Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Shami Chakrabarti - Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti is the director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) - a charitable trust . Liberty is both an unincorporated association made up of members, and a non-profit making company that employs staff and runs campaigns. The organisation provides advice and information for human rights. For 75 years, Liberty’s causes have been many and varied. They have taken a stand against the misuse of police powers, censorship, and the use of torture. They have fought for gay and lesbian rights, equal pay for women, freedom of speech and assembly, aswell as for children.

The website below shows much more detail and worth a look:


Barack Obama

Some background information

Barack Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. They didn't have much money, but they taught him values from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. He took out loans to put himself through school. After college, he worked for Christian churches in Chicago, helping communities devastated when steel plants closed. Obama turned down lucrative job offers after law school to return to Chicago, leading a successful voter registration drive. He joined a small law firm, taught constitutional law and, guided by his Christian faith, stayed active in his community. He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate. On November 4th, Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States of America. Obama and his wife Michelle are proud parents of two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

What are his policies?

  • The economy:
    By common agreement, his most pressing challenge. Mr Obama inherits an annual $455 billion budget deficit. And yet he has promised to boost spending on education and health care while cutting taxes for 95 per cent of Americans.
    Under the Obama plan, which he says he will finance partly by savings in Iraq, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase. Mr Obama wants to reverse most of the Bush tax cuts for America's wealthiest families.
    In business, he promises a more level playing field, cutting loopholes and tax deductions, such as those for the oil and gas industries. He has attacked the greed and excessive pay on Wall Street. Mr Obama pledges to reform bankruptcy laws and ban executive bonuses for bankrupt companies.
    The Obama economic rescue plan would provide $50 billion to "jumpstart" the economy and prevent a million Americans losing their jobs. The package would include a $25 billion "state growth fund" to prevent states cutting services or increasing property taxes. A "jobs and growth fund" will invest $25 billion into US infrastructure, including road and bridge maintenance, and school repairs. On housing, Mr Obama says he will crack down on fraudulent brokers and lenders. He says he will also make sure homebuyers have honest and complete information about their mortgage options, and they will give a tax credit to all middle-class home owners.
  • Foreign policy.
    In a speech in July, Mr Obama outlined five main foreign policy goals: to end the war in Iraq responsibly, to finish the battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban, to stop nuclear weapons and materials getting into the hands of terrorists and rogue states, to make secure America's energy supplies and to rebuild the country's strained alliances. And less war war, more jaw jaw.
    To quote from the official Obama website: "The United States is trapped by the Bush-Cheney approach to diplomacy that refuses to talk to leaders we don't like. Not talking doesn't make us look tough – it makes us look arrogant, it denies us opportunities to make progress, and it makes it harder for America to rally international support for our leadership. Obama is willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe."
    Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
    Obama says the Iraq war was a mistake from the start. He wants immediate cutbacks to America's 130,000-strong force, pulling out most of them within 18 months of his taking office.
    He is more worried about Afghanistan, which he has called the "central front" in the war on terrorism. He has said he would be willing to launch attacks on enemy forces in Pakistan with or without that country's blessing. Critics crowed over the apparent naivety of his pledge to pursue open talks with the Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But his efforts to curtail its nuclear programme and encourage its economic modernisation might not look so far-fetched if a more moderate Iranian president takes over next summer.
  • Healthcare.
    Healthcare is one of the key issues for Mr Obama. He supports universal health care. It is wrong, he says, that 47 million Americans have no health insurance. He wants to use tax credits to encourage more businesses to insure their staff as well as set up a separate new healthcare system that will cost more than $1 trillion.
  • The environment and energy.
    Committed, he says, to addressing climate change, Mr Obama wants to cut carbon emissions by reducing America's dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. He proposes to cut America's vast oil consumption by at least 35 per cent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030.
    He supports innovation - creating five million new "green" jobs - and finding alternative energy sources, such as hybrid cars and "clean coal". He opposes a greater reliance on nuclear power and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. That innovation will require investment. Condemning the current regime as one of the most anti-science administrations in US history, Mr Obama supports doubling federal funding for basic research.
  • Trade protection.
    Free trade supporters are worried that Mr Obama may usher in a new era of protectionism. He has criticised the North American Free Trade Agreement (with Canada and Mexico) for not helping American workers and wants to amend it.
    Mr Obama also wants to end tax breaks for US companies that "send jobs overseas" and fight to ensure public contracts go to bidders who will provide work to Americans.
  • Immigration.
    Obama says he does not believe that America's 12 million illegal immigrants can be deported and instead suggests they be given a "pathway to citizenship". He supports a guest worker programme and backs granting driver's licences to illegal immigrants. But he did vote in favour of building a 700 mile fence along the Mexican border.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Free family Tree Chart for the development project.

I came accross a great website that helps you to make a family tree, and guess what it is totally free!! It lasts for 7 days.


Monday, 10 November 2008

Definition of 'successful intervenist community education'

This is my definition of how I understood it:

Where a community interacts with eachother in order to help everyone achieve ones own potential. This can be achieved by communities providing various agencies and centres including SureStart, Community Centres and HomeStart working together to provide everyone with the chance of making a possitive difference in their lives, (what ever the individual believes is their own achievement). We are all individuals, who have our own goals and by a community providing the life chances gives a person the chance to improve their living style - should they want to.

Moral development - Kohlberg (1973)

Lawrance Kohlbergs theory - The Stages of Moral Development, was inspired by the work of Jean Piaget (Education and the Develpoment of Morality). It also came from an interest in moral dilemas that children, adolescents and adults face, and constucted a series of stages and development.

The Stages of Moral Development
Kohlberg constructed six stages which coinsided with three levels, these being Preconventional, conventional and post conventional.

Preconventional Level (up to age nine):
~Self Focused Morality~
1. Morality is defined as obeying rules and avoiding negative consequences. Children in this stage see rules set, typically by parents, as defining moral law.
2. That which satisfies the child’s needs is seen as good and moral.

Conventional Level (age nine to adolescence):
~Other Focused Morality~
3. Children begin to understand what is expected of them by their parents, teacher, etc. Morality is seen as achieving these expectations.
4. Fulfilling obligations as well as following expectations are seen as moral law for children in this stage.

Postconventional Level (adulthood):
~Higher Focused Morality~
5. As adults, we begin to understand that people have different opinions about morality and that rules and laws vary from group to group and culture to culture. Morality is seen as upholding the values of your group or culture.

6. Understanding your own personal beliefs allow adults to judge themselves and others based upon higher levels of morality. In this stage what is right and wrong is based upon the circumstances surrounding an action. Basics of morality are the foundation with independent thought playing an important role.

Participants (only males) were told stories, depending on their answer depended on which stage the subjects were at. Lots of different dilemas were given. One particular study focused on the Heinz Dilema - known as the Druggist Dilema.

The Druggist Dilema: Heinz steals the Drug in Europe

A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.

The question to the paricipants was:
Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?

From a theoretical point of view, it is not important what the participant thinks that Heinz should do. Kohlberg's theory holds that the justification the participant offers is what is significant, the form of their response. Below are some of many examples of possible arguments that belong to the six stages:

Stage one (obedience): Heinz should not steal the medicine because he will consequently be put in prison which will mean he is a bad person. Or: Heinz should steal the medicine because it is only worth $200 and not how much the druggist wanted for it; Heinz had even offered to pay for it and was not stealing anything else.

Stage two (self-interest): Heinz should steal the medicine because he will be much happier if he saves his wife, even if he will have to serve a prison sentence. Or: Heinz should not steal the medicine because prison is an awful place, and he would probably languish over a jail cell more than his wife's death.

Stage three (conformity): Heinz should steal the medicine because his wife expects it; he wants to be a good husband. Or: Heinz should not steal the drug because stealing is bad and he is not a criminal; he tried to do everything he could without breaking the law, you cannot blame him.

Stage four (law-and-order): Heinz should not steal the medicine because the law prohibits stealing, making it illegal. Or: Heinz should steal the drug for his wife but also take the prescribed punishment for the crime as well as paying the druggist what he is owed. Criminals cannot just run around without regard for the law; actions have consequences.

Stage five (human rights): Heinz should steal the medicine because everyone has a right to choose life, regardless of the law. Or: Heinz should not steal the medicine because the scientist has a right to fair compensation. Even if his wife is sick, it does not make his actions right.

Stage six (universal human ethics): Heinz should steal the medicine, because saving a human life is a more fundamental value than the property rights of another person. Or: Heinz should not steal the medicine, because others may need the medicine just as badly, and their lives are equally significant.

According to the theory, it is unlikely that a person regresses backwards in the stages.

Websites that may be of interest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg (Although this site should not be quoted, I believe that it is beneficial as it gives a good insight).

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Amnesty International

Children and human rights Amnesty International 12:57pm
Source: www.amnesty.org

Across the world children are denied their human rights, including for example, their right to.......

This website is what I believe Brian was talking about on Tuesday, it has lots of information about deprived children including child soldiers (which is good for Lin's lesson), education and the childs right to it and lots of facts and figures which will be useful.