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Chinese children who flirt with the idea that life is better in the United States will have their illusions dashed if the Young Pioneers has its way, according to a report by the Knight-Ridder News Service.

The Chinese child-training organization has recommended that students read Tales From the West, a 142-page paperback book published by Shanghai Children's Publishing House that is filled with grim stories from Chinese newspapers and magazines. The group, says the news report, hopes the book will counteract the enticing picture many youths have of Western society.

Stories in the illustrated book include a tale of a penniless man who must sell one of his eyeballs to raise money for his ill son, an article about a poor man who hires a killer to shoot him so his wife and children can collect the insurance money, and an account of a worker on the Brooklyn Bridge who is buried alive in cement by an irresponsible boss.

"Is capitalistic society worth longing for?" asks the introduction of the book. "Absolutely not. Facts have proved that real life is not so nice there."

But lest critics charge that the book is one-sided, the editors counter with three articles about the good in American life: the vigilant work of New York's Guardian Angels' subway patrol; the devotion of a father to teaching his son the work ethic; and Walt Disney World, characterized as a "fairly good" place for children.


The tabs Equity Intropacket Project wants you. If you're a teacher or member of a women's group with ideas for lesson plans about women's issues, you might be able to assist in the planning of a series of six teaching packets on Asian-American women, black women, disabled women, careers, the changing family, and women's history.

The project, funded by a grant from the Women's Educational Equity Act program and the U.S. Education Department, is being developed by the Organization for Equal Education of the Sexes Inc. Among other projects, oees publishes tabs: Aids for Ending Sexism in School, a quarterly magazine devoted to the presentation of "nonsexist teaching techniques and resources."

After five years of publishing the magazine, the editors identified a need for concise introductory lesson plans. "We have found that teachers need short, easily adaptable ideas that they can insert into the regular curriculum," explained Lucy Picco Simpson, co-director of the project.

Each 15-page packet will include a background article; lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high-school classes; a poster and biographical information on a woman in history; and suggestions for further study and activities. The packets will be adaptable to any grade level, she said.

For more information, contact Ms. Simpson at oees, 744 Carroll St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215, or call (212) 788-3478.


The winning proposals in the Association of American Publishers' second annual Education Research Awards Competition include a project on the materials used by parent-tutors and a study of the effects of textual writing on students' preconceptions.

The contest, sponsored by the aap's school division, is designed "to stimulate research on instructional materials and classroom performance," as well as research in other areas, according to Joanne Muratori, the division's assistant director.

The four winners, graduate students from around the country, were chosen from a preliminary applicant pool of 120 and were selected by a panel of publishers and educators. Each winner will receive an initial $1,000 and an additional $3,000 upon completion of his or her doctoral thesis.

The winners are: Judith Olson of Oklahoma State University, for "Using Logo to Supplement Traditional Materials in Teaching Geometric Concepts in the Elementary School Classroom"; David G. Reay of Brigham Young University, for a longitudinal study of the provision of instructional materials and training for parents acting as tutors for their preschool children; Kathleen J. Roth of Michigan State University, for "The Textbook and Student Learning: Effects of Text Written to Address Student Preconceptions"; and Jean Chandler and Lowry Hemphill of Harvard University, for "Models of Effective Literacy Environments for Low-Income Elementary School Children."

Information about the 1983-84 awards competition will be mailed to graduate schools of education that have doctoral programs, according to Ms. Muratori. For more details, or to submit proposals s awards, write Ms. Muratori at the aap, One Park Ave., 19th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016, or call (212) 689-8920.


People for the American Way, a nonprofit organization that champions civil liberties, marked the 50th anniversary of the Berlin book burning this month by reporting on the increase in censorship efforts in the United States and noting 17 documented incidents of book, periodical, and record burning in the U.S. since October 1978.

The group reports on several incidents in which groups of people gathered to throw books and youth-oriented record albums into bonfires. Among items said to be burned were: Sixteen magazine and books by James Michener in Virginia, Minn., in October 1981; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and figurines of Star Wars characters in Texas City, Tex., in May 1982; and Brave New World and The Hobbit in Udall, Kan., in June 1982.

People for the American Way officials suggest there is an analogy between these incidents and what occurred on May 10, 1933, in Berlin, when 40,000 students and adults gathered in Opera Square at the University of Berlin as 20,000 books and pamphlets were set afire. The anti-censorship group notes that Nazi officials selected books for the burning that were thought to subvert family or married life or to undermine the ethics of German youths. Books torched included those by Margaret Sanger, Helen Keller, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein.


The achievements of two recipients of Open Book Awards, given by the American Society of Journalists and Authors, were incorrectly characterized in the May 4 Publishing column:

Leo Meirose, a librarian in Tampa-Hillsborough, Fla., was reported successful in keeping sex-education books in the children's section of his public library. The books, however, were placed in the adult library, and the case is still pending.

Michael Sheck of Baileyville, Me., brought suit against the local school board for its removal of the book 365 Days from the school library in federal district court. The court's decision in his favor did not reach the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal, as stated.--ab

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