A free monthly newsletter about popular education and community organizing resources for facilitators and practitioners.  You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials and short reviews or subscribe by sending your email address to lolds@popednews.org.


See www.popednews.org to search  an archive of back issues, other resources, and links   to   popular   education web sites.



No. 64 October - November 2009                   


Column I
2.  ONLINE, DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES (see new items below)
Column II


The Popular Education News would like to thank the authors of these materials, all first produced in the 1980s, for permission to make them available on this web site.

Naming the Moment Political Analysis for Action - A Manual for Community Groups by Deborah Barndt with Carlos Freire, Illustrator. The Moment Project, Jesuit Centre for Social Faith, Toronto 1989. Open pdf file

cover   The introduction begins with two questions: "This moment: it is unlike any other   moment in time. How can we understand what it offers so that we can make the   best use of it? How have people used moments in the past to push toward greater   social justice?"

  This manual concerns itself with these questions. Through the "moment" approach,   it presents ideas, experiences and concepts that can help groups working for   social change. The five chapters are outlined as follows: It firstly introduces and defines the idea of political analysis for action, or naming the moment. Second, it supplies a review of the history of the concept and situates the practice in current social movements and structures in Canada. Third, it describes in detail the method of naming the moment and illustrates its four phases ( identifying ourselves and our interests, naming the issues/struggles, assessing the forces, planning for action) together with some examples. Fourth, the manual discusses the two applications of the method: one focused on local environmental issues, the other analyzing the free trade battle.

It suggests different ways to integrate the process of naming the moment process, or political analysis for action, into the daily life of organizations. Finally, it emphasizes the importance of linking analyses across issues and across sectors. Some of the benefits people have found in the moment approach include: a structured reflection among activists; the integration of questions of race, class and gender; the integration of work at short and long term goals; the participatory and collective nature of the process, and the integration of emotional and cultural expression.

The book is completed with three appendices that supply a dictionary of terms, a "Training Program," and resources in both Spanish and English.

A New Weave: popular education in canada and central America by Ric Arnold, Deborah Barndt, and Bev Burke. CUSO Development Education and OISE, Adult Education Dept, Toronto, 1985, 105 pages. open pdf file


  The thread in this publication is the use of popular education for social change.   In A New Weave the authors explore the link between education and   organizing, the links between educators working' in different sectors and for   various issues, but toward a similar vision of a more just society. The two   starting points for this book are Canada and Central America, two regions   that share common threads. Both Canada and Central America share an   historical pattern of dependence with the United States, the dominant power   between our borders.

There is a special pattern to the design of this booklet: The first section, The Fabric of our Lives, examines the historical development of popular education in both Canada and Central America. The second section: Some New Design which invites us to examine in more detail just how popular education can be that creative thread - contributing to the new weave. The third section describes a method for developing creative program designs within workshops that can be used outside in our organizational and community work. The fourth section of the book deals with new ways of doing old tasks, showing how we can constantly create variations on a design or technique to make our educational work more engaging and effective. In the final section, Making Connections, we refocus on our own task as educators in Canada. The book concludes with a bibliography and an appendix which provides further information about the kinds of activities organized by the member centers of the Alforja network.

A Popular Education Handbook by Rick Arnold and Bev Burke. OISE, 1982, 59 pages
open pdf file

cover  This booklet was written to share the authors experiences both working in   Central America from 1979 to 1982 and to a year of trying to adapt popular   education in over forty workshops across Canada that they had learned in the   Central American work. The contents of the book includes Chapter One:   POPULAR EDUCATION - What is it; where does it come from;   characteristics of popular education; what do we need to know to plan a   popular education program; the overall plan or methodology; what's the role   of the popular educator ; CHAPTER TWO: PROGRAM EXAMPLES   Introduction - Example 1: A workshop for teachers about popular education in Central America, Example 2: A workshop on working people in Canada and Central America, Example 3: A workshop on popular education for community groups; CHAPTER THREE: TOOLS FOR BUILDING A POPULAR EDUCATION PROGRAM - Introduction, Sculpturing, Socio-drama, Role Play, Drawing, Songwriting; CHAPTER FOUR: EXERCISES TO HELP THE GROUP PROCESS - Introductions/Breaking the Ice; Secret Admirer/Group Building; Tide's in - Tide's out/Relaxation and Fun; A REVIEW CHECKLIST; CHAPTER FIVE: BUILDING OUR OWN RESOURCES: WHY BOTHER? - Introduction; How to put together a slide-tape show; A list of slide-tape shows we've put together on Central America; BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Ready for Action: A Popular Theatre Popular Education Manual by Jennifer Anderson, Jennifer Michol, Joshua Silverberg. Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG), 1994.
open pdf file

cover   This manual was written by the Enviromaniacs, a popular theatre group at   the University of Waterloo, in an effort to share knowledge and experience   gained by the group in their many years of pop theatre work. It provides an   overview of ideas, materials, and resources dealing with popular theatre and   popular education, and connects and links the theory to concrete exercises,   which comprise the majority of this book.

  But the focus here is on concrete exercises for groups who want to jump   into the popular theatre process. It includes energizer exercises, analytical   exercises, reflection and evaluation exercises, as well as ideas for doing street theatre and pop theatre workshops. Table of Contents Introduction Overview Who might use this manual How to use this manual Why this manual was written How this manual is organized I. Concepts and Ideas Education and learning Popular Education Pop Theatre: A tool for social change II. Group Process Sharing framework Group Focus and planning The 7 steps of planning III. Popular Education Theatre Activities Play time begins Games format Section A: Initiation warm-up exercises Section B: Movement and vocal exercises Section C: Concentration exercises Section D: Improvisational exercises Section E: On the way to creating plays Section F: Street Theatre Section G: Creating a Popular Theatre workshop IV. Popular Education Exercises The Spiral Creativity model Sharing ideas and experience Exploring and analyzing issues Group building Planning for action and and ideas for action Carrying out action Refection and evaluation Simulation games and role plays Debriefing V. Resources

Getting the Community Into the Act: 72 Participatory Activities for Field Workers and Trainers Prepared by Pat Ellis. Women and Development (WAND), University of West Indies, Barbados, 1983, 138 pages. open pdf file

cover  This training manual for field workers and trainers includes 72 participatory   activities developed by the "Women and Development Unit" of the   University of West Indies, Barbados. This training manual provides   materials to be used by those who work with villagers to enable rural   women at the community level address their needs and issues. The 72   activities are split in two major sections: Part one is called "Understanding   People" including five subsections: getting acquainted and clarifying   expectations, personal development, attitudes, communications, working   with groups; Part two is titled "Involving the Community" including three   subsections: community development, needs assessment, programme planning and evaluation.

Counting Our Victories Popular Education and Community Organizing by Denise Nadeau. Repeal the Deal Productions, 1996. open pdf file (To order the companion video contact: DVD c/o Denise Nadeau 296 Gartley Road, Courtenay BC. V9N 9T2 Canada.)

coverThis workshop guide and companion video is designed to help groups-union locals, women's groups, and non-governmental organizations of all kinds-use popular education to broaden organizing in the post-NAFTA era. The theme is using popular education for organizing in the context of the social and economic restructuring of the late 1990s. The main idea remains-to create a training kit that can help grassroots groups build their organizations, strengthen their own organizing initiatives and continue to work in coalitions with other groups. The approach taken to popular education owes much to the years of practice and theoretical development of popular education in Central America and Mexico. As well much of the inspiration for the video and guide comes from the work of women organizers from unions, women's organizations, anti-racist groups, and cultural organizations in Canada. This kit provides activities and information about popular education and organizing from a wide variety of campaigns. For us, it documents some signs of hope in very bitter times. It shows how the work of organizing for justice and for life with dignity is constantly being renewed. Users are encouraged to use it to help contribute to the rebuilding and re-visioning of social movements and social change.  

2. DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES  (Please send information about other links. -- the editor)

New in this issue:

From the EdChange website: “We, at EdChange, are commited to helping create more equitable and just schools and communities. We act to shape schools, organizations, and communities in which the full diversity of people have opportunities to live, learn, and thrive free from oppression.”  Their free handouts are at http://www.edchange.org/handouts.html


January 3 to 14, 2010 International Training Course on Popular Education in Health: Dignity, Empowerment and Equity: Participatory and Community-Based Strategies for Health (Hands-On Learning to Promote and Expand the Right to Health) Santiago and Concepción, Chile  www.epes.cl  epes2010@epes.cl

March 4-6, 2010 7th Annual WE LEARN (Net)Working Gathering on Women & Literacy
University of Rhode Island, Providence Campus, Providence, RI

A Google search for "popular education" produces an interesting list that is more focused than it has been in the past.  Also the wikipedia entry for popular education is interesting and in the opinion of this newsletter, needs some revising and additions.  Finally, the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) has important global links to the work.




He who would leap far must first take a long run.
     Danish Proverb



Applications again open for a Popular Education Mini-box Library

Send your letter of application to lolds@popednews.org.

box cover

Applications are again being accepted from activists, organizers and community-based educators in the Minnesota area for a Popular Education Mini-box Library.  The boxes are designed to be given to individual activists, community-based educators, and organizers who are interested in improving their education work in social movements against oppression and violence, and for democracy, sustainability, justice, and peace.  The contents of an individual box may be adjusted in response to the individual recipient’s interests, but all boxes will contain some of the classic popular education manual.   Some materials are available in Spanish.

To apply submit a letter of application of not more than 600 words addressing the following:

1. What do you do and why?
2. What is your history with and interest in popular education?
3. What projects and/or activities do you hope to be undertaking in the next 12 months that could be influenced by the materials in the box?

To receive a box you must agree to attend an education session with other box recipients to report back and share on your use of the materials.

Applications will remain open until all boxes have been awarded.

Events in Minnesota


Planning for Events in Minnesota in 2010

(For information about participating in planning for these send an email to lolds@popednews.org)

  • Multilingual Capacity Building with Roberto Tijerina, formerly on the staff of the Highlander Center
  • Gathering on the Vision of Folk Education and Folk Schools for Community Building and Democracy
  • Follow-up Workshop on Popular Education for Recipients of the Library in a Box.