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The Pennsylvania Education Association has begun a statewide effort to help teachers cope with the problem of classroom discipline.

In workshop sessions across the state, some 100 trained teachers have been helping their colleagues master techniques of handling disruptive students with a minimum of confrontation--by avoiding, for example, inflammatory gestures and language.

The program (called least) has won praise from the teachers who have used it.

For more information about least, contact Roger Erskine, Pennsylvania Education Association, 400 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg, PA 17105, (717) 255-7053.

Teachers are playing a leading role in improving the image of the Rochester, N.Y., public schools through a new program called "Dial-A-Teacher."

Sponsored by the Rochester Teachers Association and modeled after a similar federally funded project in New York City, the "homework hotline" enables students in grades 4-8 in the Rochester public schools to get help with their homework after school by calling one of six practicing teachers who are paid $12 an hour by the teacher organization to staff a phone bank three days a week from 4 P.M. to 7 P.M.

Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester teachers' group, said the homework hotline has brought parents and teachers closer together and has proven an effective public-relations device for teachers and the schools.

The city's transit authority recently agreed to offer free advertisements for the program in each of its buses.

For more information on the Dial-A-Teacher program, contact: Adam Urbanski, Rochester Teachers Association, 277 Alexander Street, Rochester, N.Y. 14607, (716) 546-2681.

Indiana University is offering a four-week summer institute for middle- and high-school humanities teachers in Indiana and adjacent states who want to include world religion in their curriculum.

Run by the university's religious-studies department, the program brings 30 teachers to the campus for an intensive, expense-paid immersion in Eastern and Western religions.

In addition to room, board, and tuition, participants in the institute, which is now in its fifth year, receive stipends for books and travel.

Teachers earn six graduate credits for their work, and they are expected to produce a three-week curriculum unit for use in their own classrooms during the following school year. In addition, the units are published and exchanged by the participants and are made available on request to other teachers throughout the state.

Applications are required for admission, but previous knowledge of world religions is not necessary, says Director Stephen J. Stein.

For more information, write to the Indiana Religious Studies Project, Indiana University, Sycamore Hall, Room 230, Bloomington, Ind. 47405, (812) 335-7086.

Thomas Toch

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