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The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:03 am


Educating for a Change


Rick Arnold, Bev Burke, Carl James, D'Arcy Martin, and Barb Thomas.


Between the Lines Press, Toronto,






Resource Center of the Americas





This is a book for all educators - and anyone else interested in how education works - who agree that the time for fuzzy platitudes and top-down practices is over. If you are working for systems change, you'll find skills and new confidence for challenging the status quo in this book. Plus, tools for transforming power relations and applying the principles of democratic practice to change efforts as well as daily work. Running through the book are two important threads: 1) education must empower all people to act for change, 2) education must be based on democratic practice; creating the conditions for full and equal participation in discussion, debate and decision making. The book is a facilitator's and organizer's manual for improving educational work. It not only is filled with examples of participatory, democratic activities that could be in the repertoire of all educators and activists, but those activities are embedded in a coherent theoretical framework reflecting the years of popular education work by the authors who at the time of the book's writing were identified with the Doris Marshall Institute in Toronto, Ontario. It is the premier source of a full explanation of the spiral model of popular education. Its chapters include This is Our Chance: Educating Strategically, Working By Design: Putting Together a Program, Shaping Our Tools: Developing and Using Activities, Working On Our Feet: The Practice of Democratic Facilitation, Looking Back: Issues Emerging From Our Practice, and Looking Ahead: Implications For Our Work In The 90s. This book, written in the early 90s, is based on the notion that the issue of power is central for any attempt to bring change. The authors combine reflection with practical exercises for trainers and facilitators. The book shows two important threads, one is that education is the tool to enable people to act for change; and the other one is that education must be based on a democratic practice with full and equal participation in discussion, debate and decision-making. The book contains six chapters including strategic factors for educational programs of this nature, design of educational events, concrete educational activities, challenges of facilitating a group, lessons learned from past experiences, and future perspectives and challenges. The book ends up with a postscript on two conversations, one tells about the reflection processes of the five authors of the book, and the other conversation relates to important feed back from external readers to the draft manuscript.




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