THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS

NO. 16 May 2004 THIS MONTH'S THEME: TRAINING FOR TRANSFORMATION

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) SUMMER ISSUE
2) REVIEW OF THE MONTH
3) NEW ADDITIONS TO WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER IN 2004
4) LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
5) "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

1) JUNE-JULY summer issue to be published in late June

2) REVIEW OF THE MONTH

Training For Transformation: A Handbook for Community Workers, Book 1, Book Two, and Book Three, Revised Edition by Sally Timmel and Anne Hope. Mambo Press, Zimbabwe, 1995.

These first three volumes of the Training for Transformation series remain some of the best popular education materials for practitioners and facilitators even though they were first published twenty years ago in 1984. An extensive revision adding new examples and activities; additional theory and explanation; an expanded resource section of poetry, readings, prayers, films, simulations and books; and improved graphics and layout was completed in 1995. A fourth book was added to the series in 1999. (See The Popular Education News, No. 8 for a brief review of Book Four)

The authors describe the three books in their preface:

Book One is basically the theory of Paulo Freire on developing critical awareness and how to put this theory into practice. Book Two is focused on the skills necessary for participatory education. To break the "culture of silence," people need to gain a sense of self-confidence and know that what they think is important. Therefore methods to involve the group actively are critical in group leadership, as are ways of clarifying and implementing the goals of the group. Book Three deals with the social analysis necessary to develop critical awareness and long-term planning and with steps needed for building solidarity in people's movements. It was written mainly for practitioners. It shows how to put basic theory into practice. It also gives educators and community workers some tools to help people to shape their own lives.

The book tries to combine both reflection and action in a clear and simple way. Although the books were written for the Southern African context - all the codes, exercises, illustrations, examples and quotations come from the author's experience working with church sponsored groups in Africa since 1975 -- they are very useful for those from other cultures and religious traditions as well. The authors themselves advise:

It is necessary for all teams using these books to adapt the approach to their own cultural context, to find examples, stories, proverbs from the life of local people and to seek out those texts from the religious traditions of the community which reinforce the vision of transformation towards a just, peaceful and happy society.

Few other popular education resources can match the comprehensiveness, the systematic nature of the approach, and the shear volume of the ideas and suggestions that make up these volumes. They are indeed a rich source for improving educational work for all communities seeking authentic development. The four volumes of this series should be a part of every educator's library.

The books are available from Grailville Art and Bookstore, 932 O'Bannonville Road, Loveland, OH 45140-9705, Phone: (513) 683-0202. (Contact the Popular Education News for addresses to acquire the books in Spanish or French.)

Review by Larry Olds

3) ADDITIONS TO WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER IN 2004

(See www.popednews.org for a full list)
May 21-23 Highlander Center Social Change Workshop New Market, Tennessee (This workshop is designed to provide a Highlander workshop experience for people working for social change.) For information contact coleman@highlandercenter.org or breedlove@highlandercenter.org.

June 4-6, 2004 Grassroots Global Justice Coalition Educational Conference on Globalization El Paso, U.S./ Juarez, Mexico (The conference will be built around sharing popular education and other techniques we use to educate our constituencies about globalization and related issues.) For info: Jerome@projectsouth.org

July 15-18 Project South The Midnite School: Creating a Vision for Our Movement Atlanta, Georgia (A four-day gathering to examine our current movement trends and sketch a blueprint for a new world. The Midnite School is a name derived from the midnight literacy gatherings of enslaved Africans preparing themselves for escape to the North.) Limited to 75 people. For an application contact Stephanie or Dan at (404.622.0602) http://www.projectsouth.org/midniteschool/

July 28-31 World Education Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil (This event, with a new framework, broadens its democratic character, turning into a permanent network of global mobilization, supported by social movements and civil society organizations, engaged with the building of a better world, where the fight for education is included.) http://www.portoalegre.rs.gov.br/fme/

July 30-Aug 1 Highlander Center Social Change Workshop New Market, Tennessee (This workshop is designed to provide a Highlander workshop experience for people working for social change.) For information contact coleman@highlandercenter.org or breedlove@highlandercenter.org

4) 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/issue1.html)

 

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

popular education, n. 1. [Education for liberation] Syn. Popular education is essential in developing new leadership to build today's bottom-up movement for fundamental social change, justice and equality; see liberation, revolution, social and economic equality
2. [Accessible and relevant] - Syn. We begin by telling our stories, shar­ing and describing our lives, experiences, problems and how we feel about them.
3. [Interactive] - Syn. We learn by doing, participating in dialogue and activities that are fun, e.g., cultural arts such as drama, drawing, music, poetry and video.
4. [Education with an attitude] - Syn. We are not neutral-- through dia­logue and reflection we are moved to act collectively to solve the problems of and with those at the bottom in our communities, those who are most oppressed, exploited and marginalized.
5. [Egalitarian] - Syn. We are equal, all of us have knowledge to share and teach and all of us are listeners and learners, creating new knowledge and relationships of trust as we build for our future.
6. [Historic] - Syn. We see our experience within history; indicating where we have come from and where we are going. 7. [Inclusive] - Syn. We see ourselves in relation to all people of different racial/ ethnic groups and nationalities, social classes, gender and sexuality; and ages.
8. [Consciousness raising] - Syn. We critically analyze our experiences within history; explaining the immediate causes of our problems and understanding the deeper root causes in the structures of the economy, power and culture.
9. [Visionary] - Syn. We are hopeful, creating an optimistic vision of the community and global society we want for ourselves and our families.
10. [Strategic] - Syn. We are moved to collective action, developing a plan for short-term actions to address the immediate causes of our problems, and for long-term movement building to address the root causes of our problems. 11. [Involves the whole person] - Syn. We use our head for analysis, reflection and consciousness; our heart for feeling and vision; our feet for collective action for the short term and the long haul.
......From Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide

********************************************************************************************************************* The day on which one starts out is not the time to start one's preparations. Nigerian proverb ********************************************************************************************************************* This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Circle. Betsy Barnum 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.