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Bard College in upstate New York has been given two large foundation grants to establish an Institute for Writing and Thinking. A major objective of the institute will be to help teachers teach writing.

The Booth Ferris Foundation and the Ford Foundation have made grants of $375,000 and $145,000, respectively, to support the institute. It will include, in addition to the program for teachers, a library and an information clearinghouse on the teaching of writing and thinking skills. It will also house the liberal-arts college's two-year-old summer workshop in language and thinking for college freshmen.

The program for teachers will begin with two weekend workshops, on Nov. 6 and 7 and Dec. 4 and 5.

Approximately 40 teachers will work with four Bard faculty members who have taught in the college's summer workshop, an innovative program that stresses theelationship of good writing and clear thinking. The workshop attracted national attention in the summer of 1981, when the college decided to require its entire incoming freshman class to take the three-week course.

For more information, contact Teresa J. Vilardi, associate director, Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. 12504; (914) 758-6822.

The National Education Association's 1.6 million members will soon receive their first copy of NEA Today, the association's new tabloid newspaper.

To be published eight times a year, the tabloid will be the association's first publication to combine coverage of politics and pedagogy.

The NEA Reporter, which in the past covered organizational news, will be discontinued.

And the other major nea periodical, Today's Education, which concentrated on instructional issues, will appear annually, instead of quarterly as in the past.

"In 1982, the pedagogical and the political intersect as never before," writes Willard McGuire, nea's president, in an opening editorial.

The 24-page October issue includes an essay on social justice by Eleanor Holmes Norton, a former head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a debate between an Illinois English teacher and a California educational technologist on whether all students should be computer-literate.

Classroom teachers and education majors who are ready for student teaching can spend a semester or a summer teaching in one of five very different "cultural settings" under a program sponsored by the Indiana University School of Education.

"Project Option" offers teachers a chance to work with American Indians in the Southwest and inner-city students in Indianapolis, as well as in Appalachian schools and in Hispanic communities in Texas and Chicago.

There are also opportunities to work overseas. Most teachers go to Great Britain, but some have gone as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

The goal of the program is to increase teachers' understanding of varied cultures, not necessarily to train them specifically to work in particular types of communities.

For more information, contact: Project Option, 321 Education Bldg., School of Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. 47405; (812) 335-8579.

--Thomas Toch

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