THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS

NO. 18 August 2004                                                                         THIS MONTH'S THEME: Economics Education

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 the web. Watch for future announcements for the internet address.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) REVIEW OF THE MONTH
2) OTHER ECONOMICS EDUCATION MATERIALS IN OUR COLLECTION
3) NEW HIV-AIDS POPULAR EDUCATION RESOURCE
4) ADDITIONS TO WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER IN 2004
5) LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
6) "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH


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1) REVIEW OF THE MONTH

Economics Education: Building a Movement for Global Economic Justice Mary Zerkel, ed. American Friends Service Committee, 2001, 90 pages.

This book, a product of the Praxis/Economic Justice Project in Chicago, is another excellent resource for popular economics education. Who should use this book? According to the authors

Community activists, organizers, union members, women, mothers, students, teachers ­ anyone who is interested in learning more about the way the economy affects our lives should take a look at this book. We think it will be particularly useful to people who want to work with others to change some of the economic and social conditions that affect them. Those who are already facilitators may particularly find this book useful.

One of the most valuable features of the book is the first section, "Praxis: A Framework for Workshops." It could itself be a good text for a class or workshop on popular education. This section presents not only one of the best relatively brief answers to the question "What is popular education?" but also an explanation of how to plan workshops building an analysis using popular education principles and philosophy. The second part of the section includes the topics Creating an Agenda, A Sample Agenda, How to Build and Analysis, The Matrix, Actors/Common Interests, Drawing the Relationship of Forces, and Sharing Our Economic Experiences. For each topic, sample exercises - among them Openers, Focus on Work, and Community Maps, and clear instructions are part of the well laid out and illustrated pages. The book has great graphics throughout.

The second section of the book, "The Times We Live In: An Analytical Framework," is the author's analysis of the global economy. They describe the section as follows:

It starts with an overview and then is broken down into three sections: Debt, Free Trade and Privatization. Each section contains a very basic overview of the subject, lots of handouts that can be copied for a group, an exercise and suggested reading for more information.

Along with the good advice

This book is not a recipe book. Do not treat it as one. We and those who contributed to this book developed these tools with specific groups in mind, and you need to tailor them to whoever your group happens to be.

Like any good popular education manual the book includes a section on resources at the end. The "Resources" section has a list of organizations working for global economic justice, a bibliography, a glossary, and notes referencing the sources they drew on for some of the ideas in the book.

The book is available from Praxis/Economic Justice Project, 637 S. Dearborn, 3rd Floor, Chicago IL 60605, praxisafsc@igc.org or can be ordered online from the Catalyst Centre Bookstore, http://www.catalystcentre.ca/index.htm
                                        ....Review by Larry Olds

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2) OTHER ECONOMICS EDUCATION MATERIALS IN OUR COLLECTION

A Very Popular Economic Education Sampler Compiled by the Highlander Research and Education Center (reviewed October 2003)

Starting With Women's Lives Changing Today's Economy - A Facilitators Guide to a Visual Workshop Methodology by Suzanne Doerge and Bev Burke. Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada and the Canadian Labour Congress. 2000. (Reviewed August 2003)

Unpacking Globalization A Popular Education Toolkit by Economic Literacy Action Network, 2000 Today's Globalization by Dan Horowitz de Garcia, Walda Katz-Fishman, Christi Ketchum, Jerome Scott. Project South Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide, 2002

And many materials from United for a Fair Economy www.faireconomy.org

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3) NEW HIV AIDS POPULAR EDUCATION RESOURCE

Understanding and Challenging HIV Stigma: Toolkit for Action: Trainers Guide Developed by Ross Kidd and Sue Clay. Change, 2003. The toolkit was designed for NGOs, community groups and HIV educators to raise awareness and promote actions to challenge HIV stigma and discrimination. Based on research in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, the toolkit contains more than 125 exercises. www.changeproject.org/technical/hivaids/stigma/_StigmaToolkit.pdf

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4) ADDITIONS TO WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER IN 2004
(See www.popednews.org for a full list)

Sept 10-12, 2004 Grassroots Global Justice Coalition The North/South Encounter on Popular Education and Global Justice El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. (A Border Reality Tour that will precede the conference on September 9th. Activities are being planned to take place on both sides of the border to facilitate the participation of as many grassroots groups as possible. The conference will focus on the use of popular education and innovative approaches to building effective social justice action.) For Info joann@swop.net

Dec 6 and 7, 2004 Film, Politics, and Learning - Activists Short Film Nights: Part of Education and Social Action International Conference, Sydney, Australia (The nights will focus on short films and video from artists, activists and educators from the international scene. The organizers are seeking videos and films under 2 categories: 1. Agitprop: protest, guerrilla, activist, political, subversive short films /videos. 2. Participatory film-making: community films/videos as social intervention. Deadline for entries is September 30, 2004. For further information email Celina celina.mcewen@uts.edu.au

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5) 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 )
Centre for Popular Education (www.cpe.uts.edu.au)
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.html)

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

Popular education is the term applied to a series of principles that have their roots in the theories of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Community educators, classroom teachers, trade-union educators and many others have been inspired by Freire's theories. There are other terms that are some-times used including liberatory education and critical pedagogy, but essentially all these terms denote education that is working toward the helping people analyze their reality and work toward the transformation of society..

There are many times in your practice where you will see the principles of popular education intertwined with the methodological aspects. Although you never want to reduce popular education to a series of techniques, it is good to know that some of the methods that people use come from these principles. The belief that all people have the capacity to become critical thinkers and to work to solve their own problems lies at the heart of popular education methodology. Participants in a popular education setting are active subjects, not passive objects. Taking an active role helps people learn better. It helps them care more about what they are learning. A facilitator who works this way becomes a co-learner with the participants. Indeed, the facilitator should take guidance from the participants throughout the planning and workshop process. Whenever possible the facilitator should incorporate the personal experiences of the participants into the work..

In our view the best way to help to strengthen the movement for social change is to help create leaders who are critical thinkers. But it is important to note that we work to develop leadership from within the communities we work with. Why is critical consciousness so important? We believe that for people to begin to work to change the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressors, they need to be able to analyze the world around them in order to see beyond hegemonic forces. For this reason, we spend a lot of time helping people learn analytical tools that they can apply in a variety of situations. But because we are working within the context of social change, analysis is connected to action.
         Excerpts from Economics Education: Building a Movement for Global Economic Justice Mary Zerkel, ed. American Friends Service Committee, 2001, pages 6-9.

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To give to your friend is not to cast away; it is to store for the future - Swahili proverb **************************************************************************

This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Circle. 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.