An idea for interdisciplinary teaching and learning Recent blog posts

An idea for interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Here is an article that appeared at the Guardian on the 30th of August.  Here are some ideas of what could be done with first year students at university of all disciplines

The paper deal with a new bill/law  that states that both parties have to be interested in a sexual relationship in order to have it and that objection or not objecting is no longer sufficient. 


Aims of discussing this short article and discussoing the idea


Getting students to talk and participate in discussions and get confident to express themselves, positions and ideas, learn to participate in dialogue and reflection.

 Getting the less academic students to speak out, reflect, dialogue and lead the discussions.


Reflection and dialogue


writing responses, support ideas and express criticism of texts, critical engagement with text


Looking at cultural differences


Discussion of life on South Africa and South Africa using a codification from California


Opening learning and discussion of theories, jargons and disciplines – psychology, anthropology, sociology, education, science, philosophy, morality and ethics, law, human rights, gender studies, models, language,


Fitting theories and practices


Thinking how to change the world


Enquiring and co-enquiring.


Issues such as the role of the state; social vs. personal morality; do you need laws and rules to have sex that is not invited? Do you really have to wait for an explicit no in order to stop yourself?


My own opinion and my own acknowledgement  of my own values is that sex is an act that is performed by two parties and that the two need to be equally interested.  As a facilitator I need to express it.  I cannot remain neutral.  I can and should encourage criticism of my position and explanation and rationalisation of my position that is my position and belief and just my position that some will agree with and other will disagree.  I am a person who lived in a world, in particular circumstances, developed a position that fits with my own life history and the identity that I developed for and with myself and that I can explain, rationalise and defend and communicate verbally.  Other people have developed their own positions as their positions.  We discuss our positions in accordance with what we see as a just society and how to construct a just society, if we can. We join, participate and withdraw from communities accordingly, or pretend and live a make belief for different reasons, convenience, comfort, fear and laziness or prioritization  of what is more important to us over what is less important to us and negotiating accordingly.


- here is the short article



California bill demands college students get 'affirmative consent' before sex

State’s so-called ‘yes means yes’ law passed unanimously in state senate and will become law if signed by Governor

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·         Amanda Holpuch in New York


·, Saturday 30 August 2014 16.10 BST

The US department of education in May published a list of 55 schoolsunder investigation for their handling of sexual assault cases. Photograph: Porter Gifford/ Porter Gifford/Corbis

A California bill that demands college students get “affirmative consent” before engaging in sexual activity passed in the state’s legislative chambers on Thursday.

The state’s so-called “yes means yes” law passed unanimously in the state senate and will become law if it is signed by Governor Jerry Brown by the end of September.

In April, the White House, unveiling a task force to combat university sexual assaults, criticized the way in which colleges have handled such cases. The Obama administration also unveiled a website,, which offers resources for schools and students working to diminish the number of sex crimes perpetrated at universities.

“If we see this coming from a state level and the federal level, beginning with the Obama administration’s Not Alone initiative, I think it’s an important way to address the culture and be able to change the behavior,” said Sharyn Potter, a medical sociologist at the University of New Hampshire and the co-director of Prevention Innovations, an initiative to end violence against women.

The California bill, SB 967, makes clear that silence, a lack of resistance or consent given under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs does not equal consent to sexual activity.

“Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time,” the bill states. “The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”

If the bill becomes law, public universities and colleges that receive state funding for student aid will have to comply. The office of state senator Kevin De Leon, one of the bill’s proponents, says it is the first state bill to require schools to adhere to such language.

The US department of education in May published a list of 55 schools under investigation for their handling of sexual assault cases. Three California universities and one California community college district are included on the list.

“The education of sexual assault has been one box for the administration to check when their incoming students are coming in – they tell them about how to get their meal cards, how to use the library, and oh, by the way here’s something about sexual assault,” said Potter.

“Addressing sexual assault is going to take larger cultural change and we’re lucky enough as universities and colleges to have these students for four to five years when they have really important cognitive and intellectual development going on.”

Last month, a group of US senators unveiled the Campus Safety and Accountability Act, which is meant to combat campus sexual assault.

“We are done with the days of asking victims why they drank too much or wore the wrong thing. Those days are done,” said co-sponsor Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, at a press conference on 30 July.



Here is a link to a no-cost guide? You can see the new resource here:
that was published by


Affordable Colleges Online



A bit of context. "Affordable Colleges Online"



  created this guide to show college students the various on-campus and online resources they can use to help make their campus experience a safe one. The guide also includes eight critical questions and answers every student and parent should read, as well as an interview with college safety expert Ruth Jones, a Title IX coordinator who focuses on the prevention of sexual assault on campus.



Posted by Alon Serper on 01 September 2014 11:22:28

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