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 popular education/community organizing resources for facilitators and practitioners: Many of the materials reviewed or listed in the newsletter are part of the collection in the Penny Lernoux Memorial Library at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406. 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.

NO. 45 - February 2007

THIS MONTH'S THEME: COMMUNITY-BASED STUDY ABROAD

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1.  A SPECIAL EFFORT CONTINUES
2.  NEW RESOURCES
3.  ONLINE RESOURCES
4.  FUTURE PUBLICATION OF INTEREST: The art of social justice
5.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION BLOGS
6.  UPDATES ON FUTURE SOCIAL FORUMS (new information)
7.  WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER (Many additions this month!!)

8.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
9. QUOTE OF THE MONTH

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1.  THE SPECIAL EFFORT TO GATHER POPULAR EDUCATORS AT THE PTO CONFERENCE IN MINNEAPOLIS MAY 31 – JUNE 3, 2007CONTINUES
 
The special effort to encourage popular educators to gather at next years annual Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference to be held in Minneapolis May 31 – June 3, 2007.  Come together, share what you do, learn from others, and join us in celebration. 
        Plans are for two half-day pre-conferences on Thursday, May 31, a morning introductory session on Pedagogy of the Oppressed and an afternoon session, A Popular Educator Practitioner Workshop.  (There are several pre- and post-conference Theater of the Oppressed options featuring Augusto Boal and/or Julian Boal, and others.) 
        We are also working with the planners to increase the opportunities for participant dialogue, and to help move the conference beyond the familiar “talking heads” formats, to make it more of a “gathering” than a conference.
        For information and the call for proposals see http://www.ptoweb.org/
 
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2.  NEW RESOURCES
 
Education For Social Change: The ciee Thailand Approach by Amanda Altman, Kovit Boonjear, Arunee Chupkhunthod, Enoka Herat, Supapim Jongrak, Adisak Kaewrakmuk, Virginia Leavell, Julia MacGlashan, Philip Mangis, Decha Premrudeelert, Ellen Roggemann, David Streckfuss Khon Kaen, Thailand.  2006, 119 pages.  (For copies contact virginia@engagetheworld.org)


I was delighted to be given this wonderful little handbook when attending a weekend gathering in Chicago at the invitation of some former participants in the program in Thailand.  The group had convened to discuss how to bring home what they had learned during their semester abroad.  It was clear from meeting the young people that they had a inspirational experience in Northeast Thailand.  The manual describes the processes developed since 1995 when the program evolved from an academic-based exposure program to a community-based program. It is a participatory program, as the authors note in describing their model.  “Students come here with the view that education is a top-down process, but leave having realized that it can be bottom-up.”
 
The invitation to join the weekend in Chicago had said “(We) …are interested in using this type of community-based learning model to improve education in the U.S.  We have many different ideas about how to do this in our own communities, but we want to keep our efforts networked (through ENGAGE ( http://www.engagetheworld.org/ ) and to build off of what others have done already.”  Although they called their interest “alternative education,” their reading list for the meeting included information about Highlander and materials by Paulo Freire.  They didn’t call it popular education, but what they are doing is clearly kin. 
 
There are nine chapters, an Appendix, a glossary, and a couple of special extra pages of reflections highlighted below in bold.  The Globe Trotting Local, Chapter 1 – Introduction, Chapter 2 - Our Model, Chapter 3 - An Evolving Model, Chapter 4 - Key Players, From I to We, Chapter 5 - Facilitation as the Key, Chapter 6 - Our Process, Chapter 7 - How To, Chapter 8 - Steps and Obstacles, Chapter 9 – Onward, Appendix A - Sample Unit, and Glossary.  Scattered throughout are nice quotes from former participants, staff, and Thai community activists.
 
As I skimmed through the manual two chapters caught my attention.  The first was  “Facilitation as the Key.”  The program’s commitment to teaching facilitation skills had been evident during the weekend – I have rarely been with groups of activists and social movement people that demonstrated such clarity and skill at facilitation and group process.  It was not surprising to find facilitation a “key” emphasis in the Model.  Most of us can do better in this area of our work. 
 
The second chapter was the long “How To” chapter which is divided into four sections, one for each of the stages central to the model and the experience of participants: Awareness, People To People Exchange, Being In The World, and Connectedness.  It is the thinking through of the details for facilitating participant’s movement through these stages of consciousness about self and the world that is an important feature of the manual.  Because program participants engage with communities in their various struggles for better lives as well as self consciously building their own community, connections are made clear.  One former participant is quoted:  “…I don’t remember what the program guide says!  But if it entails going out and experiencing the people and their movement and then going through the group process and realizing that this group process is what those creating a movement go through as well.”
 
Encountering these young people and perusing the manual has reminded me of the importance of study abroad – both long term and short term experiences – as well as work experience in other countries in consciousness raising and transformation.  Certainly the paths I have traveled would have been unimaginable without having gone to work in Uganda when I was a 21 year old.  The inspiration of this program is that in its consciousness about building and understanding community, the empowerment it promotes is more than individual change.  It is a process worth emulating; there are lessons for programs other than study abroad.

ENGAGE builds the next generation of global citizens by translating the study abroad experience into lifelong connections and cooperative action between peoples and social movements working toward a just and sustainable world.  ENGAGE (the Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, was founded in 2001 by students studying in Thailand as a mechanism for taking their study abroad experiences to the next level: by taking action.  Through its work linking the struggles of Thai communities to grassroots action in the United States, ENGAGE illustrates how the experiences of former study abroad students can be catalyzed to affect meaningful change both in the United States and abroad.  Today, ENGAGE is working to create a worldwide network of students who are turning their international education into action, linking communities and movements across the globe in grassroots action for a just and sustainable world.


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3.  ONLINE RESOURCES
 

Exceptional training resources are downloadable from the web site http://www.thechangeagency.org/ in Australia.   We also recommend their email newsletter to keep abreast of their good work.

Available from Beyond the Choir at http://www.beyondthechoir.org/ or download at http://www.soaw.org/antiwar_strategy.pdf

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4.  FUTURE PUBLICATION OF INTEREST

The art of social justice: Re-crafting activist adult education and community leadership
Edited by Darlene Clover and Joyce Stalker. Naice, May 2007.

We received notice of the future publication of this book.  Watch for more information.


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5.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION BLOGS

chris cavanagh www.comeuppance.blogspot.com
 
(Please send others that you know.)

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6. UPDATES ON FUTURE SOCIAL FORUMS

UNITED STATES SOCIAL FORUM (USSF)
          
US Social Forum Writing Team: Scholars and writers are invited to join a network of scholar-writer-activists working to support the United States Social Forum.  This document outlines the ways we hope each writing team member will participate, as well as the support offered through the USSF National Planning Committee network. 

Scholars and writers have an important role to play in helping bridge the divides within U.S. society that separate communities according to race, class, interest, and other differences.  The USSF writing team consists of individual scholars and writers who commit to do the following actions in support of the USSF:

Additional suggestions for improving our work, or requests to join this network, can be sent to Jackie Smith (jsmith40@nd.edu).

The USSF will be held in Atlanta June 17 -22, 2007.  For Information and contact numbers see http://www.ussf2007.org/ or contact alovelace@ussocialforum.org


OTHER SOCIAL FORUMS AROUND THE WORLD
For info: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br//

7. WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER
           

Feb 3-4, 2007
With PopEd against G8 and for another world! (European Meeting for the Coordination of people interested in the methodics of Popular Educationin the context of the mobilisation against G8.) Berlin  For info infotour@gipfelsoli.org

March 1-4, 2007, Their Wars Left Behind: Education for Action, The Rouge Forum hosts at Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan.  For info http://www.pipeline.com/~rgibson/rouge_forum/TheirWarsLeft%20Behind.htm  

Spring 2007 (dates not yet set) Cross-border Dialogue on Popular Education and Global Economic Power  Just Associates is collaborating with the Toronto Labour Education Centre and a range of economic justice and workers’ organizations in Mexico, the USA and Canada   http://www.justassociates.org/

March 9-10, 2007 4th Annual (Net)Working Conference on Women & Literacy: Threads of Experience - Creative Spaces for Women's Learning Northeastern University, Boston  A Call for Presenters is out with a deadline Dec 1.  for info http://www.litwomen.org/conference.html

March 9 -11, 2007 Interpreting for Social Justice, Highlander Center, New Market, TN http://www.highlandercenter.org/

April 20-22, 2007 Fourth International Conference of the Popular Education Network, Maynooth Campus of the National University of Ireland For info jim.crowther@ed.ac.uk

May 2, 2007 Remembering Freire, Reinventing Freire Canadian Association for Studies in Adult Education in collaboration with the OISE/UT Adult Education and Community Development Program, the Transformative Learning Centre and George Brown College For more information contact ctrainor@oise.utoronto.ca

May 24-25, 2007
Critical Connections: Education for Social Change International Conference, Queen Margaret University College in collaboration with the Institute for International Health & Development and the School of Social Science, Media & Communications, A call for proposals by theme: Arts for Social Justice (contact sknight@qmuc.ac.uk), Popular Education (contact escandrett@qmuc.ac.uk), Resilience, Rights and Recovery (contact sfustukian@qmuc.ac.uk)  For info file://www.community-arts.org.uk/

May 31 Pre-Conference Workshops:  Pedagogy of the Oppressed (AM) and Popular Education Practitioner’s Workshop (PM) before the Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference, Minneapolis (See 1. above).

June 1-3, 2007 13th Annual PTO Conference: "What Does it Mean to be a Citizen" University of Minnesota, Minneapolis http://www.ptoweb.org/

June14-17, 2007 Class Matters: Working-Class Culture and Counter-Culture Annual Conference of the Working-Class Studies Association, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.  For info  rachleff@macalester.edu

June 14-16 2007 ESREA Active Democratic Citizenship and Adult Learning Network Seminar: Changing Relationships between the State, Civil Society and the Citizen: Implications for adult education and adult learning The Unit for Adult Education (UfAE), University of Minho, Braga, Portugal http://www.uea.uminho.pt/

June 21-24, 2007 The Conference - Free Minds, Free People, The Chicago Freedom School Project, the Education for Liberation Network, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and the University of Chicago's Center for Urban School Improvement.  (The conference will bring together teachers, youth, parents, researchers and community-based educators from across the country to begin building a movement to develop and promote Education for Liberation.) freeminds@Brotherhood-Sistersol.org

June 22, 2007 Symposium on Popular Education, the first day of the Allied Media Conference, Detroit, Michigan http://www.alliedmediaconference.org/

June 22-24 Allied Media Conference: Breaking Silence, Building Movements, Detroit, Michigan http://www.alliedmediaconference.org/

Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2007 Highlander's 75th anniversary Celebration, Highlander Center, New Market, TN. http://www.highlandercenter.org/

Sept 20-23, 2007 5th ESREA European Research Conference: Adult Learning and the Challenges of Social and Cultural
Diversity: Diverse Lives, Cultures, Learnings and Literacies
, University of Seville and Institute of Paulo Freire of Spain, Seville, Spain http://www.congreso.us.es/cesrea

Dec 2–5, 2007 International Researching Work and Learning Conference RWL5 , Cape Town, South Africa http://rwl5.uwc.ac.za


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8.  LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES

(*those with online bookstores)
 
*Catalyst Centre ( www.catalystcentre.ca/index.htm )
*Highlander Center (http://www.highlandercenter.org/ )
*Resource Center of the Americas (http://www.americas.org/ )
*Growing Communities for Peace ( http://www.humanrightsandpeacestore.org/ )
*IPEA (www.peopleseducation.org/ )
Project South (http://www.projectsouth.org/ )
Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research ( http://www.cpepr.info/)
Pop Ed Links Directory http://poped.org/
WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network (http :// www.litwomen.org/news.html)
Centre for Popular Education ( http://www.cpe.uts.edu.au/)
The Change Agency ( www.thechangeagency.org/index.htm)
Training for Change http://www.trainingforchange.org/

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9. PROVERB OF THE MONTH

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Your speech died like beer. Kishubi Proverb

 
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