Dianne Forbes

Dianne Forbes

I work in teacher education and digital learning at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. I am an online learning enthusiast, and an experienced teacher.

Location New Zealand

Activity

  • From what I see, there is some diversity in publishers. I recently interviewed Julia Marshall from Gecko Press, an independent publisher generating diverse books https://geckopress.com/

  • You have described that beautifully Daniella :)

  • @ClareBrennan What a fantastic collection! My favourite Christmas themed picturebooks include The Trolley (week 4 of this course), the Christmas Caravan, and my son always loved The Kiwi Night Before Christmas.

  • I have enjoyed interacting with recent participants, thank you for all of your contributions :)

  • I'd like to say something comforting Nicole, but this is distressing. I hope you have a supportive group of colleagues and that you can work and cope with bigotry. I also worry for your physical safety.

    In my places of working and living (in Aotearoa New Zealand), it is often more a matter of silence, absence, and a general void of recognition. There is an...

  • Beautiful memory, and thank you for sharing the link Nicole, it was Gold. 1936!! The Christmas tree made from stacked umbrellas blew me away!

    I chose this particular book as it is precious to me as the daughter of a single mother and I had a trolley when I was 10. I broke my leg in two places on that sucker, aged 12! But not before it earned a little...

  • This is a really compelling analysis and critique Nicole, and reminds me of the role of digital gaming too. One of my favourite games is called Kisima Ingitchuna, Never Alone. Here is a 'making of' clip I find inspirational, even after a few years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9ndBVFrc2U
    I grew up in the 1970s and 80s and I don't recall any LGBTQ+...

  • Yes, possibly, so the animals are a cute and easy way out. And yet they still manage to perpetuate the same stereotypes. I also think that we get what we settle for, and same breeds more of the same. What I mean by that is that if animal books sell well then more will be produced/published and they will remain popular, and the cycle goes on. Of course there is...

  • My guess would be that all parties play a role in this Sarah :) In turn, I am mindful of our earlier discussion of how adults act as gatekeepers. We adults who demand, purchase, support, gift and read diverse picturebooks will influence the production of these.

  • I'm thrilled you were able to find it! I was intrigued and looked it up too, thank you :) I see the English title is 'Pretty stories and funny pictures' which seems quite amusing in itself given the gory details! In my experience, children love picturebooks that are a little bit shocking in their humour, violence or irreverence. I found a pdf of a Routledge...

  • And those universal themes will be an effective way of connecting diverse peoples, thanks for sharing those titles Nicole.

  • @NicoleV That is wonderful to hear Nicole, inspiring :)

  • @SarahA I would imagine that there are many people who underestimate the challenge of writing a picturebook, would you agree Sarah? People sometimes think short is easy, and that anything leaning toward children is somehow inferior too. As you say, this is an intricate pairing and every word and brush stroke counts :)

  • Would you consider the process is similar in the USA Nicole, and that all publishers approach it in a standard way? Do you have a favourite (iconic) series of books that all children grow up with and that people can often quote at length? I wonder what the equivalent might be in America - and I imagine there would be quite a few to choose from too :)

  • I have recently interviewed a publisher who explained that she helps the authors and illustrators to collaborate, and they make decisions between the three of them so that the book is a truly negotiated and collective effort.

  • That's a shame Nicole, do go and seek out the books, they are world famous :) Here is a YouTube clip of the original book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8eGWfE4l9g

  • Yes, the interaction with others around a favourite topic is a wonderful way to learn isn't it Clare. Far more social and less transmissive. Discussion is also one of my favourite ways of learning :)

  • Thanks Sarah, it is fun sharing favourite books with others :)

  • That sounds like an amazing collection Clare! How many picturebooks do you estimate you have? Are there particular categories you look for? I look forward to hearing more and to reading what you share about your collection as the course goes on :)

  • Paul also made an excellent point about the difficulty of travelling to access food. I thought of this today, as I subscribe to a newsletter for volunteers in my region. Today I see there is a listing asking for volunteers to support people who have issues with accessing food by delivering it to their doorstep. There are roles for people to deliver hot meals...

  • @PaulKamill That was a wonderful read Paul, thank you for sharing it. Expensive technology is not 'the' solution, after all there is no single solution. We often find answers to problems by referring to indigenous thinking.

  • I am very interested in what clothing companies are doing for carbon credits, and in that respect I admire Kathmandu, while another favourite is AllBirds: https://www.allbirds.co.nz/pages/sustainable-practices

  • @PaulKamill Yes, absolutely. As Lynda suggests, in Aotearoa NZ supermarkets are definitely a problem. Two companies own pretty much all the supermarkets in the nation (hence, duopoly). This year supermarkets have been challenged to change. There has been a very slight shift, so now the government is stepping in. I read a news article just this weekend related...

  • @PaulKamill Yes, while I know better than to assume such universal access to digital technologies, I am mindful that this relates to other SDGs re equity, and the UN proclaimed internet access as a human right more than a decade before the SDGs.

  • This resonates with me. I completely agree - there is much to learn and much to gain by eliminating needless waste. Everyone has a part to play. I also see this as one of the simplest and least controversial of changes, so a pretty good place to start.

  • @StephanieC @GailAdams-Hutcheson Sounds like a challenge for enviroschools :) https://enviroschools.org.nz/

  • @JudithD This reminds me of the 1000 paper cranes of Sadoko Sasaki from Hiroshima, and the statues that commemorate that. I used to read the story to my students when I was a primary school teacher (in Auckland), and we would fold origami cranes and talk about nuclear war. As a child of the 70s, it was one of my biggest fears. I suspect climate change is of...

  • @GailAdams-Hutcheson I suspect tourists and children will also notice and pay attention, which perpetuates the same messages.

  • Impediments to inclusion in the city I live in would include crime, violence, socio-economic disparity, and accessibility overall. As a middle-aged woman, I do feel both more invisible and safer than I used to. As a mother of young white men, I worry constantly about their safety in the city, largely due to reckless behaviour - their own and others.

  • Where are you based Angela? I live in the city of Hamilton, in New Zealand :) It sounds as if your estimate of 50% inclusive suggests you see as many impediments to inclusion as you do examples of inclusion. Have I understood correctly? I wonder what our cities have in common.

  • Kia ora Jan, the educators do log in every now and then. We have a regular schedule in fact. There are no laggards, the course is on rolling enrolments. The interaction with other participants is important too. Ngā mihi, Dianne

  • @JuliannaSilvester That is a lovely tradition you have established Julianna :)

  • This summer I visited Nelson (Aotearoa NZ) for the first time in many years, and saw community gardens. I haven't been able to find out too much about them except that the gardens are planted and tended by local volunteers. It was incredible to walk through a park and to see food growing in public spaces.

  • As with feijoas in my street in Hamilton :)

  • The admin costs alone would be a compelling reason to ditch the cumbersome (and degrading) processes. Thankfully, at schools in our local area, children who do not have lunch can go to the office and get a lunch via the Ka Ora, Ka Ako scheme (a govt initiative), without a fuss. This is not new to much of the world, where children routinely are fed at school,...

  • I wonder if another contribution to the problem is the lack of facilities for storing and preparing food. For example, with the housing shortage in Aotearoa NZ, not everyone has a kitchen with a fridge (let alone a freezer) or cooking facilities to prepare meals. If people are grabbing whatever they can, there is a tendency to go for foods that need less prep...

  • Kia ora Judith, we do that here in Aotearoa NZ too :) Another idea that both the UK and NZ (and no doubt other countries) use is food apps like Olio: https://olioex.com/
    I wasn't aware this was in NZ until I searched it up just now. However, I had heard of its use in the UK via a Facebook group I follow called 'Feed your family on a budget'. I've always...

  • I think my home is an important site to reflect on SDGs as it is one area where I may have some small measure of control and influence. As Mohamed and John suggest, we can start small and make positive change incrementally. How we live is at the heart of this, as John suggests. As my youngest son has recently left home, I can see that what happens in my home...

  • Carey highlights the need for inclusive education, thoughtful design of physical environments, and housing as a human right, among other factors. I appreciated listening and learning. The main reflections that come to mind for me are that mainstream education requires adequate resourcing to cater for diverse needs. One aspect that resonates with me is the need...

  • Hi John, I am enjoying reading and engaging with your comments :) I suspect democracy functions differently in various parts of the world, and I am not knowledgeable about the UK context. In NZ, our system (in terms of voting and parliamentary representation) is mixed-member proportional (MMP). I think we used to have the UK's FFP in the past, but not since...

  • This is similar to the Tiriti o Waitangi and cultural considerations in many ways in that it comes down to consultation and power. People with disabilities need to have voices and choices to self-determine - the agency referred to above. Steps to inclusion therefore might entail realising that people need to have a say and have decision making power. I notice...

  • Kia ora Gail, I see many similarities in our approaches. I'd like to share one challenge for me, one trade-off for me, and a note of encouragement :)
    - My biggest challenge is packaging! Like you, I recycle packaging but there is too much of it to begin with, and I don't know how to reduce it. Suggestions welcome.
    - My trade off is that I can and do buy in...

  • yes, supply chain issues are a big factor, and there is a history of food being dumped by primary producers in order to drive up prices. I remember as a teenager realising that there was enough food to 'feed the world' (a song lyric and slogan of the time), but that global inequalities and a preoccupation with profit was getting in the way.

  • This has been very enlightening! At a household level, one thing I know about food waste is that children can be raised to make an individual difference. I feel physically uncomfortable about wasting food as my Mother was very frugal (Scots, solo-parent, resourceful). I see parts of this reflected in my son, showing generational influence and giving hope. The...

  • @GailAdams-Hutcheson I love those! One of my favourite brands is 'the odd bunch' (https://www.countdown.co.nz/helping-you-save/the-odd-bunch)

  • Yes, definitely the case with incentives, reminding me again of human motivation and the WIIFM factor in marketing (what's in it for me). The current selection of produce in my garden is driven by the price of some of our favourite vegetables. Also excellent news about the uptake of EVs as the sooner second-hand ones are available, the sooner my family might...

  • Reasons for action being hampered or slow are many and varied, but might include factors such as people being overwhelmed - problems that seem insurmountable lead to feelings of hopelessness/helplessness, and this is a basic tenet of human motivation. People need to see progress to stay motivated. It also helps when people see their neighbours doing their bit...

  • Yes, I think that is a very good point and a clever example John. I also think there would be resistance in some quarters to teaching children how to live without meat (for example) as this would be seen as pushing a particular agenda. It seems to me that many people simply do not like being told what to do, particularly if it challenges the way they have...

  • @GailAdams-Hutcheson Lots of links between Te Tiriti and the SDGs, as they are both a basis for equity, peace, and care for the environment/whenua as a taonga. Goals around poverty, health and decent work shed light on how much work there is still to do to honour Te Tiriti in principle and in practice.

  • It has been useful to spend some time digging deeper into the complexity of the goals

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi (i Te Reo Māori) is useful as a reminder of rights and responsibilities. It is now an integral part of educational policy, including the NZ curriculum and professional code of conduct for teachers in Aotearoa NZ. Te Tiriti reminds us of the status of Tangata Whenua, and of the rights to sovereignty. Te Tiriti also gives non-Māori the right...

  • Perhaps a way forward might be to invite indigenous peoples to revise the framework, in light of indigenous priorities and worldviews. Each of the SDGs could be reconceptualised through indigenous lenses, and a new set of "targets" might result.

  • The SDGs emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion tends to be culturally responsive. However, as a set of shared goals, there will be clashes between cultures and SDGs - as notions of gender equality, education, and peace, for example, are complex and not universal across cultures. Culture matters as it influences how the SDGs are interpreted, prioritised...

  • @MarkGray I think you have encapsulated this very clearly Mark, as the example you have used resonates with me. How to balance the trade-off between competing priorities, when there is always an opportunity cost. I wonder if a potential way forward is with the innovation in SDG9 that might help us to identify new ways of combating hunger without depleting...

  • How is balance across the goals measured and celebrated? e.g., if/when a country finds an innovative way of progressing multiple goals simultaneously without a backward slip on any other goals. It seems to me that measurement of progress might be an issue/problem, as with the example of how we measure quality education (which is a far broader goal than exam...

  • I would imagine the MDGs aimed to start with those most at need. Post 2015 there is a shift to a global partnership, and to ensuring everyone has a role to play in progressing the SDGs. The SDGs are more about fundamental change by all, rather than the wealthy making a donation while continuing to live in much the same way as before.

  • For me, education is a key driver as it can be mobilised to assist in progressing all of the goals - for individuals, communities, and globally. At its heart, the UN's vision of education is about equity, inclusion, and lifelong learning. This is how we will develop knowledge that will help us to solve big problems. Education can empower people, and help us to...

  • Kia ora kōrua, and ngā mihi ki a koutou, I am a teacher educator and digital learning enthusiast from the same institution as Gail and Lynda. I am interested in learning more about all aspects of sustainability. My involvement to date has mainly been around the goal of quality education for all. I am inspired by the emphasis on interaction, reflection, and...

  • I remember The Best Loved Bear from my son's early childhood :)

  • A lovely example Sandra, thank you for sharing. I would imagine the book would also help English language speakers to learn Korean

  • Āe, and so is NZ Sign Language, and picturebooks that use NZSL are also available :)

  • Fantastic Karen, thank you for recommending the course :) We are taking turns at checking in each week and we so enjoy engaging with participants on the course, so keeping the interaction going would be great. The course is going to be available for for some years in fact, and we are also generating new content for it - including an interview with a publisher,...