Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIRED FOR WEIRD


“ Belief in the paranormal arises from the same brain mechanisms that shape most human thought”
By: Richard Wiseman
Published: Scientific American Mind, the January – February 2012 issue
To access the article copy paste the following:
http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038/scientificamericanmind0112-52
Level of Difficulty: ****
BEFORE YOU READ
1.       Do you believe in ghosts? If so have you seen any?
2.       Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
3.       Do you experience telepathy?
4.       What are your views on all the above?
QUESTIONS
1.       What has led psychologists to actually study belief in the paranormal?
2.       What surprising fact have scientists discovered concerning belief in the paranormal?
3.       What does the phrase “this pattern” refer to? Explain in your own words.
4.       Read paragraphs 6 and 7 which describe dream precognition carefully. What conclusion did scientists reach as a result of their study?
5.       The reason why the patients with rheumatoid arthritis connect increased pain with the weather is the fact that …………………………………………………………………………………………………
The reason for the above is the fact that ………………………………………………………………………All the above means that the idea of a connection between dreams and real life is …………………………..
6.       Psychologist Fritz Heider and Mary Ann Simmel stated that “almost anyone has the capacity to perceive intentions and purpose where none exist”. On what do they base this opinion use your own words.
7.       Read paragraphs 13 and 14 of the text carefully. The reason why the 1000 people who sent in photos of ghosts claimed to have actually photographed them was down to a process called ……………………………………. ; a normal process with evolutionary value which ………………………….
8.       It is stated in the text that there may be a possible unifying theory for belief in ghosts, precognition, telepathy and the like. What is this theory? Be very precise and to the point.
9.       According to Brugger, those who don’t undergo seemingly supernatural happenings might have a more dominant ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
10.   Three tests are described in paragraph 18. Now try them yourself. Read the conclusion of the experiment. Are you right or left dominant? What does this tell you about the kind of person you are?
11.   Now read the little section “How to See a Ghost”. Try the experiment and describe what happens to your friends.
12.   Do the writer's views correspond with  Brugger’s findings? How do you know?

WIRED FOR WEIRD KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
 This is one of those science texts that are simply impossible to resist: the scientific reasons behind ghosts, telepathy and the paranormal? Come on you must be dying to try it. The beauty is that there are experiments in the text that you can try in class. I couldn’t think of a writing task; let me know if you come up with one. You can hardly write a reaction essay to scientific fact.
1.       The sheer ubiquity of these experiences.
2.       We are all wired for weird.
3.       Possible answer: Thinking that they had discovered one way to test paranormal activity to discover it didn’t work and seeking another.
4.       We generally remember the dreams that come true better than those that don’t.
5.       The subjects had focused on the times when high levels of pain were associated with…; we sometimes see patterns where non exist which is largely a side effect of our normal reasoning; a false positive result.
6.       Open ended but must adhere to the content of the text.
7.       Pareidolia; can spiral out of control or can become hyper active
8.       People differ in the extent to which they rely on the two hemispheres of their brain thus making them…
9.       The left hemisphere.
10.    Open ended but enjoy the discussionJ
11.   Open ended. Have them describe what happens.
12.   Yes. The last paragraph.


A FEELING FOR THE PAST


“Emotion engraves the brain with vivid recollections but cleverly distorts your brain’s record of what actually took place.”
By Ingfei Chen
Published: Scientific American Mind; the January – February 2012 issue
To access the article, copy paste the following:
http://www.nature.com/scientificamericanmind/journal/v22/n6/full/scientificamericanmind0112-24.html
Level of Difficulty: *****
Note to the reader: I have, thus far, only based my reading tasks on articles which are readily available free of charge on the internet. I have decided to make an exception in the case of this magazine as it is so very, very good. I strongly advise you to subscribe. Alternatively, you will need to pay a small fee to access the article.
BEFORE YOU READ
1.       Think of a traumatic event from your past. How clearly do you remember it? How sure are you that your recollection is correct?
2.       Now think of a pleasant event from your past. How clearly do you remember it? How sure are you that your recollection is correct?
3.       Now describe a typical day, say five years ago, how clearly do you remember it? What do you think the reasons are?
QUESTIONS
1.       Imagine you were in Gölcük during the earthquake in August 1999. How clearly would you feel you remembered the events of that terrible night? Would you be right in your opinion? What are these types of memories called?
2.       What surprising fact is expressed in the text concerning flashbulb memories?
3.       Is the fact that “emotion edits and sculpts the particulars of what we recall” an advantage or a disadvantage? Why?
4.       Laboratory experiments have proved that …………………………… is far less likely to be remembered. What, in your view, is the reason for this?
5.       Read on until the end of paragraph 9 carefully. Which are could be dubbed first in command? Which area follows cues from the command center? These two areas are functional in the case of memories involving …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
6.       What general conclusion can we draw from paragraphs 7, 8 and 9?
7.       Read the experiment described in paragraph 10 carefully. Which memory did the subjects remember with greater clarity? What quality of flashbulb memories was documented as a result?
8.       Read the information concerning Hirst’s studies. What conclusion did Hirst reach concerning the glaring inaccuracies? What accounts for the greater accuracy concerning neutral facts?
9.       What does the phrase “That trade off” at the beginning of paragraph 16 refer to and what is the reason for the phenomenon?
10.   What does the phrase “That idea” in paragraph 17 refer to? What proof does the author put forward as support?
11.   There are two basic differences between the way uplifting memories and scary memories are preserved. They are: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
12.   Read the studies reported in paragraph 19 carefully. The difference in recall observed between older and younger adults seems to be due to …………………………………………… This fact proves that ……………………………………………. also affect what you remember.
13.   Read paragraphs 20 and 21 where Payne and Rensinger’s study is described.
14.   What enables the brain to successfully deal with bad memories during sleep?
15.   Chronic anxiety, reoccurring nightmares of post traumatic stress disorder and depression are aggravated by insomnia if …………………………………………………………………………….. ( Be specific)
16.   In what practical instance in daily life might accurate recall be important?
17.   At the beginning of paragraph 25, the writer poses a question: why emotion infuses our memories with such a supreme yet misplaced confidence. What is the answer? Has evolution got it wrong?
18.   Achieving more accurate memory is possible with the use of various techniques. They are:
19.   Read the experiment conducted by Jasmeet Pannu Hayes. Do his findings prove or disprove the above findings?
20.   What are the future implications of the new research into memory?

A FEELING FOR THE PAST KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This text is a fascinating piece of writing explaining how our memories work and how inaccurate they, in fact, are. The text goes on to explain the reasons for this state of affairs with a series of interesting experiments explaining the process and the evolutionary basis step by step. I have fallen in love with Scientific American Mind so I suggest you subscribe as I have done. Another point, texts out of this publication will prepare students for the proficiency exam as well. Enjoy.
1.       You would feel they were searing memories; you would be wrong; flashbulb memories.
2.       Memories forged under strong emotions distort considerably even though, paradoxically, they seem so vivid that we hold a misguided confidence in their fidelity.
3.       An advantage because the most crucial knowledge for surviving life’s challenges is preserved.
4.       Neutral information; open ended
5.       The amygdale, the hippocampus; positive events or pleasant recollections.
6.       Rather than being limited to a few key regions, emotional memory processes are much more complex than we thought.
7.       The memory of 9/11; the sense of enhanced vividness and inflated confidence that we have in the accuracy, this sense that I will never forget.
8.       We tend to reconstruct our emotional past in a way that is consistent with the way we currently are emotionally reacting; societal memory practices.
9.       Their memory for that emotional item – the snake – actually seems to be coming at the cost of their memory for the context; the way an emotionally arousing object grabs your attention.
10.   Whatever dominates your mind ends up in the memory banks; in seemingly contradictory studies, scientists have observed participants showing stronger memory for neutral details in an emotional scene
11.   Uplifting memories differ in the type of information that is preserved. Scary memories fire up the brain’ sensory processing regions; happy memories are prone to more distortions in accuracy and confidence.
12.   Older adults’ active management of their emotions by paying less attention to negative things; age and personality.
13.   Sleep selectively preserves only the emotional aspect of the scene.
14.   The lack of arousal inducing stress hormones specially norodreanaline.
15.   During slumber, he theorizes, the brain…
16.   Eye-witness testimony in court.
17.   Memory evolved to help prepare us for an unpredictable future.
18.   Making an effort to actually now focus on non emotional things that might be important, putting a positive spin on a bad situation OR cognitive reappraisal.
19.   It proves it.
20.   It could be used for the treatment of various psychological disorders

TRYING TO FORGET


“The ability to let go of thoughts and remembrances supports a sound state of mind, a sharp intellect and an even superior memory”
By: Ingrid Wickelgren
Published: Scientific American Mind, the January – February 2012 issue
To access the article, copy paste the following:
 http://www.nature.com/scientificamericanmind/journal/v22/n6/full/scientificamericanmind0112-32.html
Level of Difficulty: *****
Note to the reader: This task, like the others out of this magazine, is only available to subscribers. I have made an effort to avoid such material on principle but have made an exception for this magazine as it is so very, very good. I suggest you subscribe like I have done. You won’t regret it. Alternatively, you will need to pay a small fee to get access to the article.
BEFORE YOU READ
It is suggested that you watch “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” either on your own before tackling the text or as a class and discuss it before attempting the reading task. The significance will astound you.
QUESTIONS
1.       Read the story of Solomon Shereshevsky. Why exactly did he wish to forget?
2.       What seems to be the problem with our memories?
3.       How can the above problem be overcome?
4.       What conclusion can we draw from the three advantages of repression listed in paragraph 5?
5.       What view concerning repression did Robert A. Bjorg challenge? What argument did he put forward?
6.       What is the advantage of retrieval induced forgetting?
7.       What role does the prefrontal cortex play in forgetting?
8.       Read Anderson’s experiment carefully. In which respect did the conclusions Anderson reached fit in with Freud’s views? In which respect did they contradict Freud’s views?
9.       While the act of forgetting was observed to trigger ………………………………….. in the ……………………………………. ; the act of remembering triggered ………………………… in the ………………………………………. according to John Gabrielli’s experiment.
10.   List the three stages through which the brain goes in order to suppress emotional memories. Be brief and to the point.
11.   What are the two techniques the brain employs in order to forget? Which is more affective? How do you know?
12.   There is a …………………………….. correlation between the inability to forget and rumination and possibly depression.
13.   What groundbreaking discovery did Depue’s group make concerning ADHD?
14.   What surprising connection did Anderson and Bell discover concerning retaining information?
15.   Why do children and older adults have greater difficulties getting over traumatic or distressing events in life?
16.   What is the phrase “if only” in paragraph 25 a response to?
17.   What practical advice does Bauml have to offer the public?
18.   Read the study conducted by Justin Hulbert and Brice Kuhl. What conclusion was reached as a result of their observations?
19.   What important finding concerning depression did Hertel, Jutta Joormann and their colleagues make?
20.   Does Tomlinson agree or disagree with the methods described so far? What does she advocate?
21.   What are the two future applications of the research discussed thus far?

WRITING TASK
Write a reaction essay to the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Support your views with information from the text.

TRYING TO FORGET KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
I have, on principle, based the reading tasks I have posted thus far on texts that are readily available on the internet. I am, however, making an exception in the case of Scientific American Mind which is a treasure trove of invaluable reading material. There is a limit to how far you can insist on principlesJ Both you and your students will benefit from subscribing to the magazine. Alternatively, you will need to pay a small fee to access the articles. It will be worth it though; you have my word!

1.       The weight of all the memories, piled up and overlapping in his brain created crippling confusion. Shortest answer.
2.       The irrelevant stuff comes to mind.
3.       There is evidence for our ability to willfully forget.
4.       Memory – and forgetting – can shape your personality.
5.       People tend to block out negative emotions as a defense mechanism, individuals need to revisit these memories to promote psychological recovery; the purpose of forgetting is to prevent thoughts no longer needed from interfering with the handling of current information.
6.       It eliminates or tones down memories that are most likely to obstruct more important thoughts.
7.       Many areas of the prefrontal cortex are inhibitory; they calm the activities of neurons in other areas of the brain. Some of these same inhibitory neurons could work on memory.
8.       The brain can tamp down unwanted memories; although Freud thought unwanted memories came back to haunt us, new data indicate that people can make such recollections fade.
9.       Diminished activity; hippocampus; more activity; hippocampus
10.   The visual cortex goes silent, both the amygdale and the hippompus  quiet down,  the prefrontal cortex tries to minimize the emotions still clinging to it.
11.   Suppression, thought substitution; suppression because the brain signal that marks the moment of forgetting within half a second.
12.   Positive.
13.   ADHD seems to involve diminished control over memory as well as actions. This short fall opens the door to distracting thoughts that can disrupt efforts to concentrate.
14.   Keeping things in mind is related to keeping things out of mind. OR The individuals who could remember the most words were also the best forgetters.
15.   Because forgetting is more difficult for them
16.   If only Howard could make all the mess, sadness, phobias go away.
17.   When you enter a situation that is likely to trigger difficult memories, think about the need to put these out of mind ahead of time
18.   Practicing suppression over years might also make you better at it.
19.   Those who are depressed cannot just push away unwanted memories; they may need to actively replace them.
20.   No, action because it interferes with recollections.
21.   To parlay some kind of forgetting into treatments for mood disorders including depression, post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorders. It will also help crack the code of consciousness.

Friday, August 17, 2012

RE – CREATING THE REAL WORLD


“To what extent do we truly experience reality?”
By: Bruce Hood
Published: Scientific American Mind; the September – October 2012 issue;http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=re-creating-the-real-world 
Level of Difficulty: ***
BEFORE YOU READ
It is suggested you watch the film The Matrix either at home before tackling the text or better still, as a class, and discuss it. You will be amazed when you discover the significance.
QUESTIONS
1.       What is the implied similarity between what takes place in The Matrix and the workings of our minds? You will need to tweak the text!
2.       What does the phrase “These findings” in paragraph 3 refer to and what conclusion can we draw from this?
3.       What conclusion can we draw from the views of Plato and Descartes expressed in the text?
4.       What conclusion as to the workings of the mind was reached as a result of the studies by Hermann Helmholttz and Richard Gregory?
5.       Read the story of the Ames room and look at the picture. What is the reason for the brain’s misinterpretation?
6.       Why does the moon seem larger on the horizon than it does in the sky? There are two possible answers; find them both.
7.       What is the ultimate aim of the male bower bird’s specific arrangement of stones and shells?
8.       The habituation of the visual cells that perceived motion in the original direction and the continued activity of the cells processing motion in the opposite direction combine to form what is known as …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
9.       What does “this initial discovery in paragraph fourteen refer to?
10.   The brain reacts to both …………………………………. and ……………………………………. in the same way according to Villayannur S. Ramachandran. You will need to teak the text!
11.   What was the surprising result of Thor Endedstad’s study?
12.   Which sentence in the concluding paragraph best summarizes the overall conclusion to the text?
RE – CREATING THE REAL WORLD KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This is one of those science texts that is guaranteed to appeal to just about anyone in terms of content. I rate it as top notch. Another advantage is that the questions it lends itself to  are relatively straight forward – I did try believe you me but I couldn’t get up to my usual tricks. My feeling is that it will fly but take the laptop to class to show them pictures of the experiments; it is much more affective that way. You will have a lot of fun.
  1. In both cases human minds run on virtual reality.
  2. There is neural activity in the brain underlying – or corresponding to – several types of illusory perceptions; we are perpetually recreating the world around us using the matrix inside our head.
  3. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have floated the idea that the mind creates its own version of its surroundings.
  4. The world does not passively impose itself on our mind; it has to be actively interpreted.
  5. The room is a trapezoid.
  6. On the horizon, the eyes compare its size with known landmarks, whereas the sky contains no such visual landmarks. The brain calibrates its estimates of the size of objects using other features of the environment.
  7. To capture the female’s attention long enough for the male to enter the bower and mate.
  8. Motion after-effect.
  9. The activity of endstopped cells causes the brain to interpret the illusory boundaries as real.
  10. Real motion, illusory motion.
  11. The subjective interpretation of brightness – not actual luminance – governs the pupils’ constriction.
  12. As far as the brain is concerned, if an event is an illusion, it might as well be real.

BUILDING BETTER BRAINS


“Recent studies indicate that some types of brain training can make you smarter”
By: John Janides, Susanne M. Jeaggi, Martin Buschkuehl and Pritty Shah
Level of Difficulty: *****
BEFORE YOU READ
1.       What activities could boost intelligence in your view?
2.       Can you think of lifestyles or activities that would have the reverse effect?
QUESTIONS
1.       What does the phrase “The very notion” in paragraph two refer to?
2.       One individual in the research lab stated that he could “plan further ahead”. What does this fact prove?
3.       The fact that SAT scores have increased steadily even though the genetic constitution of the population has not proves that ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
4.       Working memory is described as one of the key components of fluid intelligence. Why, exactly, is this so?
5.       What does the phrase “This pattern” refer to and what conclusion can we draw from this fact?
6.       The basic duties performed by the prefrontal cortex makes it possible to ………………………………
7.       What two facts instigated a closer look at executive function as a way to improve intelligence?
8.       What surprising ways of training intelligence are provided in the text? Try and explain in your own words why they work.
9.       Why was the n-back test considered a good way to help increase intelligence?
10.   What was the reasoning behind tailoring the training program as the subjects’ ability changed over time?
11.   What is the basic difference between memory training and calibrated n-back training?
12.   Which group of children in the 2008 study witnessed increases in fluid intelligence? Why do you think this was so?
13.   What conclusion can we draw from the information provided in paragraph fourteen?
14.   There seems to be a negative correlation between prolonged n-back training and neural activity. What is the reason for this?
15.   What does the phrase this conditioning in paragraph sixteen” refer to and why is it significant?
16.   Why is making people more important so important according to the text?

WRITING TASK
What kind of activities would you devise both at home and at school to improve intelligence in youngsters? What practices would you ban? Support your opinions with information from the text.

BUILDING BETTER BRAINS KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This text is a seriously academic yet very interesting text which I decided to include to ring the changes in class. The students need to be exposed to more serious academic stuff as well so see what you think.
1.       An exercise to stretch memory, tighten attention and increase intelligence…
2.       Subjects can increase their IQ scores after training.
3.       Environmental variables can also either brighten or beleaguer minds.
4.       Working memory keeps vital information at the ready so that other parts of the brain can tap it to solve problems.
5.       As training progresses, the brain regions taxed by working memory become less active as if they become more efficient in their functioning; this pattern suggests that our program leaves the brain better primed to perform a wide array of tasks.
6.     Form plans,  make decisions, spot errors and break habits.
7.       The group who had practiced the working memory based intervention saw a lessening of some of their symptoms; they also raised their scores on a well established measure of fluid intelligence.
8.       Musical instruction board and card games, video games like Rise of Nations.  Open ended.
9.       Because it encourages you to juggle several pieces of information in your head, shifting attention from one to the other.
10.   Excluding the possibility that the subjects might simply improve by virtue of repetition or by developing specific strategies and habits. OR to make sure they thought on their feet.
11.   In memory training, the skill improves, overall intelligence stays the same. Calibrated n-back training targets many aspects of our reasoning skills.
12.   Those who practiced the revised version of the n-back task. Because there was more active mental involvement than passively receiving (Possible).
13.   N-back training renders people more psychologically conservative over time.
14.   Working memory training, it seems, leads to more efficient brain activation.
15. The parts of the brain that become more efficient through training are left better prepared for the task   N-back training leads to improvements on different working memory tasks and general intelligence tests; the effects induced by these activities can outlast the training period.
16.   It might help them to lead healthier, happier lives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TREATING A TOXIN TO LEARNING


“Stress may be silently sabotaging success in school. Its effects are especially potent for children in poverty.”
By: Clancy Blair
Published: Scientific American Mind, the September – October 2012 issue
To access the article, copy paste the following:
http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038/scientificamericanmind0912-64
Level of Difficulty: ****
BEFORE YOU READ
1.       Why do you think children from more deprived backgrounds do more badly at school? Make a note of the reasons you come up with so that you can use them in the writing task at the end.
QUESTIONS
1.       Read the first paragraph. What does the first sentence have in common with the last one? Why?
2.       What does the word insidious mean in your view?
3.       The writer states that “poverty adversely effects children’s ability to perform well in school”. This is the case because……………………………………………………………………………… Be precise.
4.       To what extent does the writer agree with the current explanation why children from lower income households do worse at school? How do you know?
5.       What are the three broad categories of stressors that negatively affect specific learning abilities in children?
6.       What effect of stress on the brain specifically impacts future academic success?
7.       The kind of effect stress has on the brain is closely linked to ……………………………………………..
8.       The brain’s reaction to stress is a learnt response. True or False? Support your answer with information from the text.
9.       Read the experiment conducted at Pen State carefully. What pattern of cortisol release was observed in children with poor executive function? What further indication of stress was noted during the study?
10.   According to the text, the …………………. The cortisol levels, the ……………………………. the executive function and academic ability.
11.   What misguided parenting style do poor parents practice? Why?
12.   What overall conclusion was reached as a result of the first stage of the study involving 1292 children?
13.   Read the conclusion to the article. How optimistic is the writer? How do you know?

WRITING TASK
Discuss the process through which stressors negatively impact learning abilities in children. Use the points below and any others you feel are relevant.
*The stresses that accompany low income
* Challenging family circumstances
* Learning Disabilities
*Negative parenting
*Chaotic and poorly run classrooms
* An impoverished learning environment at home
 TREATING A TOXIN TO LEARNING KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This brilliant text reaches various conclusions concerning learning ability which I am sure many of you, like myself, have also reached over the years. I was interested to see that what I instinctively believed, in fact, had a scientific basis. The writing task is closely linked to the text and will therefore enable more in depth understanding of the text.
1.       They both summarize the paragraph. The first is the topic sentence and expresses an opinion. What follows is the support where the writer proves her point. So naturally the concluding statement echoes the topic sentence.
2.       Harmful.
3.       Stress, which affects thinking skills, thrives in difficult situations. Best answer! Have a little think why. Alternatively, stress thrives in difficult situations and effects thinking skills.
4.       She partly agrees. This theory is, at best, half the story.
5.       The stresses that accompany low income, challenging family circumstances, learning disabilities.
6.       Its influences on the neural connections in the prefrontal cortex. Minimum.
7.       The dose
8.       True. Overtime, the brain circuits that control stress hormone levels are shaped by experience…
9.       Sustained high level or a blunted response; their teachers also rated them as more aggressive and lacking in self control.
10.   The higher, the lower.
11.   They elicit obedience through discipline; due to the realities of their situation and their own high levels of stress.
12.   Parenting style shapes the developing stress response pattern.
13.   Quite optimistic. We are encouraged by the possibility that…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AUSTRALIA'S STRATEGY


AUSTRALIA’S STRATEGY
By: George Friedman
Published: May 22, 2012; http://stratfor.com and http://finance.townhall.com . Alternatively, you can just Google the title and author’s name.
Level of Difficulty: ***
Suggestion: It is suggested that you read up on Australia or seek out some related videos to enable deeper understanding of the context. Also, make notes of the major points as you read.
QUESTIONS
1.       In paragraph one, the writer states “This has not been the case”. What has happened?
2.       Australia’s situation in most of the wars it has fought has been very different from other countries at war in that ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
3.       What misconception concerning Australia do we need to disabuse ourselves of?
4.       At the beginning of paragraph four, the writer says “This leads to Australia’s strategic problem”. What exactly leads to Australia’s strategic problem?
5.       Australia’s economy is heavily dependent on ……………………………………………………………………….
6.       Why was Australia allied with first the UK and then the US?
7.       By what means can Australia guarantee that the major world power in question will, in fact, keep the sea lanes safe under all circumstances?
8.       What are the two major characteristics of global powers? What are the reasons for each of the above characteristics?
9.       The ultimate reason why Australia entered the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars was to ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
10.   Entering WW2 served two additional purposes for Australia. They were ………………………………..
11.   What does this strategy at the beginning of paragraph 14 refer to and what were the underlying reasons?
12.   In the end, Australia decided against pursuing the above strategy for three main reasons. They were ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
13.   One of Australia’s foreign policy options is high risk, the other is low risk. Which is which?
14.   In the introduction of the article the writer posed a question as to why Australia had been involved in so many wars. What answer does he now provide?
WRITING TASK
Use the notes you made while reading to write a one paragraph summary of the text.
AUSTRALIA’S STRATEGY KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This is another of Mr. Friedman’s beautifully organized texts. In the introduction, he poses a question and in the development, he analyzes the issue. The conclusion ties back tidily to the introduction and answers the question. This wonderful structure screams summary so that is the writing task. Remember that the writing task is also a brilliant reading activity and must not be skipped.
  1. Australia has been involved in many wars. OR: since 1900 Australia has… OR: Australia has been at war…
  2. In only one of the wars it fought, WW 2, was its internal security directly threatened.
  3. That its isolation makes it secure.
  4. The fact that without trade, Australia could not have sustained its economic development and reached the extraordinary high standard of living it has.
  5. Its sea lanes not being cut or disrupted.
  6. Because Australia’s dependence on maritime trade means that it can never simply oppose countries …
  7. By making the major power dependent on it.
  8. Global maritime powers are continually involved in conflict; global power always seeks allies. / Global interests increase the probability of friction, global power spawns fear; political reasons and military reasons.
  9. To induce the US to guarantee Australia’s interests.
  10. The preservation of an international system that served Australia, protecting itself from Japan.
  11. Limiting Australia’s exposure to US demands while cementing its relationship with its primary customers. / China was the rising power and was essential to Australia’s interests because of its imports; the price of its relationship with the US was high.
  12. Japan shifted its behavior and its appetite for Australian goods stagnated; China is in the midst of an economic slowdown; the sea lanes are under the control of the US.
  13. High risk: committing to Asia in general and China in particular; Low risk: choosing a relationship with the US.
  14. Australia’s wealth is not as secure as it seems.