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The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:05 am


Participation, Development, Power, and Democracy: An Introduction to Basic civics Concepts, Part III



African Community Publishing and Development Trust






the Church/NGO Civic Education Network, PO Box CY284, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe





Power is the third civic manual in ACPD's Building Democracy series. The manual is based on participatory, problem-posing methods where readers are encouraged to analyze problems and search for their own solutions. Ideas and information are only given after readers have had a chance to develop their own ideas. Additionally, these participatory methods are the most appropriate for the study of democracy. It is important to note that this book was produced through the Community Publishing Process, through which learners develop their confidence, creativity and skills by participating in the design of their own learning materials. Power can be viewed both positively and negatively. In the negative sense, power can be seen as force and control which, for example, can be used to intimidate people or bribe them. This type of power is destructive because it either paralyses society or provokes a violent response. In the positive sense, power involves enabling people to do something effectively. Citizen power can be strengthened through widespread civic education, particularly with respect to power and organization skills. Bribes, corruption and threats must be challenged by citizens, who should refuse to accept them. Citizens need to become more critical and aware of the use of language, and should try to promote truthful communication. Power struggles should be prevented through the provision of thorough training in organization skills. Conflicts should be dealt with constructively and violence should be avoided. Leaders should be kept on track and held accountable for their actions. Annotation from the Church/NGO Civic Education Network




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