Love & Squalor in the Middle East

burns the fire

As the trauma in Israel/Palestine rages on, I try to keep my focus on growing peace between people, far from politics, wherever I see the light. Meet my friend Tali. Her life story is more stunning than most, but it is what she does with her experience, that makes her a poster child for love.

Tali Goodfriend was five when her father had a dream that he could help bring the Messiah to life. He moved their family from Miami, Florida to the Negev desert in Israel, and started to build a Jewish settlement in the sand. Tali was the first of nine children to come, with her Dad’s two wives, her two Moms. They lived and went to school in a tent, with no running water or electricity, while her father and his followers worked to make the desert green.

sign Aravah: south of Beersheba, borders Jordan to the east.

Growing up, Tali became close to a family of Palestinian-Bedouins who lived in a…

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Just how easy is ‘high expectations for all’?

Reflecting English

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Image: @jasonramasami

As the new school year springs – or lumbers! – into life, I have been thinking about the beliefs I have about my students. Like all dedicated teachers, I would vehemently argue that I have the highest expectations for each and every student I teach. How dare you suggest otherwise!

But do I really? And more to the point: is it possible for any teacher to have genuinely high expectations of every student?

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking Fast and Slow, shares the following experiment. Participants were given this question:

An individual has been described by a neighbour as follows: “Steve is very shy and withdrawn, invariably helpful but with little interest in people or in the world of reality. A meek and tidy soul, he has a need for order and structure, and a passion for detail.” Is Steve more likely to be a librarian or a…

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