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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:07 am


Problem-Posing at Work: Popular Educators Guide


Nina Wallerstein and Elsa Auerbach


Grass Roots Press







Grass Roots Press PO Box 52192 Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2T5 Canada





This book is geared for educators, organizers and activists who wish to engage in critical reflection, social action, and community transformation. Following popular educational philosophy, this book is meant to foster democratic learning and views people as creators of their own lives, both inside and outside the classroom. While this book may function on its own as an educators guide to problem-posing and critical reflection, it is also a teacher's companion to the revised copy of the student book, "Problem-Posing at Work: English for Action." To this end, the authors comment: "We wanted to continue to speak to ESL teachers, yet at the same time speak to the reality of educators and organizers across many content areas." The philosophy of "Problem-posing education," to which the authors subscribe, assumes that education is not value-free but is embedded in a social context. Its goal is to bring immigrants and various peoples together in an educational framework where they can recognize their own knowledge and share experiences to learn from one another. It is critical that educators continue learning with their students, and that students are encouraged to continually believe in their capacities as critical thinkers and actors in their own lives. From the preface: "The educator's guide explores these premises and paradoxes; provides a guide to the problem-posing approach, methods, and tools that can help in the classroom and community; and, finally, articulates a set of reflections for becoming more mindful and skillful in our teaching." The book is divided into five chapters. The first introduces the general framework for problem-posing education. The second, "Teaching Strategies," provides specific tools for implementing problem-posing education. The third is an account by labor educator Jenny Utech of a one-year participatory cycle in an ESOL class for union workers. Fourth, "Connecting Local and Global Action" gives an overview of the context of globalization and its implications for literacy, ESL, adult basic education, public health, and the broader arena of educational programs that aim to support social change. Finally, the fifth chapter provides an inside look at how the accompanying student book, "English for Action," embraces a problem-posing approach. There is also an appendix with a list of further resources.




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