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Why We Banned Legos
Rethinking Schools ^ | Winter 2006 | Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin

Posted on 07/25/2007 7:37:07 PM PDT by Lorianne

Exploring power, ownership, and equity in an early childhood classroom ___

Carl and Oliver,* both 8-year-olds in our after-school program, huddled over piles of Legos. They carefully assembled them to add to a sprawling collection of Lego houses, grocery stores, fish-and-chips stands, fire stations, and coffee shops. They were particularly keen to find and use "cool pieces," the translucent bricks and specialty pieces that complement the standard-issue red, yellow, blue, and green Lego bricks.

"I'm making an airport and landing strip for my guy's house. He has his own airplane," said Oliver.

"That's not fair!" said Carl. "That takes too many cool pieces and leaves not enough for me."

"Well, I can let other people use the landing strip, if they have airplanes," said Oliver. "Then it's fair for me to use more cool pieces, because it's for public use."

Discussions like the one above led to children collaborating on a massive series of Lego structures we named Legotown. Children dug through hefty-sized bins of Legos, sought "cool pieces," and bartered and exchanged until they established a collection of homes, shops, public facilities, and community meeting places. We carefully protected Legotown from errant balls and jump ropes, and watched it grow day by day.

After nearly two months of observing the children's Legotown construction, we decided to ban the Legos.

(Excerpt) Read more at rethinkingschools.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: latteliberal; legos; marxist; socialist; wartoys
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1 posted on 07/25/2007 7:37:10 PM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

These people are just like Delores Umbrage.


2 posted on 07/25/2007 7:39:10 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: Lorianne
I stopped reading at this sentence:

the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive.

I am glad The Boy is in the parochial system.

3 posted on 07/25/2007 7:40:58 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: Lorianne
Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin

So do Ann and Kendra have something going on?
4 posted on 07/25/2007 7:41:22 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Lorianne

Seattle, what do you expect ...


5 posted on 07/25/2007 7:41:59 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: Lorianne

Why I banned jackasses from teaching my children.


6 posted on 07/25/2007 7:42:47 PM PDT by incredulous joe (Vote for Christian Bagge - www.energizerkeepgoinghalloffame.com)
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To: Lorianne
"...an opportunity to launch a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded."

These are KIDS using Legos, for Pete's sake! Socialists don't know how to have fun, and won't let anyone else have fun, either.

7 posted on 07/25/2007 7:43:22 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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To: Old Sarge

It would be awful if the children understood and believed in our current form of government, wouldn’t it? /sarc


8 posted on 07/25/2007 7:43:41 PM PDT by I'm ALL Right! (THOMPSON '08)
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To: Lorianne

Where is the barf alert? If they had just supervised the kids playing and made them share in the first place this little power struggle would have never happened. All this article proves is that the adults waited until a situation was out of hand before they stepped in and taught the kids how to share their toys.


9 posted on 07/25/2007 7:44:23 PM PDT by Elyse (I refuse to feed the crocodile.)
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To: Lorianne

I thought she resigned fron CNN this week?


10 posted on 07/25/2007 7:46:27 PM PDT by eyedigress
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To: Mercat
We invited the children to work in small, collaborative teams to build Pike Place Market with Legos. We set up this work to emphasize negotiated decision-making, collaboration, and collectivity. We wanted the children to practice the big ideas we'd been exploring. We wanted Lego Pike Place Market to be an experience of group effort and shared ownership: If Legotown was an embodiment of individualism, Lego Pike Place Market would be an experiment in collectivity and consensus.

We offered the children some guidelines to steer them into a new way of interacting with each other and with the Legos: "Create teams of two or three people, decide as a team on some element of Pike Place Market that you'll build, and then start constructing." The first day or two, children created signs warning the other teams "Do Not Touch" their collaboratively constructed vegetable, fruit, and crafts stands. As they settled into this construction project, though, the teams softened the rigid boundaries around their work and began to leave notes for each other describing their work and proposing next steps for Pike Place Market. We celebrated this shift, seeing it as a sign that the children were beginning to integrate the thinking of the last months into their interactions.


These women are evil and politically manipulative.
11 posted on 07/25/2007 7:46:54 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Old Sarge
I am glad The Boy is in the parochial system.

Keep an eye on things. Parochial school ain't what it used to be. (Sister Estelle would disapprove of my use of the word "ain't".) Liberation Theology, Sex Positive education, Feminism, etc.. Beware.

12 posted on 07/25/2007 7:48:04 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A man who will not defend himself does not deserve to be defended by others.)
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To: aruanan
These women are evil and politically manipulative.

Probably ugly, too.

13 posted on 07/25/2007 7:49:20 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A man who will not defend himself does not deserve to be defended by others.)
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To: Lorianne

“...a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded.

these are bolsheviks.


14 posted on 07/25/2007 7:50:37 PM PDT by ken21 ( b 4 fred.)
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To: Lorianne

Boy I bet when these teachers were in school, if someone demanded to hold their lunch money, they willingly gave it to them. No fuss, no matter.


15 posted on 07/25/2007 7:51:25 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Lorianne
It was my understanding that the children instead ordered their Legos from a Chinese manufacturer using wood from Brazilian rain forest, to sequester carbon, and built their own subdivision with a wall to keep the illegals out.

And then there was something about their teachers and diazepam also...but I forget what that was about.
16 posted on 07/25/2007 7:51:34 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: Lorianne

Wow. It’s like reading The Comunist Manifesto...

* Collectivity is a good thing:

* Personal expression matters:

* Shared power is a valued goal:

* Moderation and equal access to resources are things to strive for...

* All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.

* Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals.

* All structures will be standard sizes.


17 posted on 07/25/2007 7:52:14 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Lorianne

Oh good heavens, I thought this was a story about a fellow Freeper named Legos who had been banned. Time for my meds.


18 posted on 07/25/2007 7:52:34 PM PDT by mupcat
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Make that the Communist Manifesto.
19 posted on 07/25/2007 7:53:10 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Lorianne
My letter to the author:
Dear Ms. Pelo:

I read with interest the piece written by you at http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/21_02/lego212.shtml. In retrospect, I can only thank a benevolent God that my child will not receive instruction at the Hilltop Children' Center [sic].

Homework: Please read and contemplate Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Gods Of The Copybook Headings" [http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_copybook.htm]. Compare and contrast Kipling's point of view to the "values of equality and democracy" that you and your colleague hope to instill in your students. In view of historical events, which value system is more reflective of actual reality as experienced by human beings?

Sincerely,

[B-Chan]

I can't wait to read the response.
20 posted on 07/25/2007 7:55:49 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Old Sarge

“The Boy”

Ah. Yer one of those guys. So is my Dad. I’m just shy of 40 and he’s just shy of 60 and still, walking into their home after a recent fishing trip I hear my Dad report the following to my mother, “The Boy” caught his limit and half of mine!”

When I was younger it bothered me. Now....I know it’s something I’ll miss when he’s no longer around to say it.


21 posted on 07/25/2007 7:55:54 PM PDT by Grunthor (God sends NO ONE to hell. That's why He gave you free will.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

I and Missus are on top of it. She is involved heavily with the faculty, and my status as Returning Veteran hasn’t worn away yet.


22 posted on 07/25/2007 7:56:08 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: Lorianne

This article needs an “It takes a (Lego) village” barf alert!


23 posted on 07/25/2007 7:56:15 PM PDT by Theresawithanh (FRED!)
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To: Old Sarge
he children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive.

Idiots! The very society that they think is unjust and oppressive is what makes our country great. Without competition in a free capitalist system you end up with the dredges of humanity spread to all corners. NO one would be able to lift themselves out of disparity, leaving misery for all.

Where do these morons come from and why are they teaching our children?

24 posted on 07/25/2007 7:56:23 PM PDT by Bullish ( Reality is the best cure for delusion.)
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To: Lorianne
***”Well, I can let other people use the landing strip, if they have airplanes,” said Oliver. “Then it’s fair for me to use more cool pieces, because it’s for public use.” ***

Never heard an 8 year old child speak so eloquently. I do believe the story of the children is fictitious.

25 posted on 07/25/2007 7:57:04 PM PDT by irishtenor (There is no "I" in team, but there are two in IDIOT.)
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To: incredulous joe

lol


26 posted on 07/25/2007 7:57:35 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (The slaughterhouse is open, fowl processed for free.)
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To: Lorianne
"Well, I can let other people use the landing strip, if they have airplanes," said Oliver. "Then it's fair for me to use more cool pieces, because it's for public use."

This was an actual quote from an actual 8-year-old boy?

This whole article makes my BS meter ring! Ding! Ding! Ding!
27 posted on 07/25/2007 7:58:49 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words or superficial interpretations)
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To: aruanan; Lorianne; Jeff Chandler
"So do Ann and Kendra have something going on?"

You decide...


28 posted on 07/25/2007 7:59:15 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: aruanan

That’s Not Fair: A Teacher’s Guide to Activism with Young Children by Ann Pelo

Whose Wars
A classroom activity asks students to define terrorism and ... By Ann Pelo


29 posted on 07/25/2007 7:59:55 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Lorianne

OMG what a read!

And the conclusion:

“Children absorb political, social, and economic worldviews from an early age. Those worldviews show up in their play, which is the terrain that young children use to make meaning about their world and to test and solidify their understandings. We believe that educators have a responsibility to pay close attention to the themes, theories, and values that children use to anchor their play. Then we can interact with those worldviews, using play to instill the values of equality and democracy.”

Using play to instill OUR values on other people’s children.

For the past two years my 8yo daughter has been playing a game she and her friends made up called “Powers”. It involves about 800 rules, kids in shifting teams and ever-shifting power from person to person, depending on these mysterious rules. The kids love it because someone always is in power and others try to get the power. Guess this wouldn’t go over too well at the commune school.


30 posted on 07/25/2007 8:00:33 PM PDT by keepitreal
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To: Grunthor

The Boy is about to hit The Big One-Oh, and I’m still his best playmate for now.


31 posted on 07/25/2007 8:01:00 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: Lorianne
Totalitarian dictatorship of teacher rule strikes Lego Town, kids up in arms against commie teachers, teachers try to buy sympathy with “cool” Che Guevara t-shirts, kids call Godzilla to destroy Lego Town, teachers unable to defend the citadel against Godzilla, world panic, dirty bomb on 24 th street buy that little crapper Johnny, Lego Town is in ruins and teachers blame Bush...
32 posted on 07/25/2007 8:02:09 PM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Elyse

They took away the legos for 5 months while they indoctrinated the kids about how it was bad to have power over others, and how important conformity was.

Then they gave the kids the legos back. Of course the kids did exactly what the teachers expected them to do — they didn’t want to lose their legos for another 5 months while they sat through stupid games that make no sense.

Too bad, because the kids were learning a valuable lesson about how things are worth only what value others place on them — if they had played more, and the teachers had encouraged people to build things OTHER than legotown, soon some kids would devalue the “valuable” legos out of necesity, and the kids in “power” would realise the law of supply and demand.


33 posted on 07/25/2007 8:02:22 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Caramelgal

“This whole article makes my BS meter ring! Ding! Ding! Ding!”

Its real. Check out the school site... http://www.hilltopcc.com/


34 posted on 07/25/2007 8:03:48 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Lorianne
Now for a Lego story that makes you smile:

My oldest daughter is in the IB program for gifted children. In the middle of her junior year, the whole family attended her "pinning ceremony" where she was officially inducted into the IB (International Baccalaureate)program.

The Keynote speaker was the valedictorian of the first school year... 1999. She was a young woman that still looked like one of the students even though she was now married with a child. The Principal started his introduction with a Lego story.

He said, "The first time I met Jessica, she was playing with children's building blocks. Legos to be exact. She was in the 7th grade at (a private school) and I watched her play with those Legos for the next five years. She built a robot that could read with those Legos. She now has her degrees in robotics and language and is the head of the Lockheed Long Bow Apache attack helicopter long range fire control system."

I immediately thought of the videos of terrorist being splattered by the Apaches that I have seen all over the internet. When I got to shake her hand in the greeting line, I said, "I've seen your work on the internet... nice job!" and her reply was, "Awesome, huh?".

So, Legos are bad for commies and bad for terrorist, but they have a special place in my heart now!

35 posted on 07/25/2007 8:03:58 PM PDT by DocRock (All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Matthew 26:52 ... Go ahead, look it up!)
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To: Lorianne

good lord

there are so many ways to have kids build something like this without causing problems.

But its the teachers and their stupid rules that made the problems.

Why did they not just give each kid a random bag of pieces, and let the kids be cretaive using the pieces they got? Thats the beauty of Legos, you can make ANYTHING with them.

It’s a perfect example of how creating new rules in an attempt to regulate activity fails miserably.


36 posted on 07/25/2007 8:04:08 PM PDT by finnman69 (May Paris Hilton's plane crash into Britney Spears house while Lindsey Lohan is over doing coke)
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To: Old Sarge

“The Boy is about to hit The Big One-Oh, and I’m still his best playmate for now.”

That’s a great time. May neither of you ever forget the times that you are going to have, but I find at least from “The Boys’” POV that while I loved every minute with my Dad growing up, I have more of an ability to appreciate him now that I’m grown.


37 posted on 07/25/2007 8:04:19 PM PDT by Grunthor (God sends NO ONE to hell. That's why He gave you free will.)
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To: Lorianne

So much for the folks that say church based schools are better than public schools.


38 posted on 07/25/2007 8:04:34 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Bullish
Where do these morons come from and why are they teaching our children?

We all know the answers to those - they are leftists, but Americans still; and they teach because we allow them to.

39 posted on 07/25/2007 8:05:03 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: irishtenor

“I do believe the story of the children is fictitious.”

http://www.hilltopcc.com/news/2007/03/14/response-to-why-we-banned-legos/


40 posted on 07/25/2007 8:05:54 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: NavySon
Ping
41 posted on 07/25/2007 8:05:58 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If martyrdom is so cool,why does Osama Obama go to such great lengths to avoid it?)
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To: Lorianne

“We recognized that children are political beings, actively shaping their social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity,” Pelo and Pelojoaquin wrote. “We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children’s understandings from a perspective of social justice. So we decided to take the Legos out of the classroom.”

So after “months of social justice exploration,” Pelo and Pelojoaquin reintroduced the Legos, but only after the children had learned that “collectivity is a good thing.” And with the return of the colorful toys came three new laws.

All Lego structures are now public structures. All kids can use all the Lego structures, but only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure. Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals, and all structures will be standard sizes.

“Our intention,” wrote teachers Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin, “was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation.”


42 posted on 07/25/2007 8:06:37 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Bullish

Yes. I especially note that when the kids started building again, at first they still tried to keep their own buildings their own, but after a while they realised that if you have to build all the buildings the same, it really didn’t make any difference who built what, and they all “cooperated” building everything. The teachers thought that was a triumph, but it was actually capitulation and resignation.

If they had had more parts for the little people (hats, etc.) what they might have seen is everybody STOP building buildings and spending all their time trying to make their PERSON the best person in the lot.

I solved this problem at my house by buying a few hundred thousand lego pieces. Now there is no such thing as a “rare, special” piece, and we can all build whatever we want.


43 posted on 07/25/2007 8:06:37 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Lorianne

What a pantload this is!!!!

The kids with the vision to build Legotown became the bad guys of course because they assumed that that they, the builders, would reap a reward for their vision, hard work and industriousness.

But no!!! We can’t have kids rise to their level of potential. Others not so gifted might suffer from self esteem problems. So let’s mess with their heads, and go through a tortuous mental process to suck all of the individuality and creativity out of the builder bees in the hive.

The whole problem is that the number of Legos was rationed to begin with, like in all Communist societies. The kids came up with their own system for valuing and apportioning building materials—pretty good for a bunch seven and eight year olds. Instead of letting the kids go through the process and re-build and let their creativity soar, oh no, the ever so bright Marxist teachers had to show them the error of their ways.

People like these teachers have never achieved anything, and can only reduce those who produce down to the level of the lowest common denominator.

Anyone who loves their child needs to take their kid out of this Marxist inspired, and run like hell away from this God awful place.


44 posted on 07/25/2007 8:06:40 PM PDT by exit82 (I have a gut feeling: Michael Chertoff is a jerk.)
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To: LibFreeOrDie

Communists do not allow fun.


45 posted on 07/25/2007 8:06:41 PM PDT by Doctor Raoul (What's the difference between the CIA and the Free Clinic? The Free Clinic knows how to stop leaks.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Oh, I know the main story is true, but the storyline dialog I do believe is fictitious.


46 posted on 07/25/2007 8:08:18 PM PDT by irishtenor (There is no "I" in team, but there are two in IDIOT.)
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To: Doctor Raoul

mark


47 posted on 07/25/2007 8:09:58 PM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: PAR35

From what I read, it is a daycare housed in a church, not affiliated with it.


48 posted on 07/25/2007 8:10:11 PM PDT by keepitreal
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To: irishtenor
“Oh, I know the main story is true, but the storyline dialog I do believe is fictitious.”

Could be. Sort of “false history” created by the Lezbo Commu-Nazis to help us all reach enlightenment.

49 posted on 07/25/2007 8:11:40 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Lorianne

Leggo my lego!


50 posted on 07/25/2007 8:12:13 PM PDT by Larry Lucido ( Hunter 2008)
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