THIS MONTH'S THEME: MEDIA

NO. 15 April 2004

THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS

Connecting popular and community-based educators and activists to resources for improving educational work in social movements against oppression and for democracy, sustainability, social justice, and peace.

A monthly newsletter about the Popular Education/Community Organizing Resources Collection in the Penny Lernoux Memorial Library at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406. It is a collection of practical materials for facilitators and practitioners to improve the educational work in our movements for democratic social change. The three main parts of the collection are 1) Materials in English, 2) Materials in Spanish, 3) Books by Paulo Freire some titles in Spanish. An annotated bibliography with links to where to purchase materials will soon be back on www.americas.org.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1) WEB LINK TO DATABASE IS DOWN
2) REVIEWS OF THE MONTH
        Making Sense of the Media
        Grassroots Journalism

3) LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
4) "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION O
F THE MONTH

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1)WEB LINK TO DATABASE IS STILL DOWN
      The web link to the annotated bibliography for the Popular Education and Community Organizing collection on www.americas.org is still down. Due to the recent complete overhaul of the site, the staff of the Resource Center of the Americas has not yet had time to re-establish the link.

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2) REVIEWS OF THE MONTH
Making Sense of the Media: A Handbook of Popular Education Techniques by Eleonora Castaño Ferreira and João Castaño Ferreira. Monthly Review Press, 1997, 124 pages.

      This extraordinary and attractive little book is a road map for using popular education techniques to demystify the influence of the mass media. Its authors are Brazilan educators working in New York City after many years as community organizers in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. In general, the context of the book is workers - the authors draw on their experience working with unions - but the book is intended to be for those who work with both adults and children. The first of the book's five parts, titled "Education for Liberation," includes a general definition of popular education (see this month's Definition of the Month below for an excerpt) and a discussion of the ideas of Paulo Freire. The second part is a discussion of "What Popular Education Is . and Isn't." It includes wonderful, clear illustrations of a "problem map," "the problem tree," and a "strategic map." The third part of the book is a "Curriculum for Making Sense of the Media." The curriculum includes descriptions of 13 activities all illustrated with accessible charts and graphics. The forth part on "Popular Communication" includes illustrated instructions for using popular puppet theater and for developing graphics materials for use in educational activities. The final brief part of the book addresses "Popular Education and Multiculturalism."
      The book's introduction written by a colleague and friend of the authors, Tracy Gross, describes the application of the book's ideas to union education experience and presents Gross' enthusiastic support for the work. It also gives us some biographic information on the book's authors.
      One of the strengths of this slim book is the way it places strategic planning within a broader framework for educational work rather than adopting the strategic planning process as the framework for the whole educational endeavor. The book would be a valuable addition to any popular educator's library.
                                               Review by Larry Olds

Grassroots Journalism: A Practical Manual for Doing the Kind of Newswriting that Doesn't Just Get People Angry, But Active --That Doesn't Just Inform, But Inspires by Eesha Williams. The Apex Press, 2000, 185 pages.

     Grassroots Journalism is not just for journalists. In part a how-to manual, in part a reference book, and in part an inspirational incitement to action, this book will be of interest to all who, as author Williams puts it, "are aware that someone is taking advantage of them" and want to do something about it.
      Part One focuses on what a grassroots journalist (Williams sometimes uses the term "reporter-organizer") actually does and where she or he might find work. Also included is an inspiring chapter of stories where such journalism actually made a difference in the towns where the stories were published.
      Part Two, the longest part of the book, is the "how-to" part, filled with the nuts-and-bolts skills that a would-be journalist-organizer will need to get started practicing the craft. Chapters include "How to Find the Issues in a Community that Will Get Your Audience Agitated and Agitating," "Using the Internet to Do Research," and "Putting It All Together." While the section focuses on building concrete skills, the techniques and anecdotes used will be of interest to anyone who uses the media and has an interest in "how it works."
      The final 20-page section of the book concisely states the author's case for why we need "energizing, community-based journalism." This is the more theoretical part of the book.
      Almost a quarter of the entire book­40 pages­is devoted to a multi-part Appendix, labeled simply "Resources." Here readers will find a comprehensive bibliography and a wide range of organizations and education resources. The section called "Reporter's Rollodex"­organized around a variety of issues, from labor, to the environment, to electoral politics, to transportation, to the media­ will be of particular usefulness to any journalist and any organizer looking to get a start on researching their issue.
       The short book is laid out in a large, workbook-style format, using a large typeface and including lots of graphics, photos, and cartoons, making it easy on the eyes.
                                       Review by Jeff Nygaard

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3. LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES (*those with online bookstores)

*Catalyst Centre (www.catalystcentre.ca/index.htm )
*Highlander Center (www.highlandercenter.org )
*IPEA (www.peopleseducation.org/ )
*Resource Center of the Americas (www.americas.org )
*Growing Communities for Peace (www.humanrightsandpeacestore.org )
Project South (www.projectsouth.org )
Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research (www.gse.berkeley.edu/research/pepr/ )
Pop Ed Links Directory (www.flora.org/mike/links/poped.html)
WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network(http://www.litwomen.org/news/issue1.html)

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4) "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

POPULAR EDUCATION: THE METHODOLOGY - A SET OF POLITICAL AND PEDAGOGIC PRINCIPLES TO USE IN THE PROCESS OF PRODUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE

POLITICAL PRINCIPLES

PEDAGOGIC PRINCIPLES

*************************************************************************************************** If you don't stand for something, you will fall for something. African proverb *************************************************************************************************** This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Circle. Betsy Barnum, Jeff Nygaard and Larry Olds worked on this issue. You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials and short reviews to lolds@popednews.org. Help improve the newsletter. Subscribe by sending your email address to lolds@popednews.org.