening many of the attendees gathered for a fellowship dinner and made plans for the next SIG meeting at the 2003 ABS conference in San Francisco.
Chris Gilbert, Tacoma Community College, began the BLE SIG program with his workshop "Educational Learning Styles through 'The Four Valleys,'" discussing Kolb's four learning styles and their relevance to the human and spiritual characteristics outlined in "The Four Valleys." The second presentation, "Collaborative Research Across Cultures" by Dara Shaw, West Virginia University, and Sandy Fotos, Senshu University, described research conducted with international colleagues and the benefits derived from cross-cultural consultation. This was followed by a presentation on Moral Education by Maxwell International Baha'i School's principal, Garrett Brisdon. In the afternoon Judith Johnson of Yamaguchi University, presented a design for moral-based modular curriculum in her talk, "Making Spiritual Education the Foundation of Curricula, Not Just an 'Add On.'" Next Susan Brill de Ramirez, Bradley University, described her freshman literature course aimed at developing the students' commitment to ecological responsibility and service in her talk, "Service-Learning, Experiential Learning, and Collaborative Learning: New Models for the Baha'i Informed Composition and Literature Classroom."
The final presentation was a very successful Roundtable on Baha'i inspired teaching activities. Seven teachers shared lesson plans integrating Baha'i principles with ESL/EFL classroom activities. These will be available for downloading from the SIG website: http://ble-sig.org. The Roundtable presenters and their topics were: Dara Shaw & Joy Allchin: "Playwriting from Pre-writing to Performance;" Lena Statsenko: "'Wings of One Bird' Song Activity on Equality of Men and Women;" Kathryn Barlow: "Study of 'Those Winter Sundays,' a poem by Robert Hyden;" Sandy Miller: "A Web Activity to Demonstrate Unity;" Judith Johnson: "Using CALL (computer assisted language learning) to Understand the Concepts of Equity, Social Responsibility and Cooperation;" and Sandy Fotos: "The Two Donkeys: A Peace Education Activity."
During the annual meeting Coordinator Sandy Fotos showed the new BLE-SIG website and received suggestions for its future development. Several members recommended expanding the SIG's vision statement to include literature and translation activities. The SIG Coordinating Committee (Dara Shaw, Joy Allchin and Sandy Fotos) welcomed its new committee member, Kathryn Barlow, Camosun College, BC, Canada.
9:00-10:00 Workshop: "Educational Learning Styles through 'The Four Valleys.'"
Presenter: Mr. Christopher K. Gilbert, Tacoma Community College
Abstract: This workshop focuses on four distinct learning styles and their relevance to the human and spiritual characteristics outlined in "The Four Valleys." The session is interactive, affording participants an opportunity to complete their own brief Learning Style Inventory (Kolb's Model of Learning), discussion on different teaching methods designed for these learning styles, and an overview of the styles in the pretext of Baha'u'llah's letter, "The Four Valleys."
10:00-10:45 "Collaborative Research Across Cultures."
Presenters: Dr. Dara Shaw, West Virginia University, & Dr. Sandra Fotos, Senshu University
Abstract: The presenters will describe research they have carried out collaboratively with international colleagues, both within and outside of their countries of residence. They will also focus on providing guidance for overcoming logistical obstacles in order to follow through on common research goals. Part of the session will be for participants to plan future collaborative research projects.
11:00-12:00 "Moral Education."
Presenter: Mr. Garrett Brisdon, Principal, Maxwell International Bahá'í School
Abstract: Using examples from the curriculum and activities of Maxwell International Bahá'í School, this presentation establishes the need for moral education as a core curriculum component, then demonstrates practical integration of Bahá'í principles within a rigorous academic curriculum.
1:30-2:15 "Making Spiritual Education the Foundation of Curricula, Not Just an 'Add On.'"
Presenter: Dr. Judith Johnson & Professor Michael Higgins, Yamaguchi University
Abstract: First a brief description of the International Educational Initiatives K-12 Spiritually-Based Global Curriculum Guides' goals and structures will be given. Next a sample module will be used to demonstrate how universal human virtues and spiritual teachings, higher-order thinking skills, social skills and historical/cultural understanding are used to integrate subject matter and create comprehensive and meaningful educational curricula.
2:15-3:00 "Service-Learning, Experiential Learning, and Collaborative Learning: New Models for the Bahá'í Informed Composition and Literature Classroom."
Presenter: Dr. Susan Brill de Ramirez, Bradley University
Abstract: This presentation describes a two-semester freshman literature course on "Ecocomposition and Environmental Literatures." Building on 'Abdu'l-Baha's concept of living the life of service and the Bahá'í directive that His model should be emulated in one's everyday work, the course introduced a service component. The combination of individual and group service activities, individual and group reading and writing assignments, and class-wide experiential learning created cohesive learning communities and produced significant improvement in writing skills and critical thinking. The transformative aspect inherent in strong service-learning programs, combined with increased and deepened student learning indicates the strength of a service-based pedagogy.
3:00-4:00 (or 4:30, depending on activities) Roundtable: "Bahá'í Inspired Teaching Activities."
Facilitators: Dr. Dara Shaw & Ms. Sandra Miller, West Virginia University
Abstract: Roundtable participants will share successful ESL/EFL lessons that have been inspired by the Bahá'í writings. The lessons will target different language skills, as well as cover a variety of proficiency levels, and age levels in EFL and ESL settings. Participants will receive complete lesson plans, and share in a brainstorming session.
4:00-5:00 Annual Meeting and Discussion, followed by a fellowship dinner.
Home Your brother can buy quality led light strips on Ledonstar.