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. 32 November 2005

THIS MONTH'S THEME: A Few Resources

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INVITATION TO SUBMIT LIST OF POPULAR EDUCATION BOOKS AND RESOURCES
2. UPDATES ON FUTURE SOCIAL FORUMS
3. INFORMATION ON RESOURCES
4. WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER
5. LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
6. WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION? DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

***********************************************
1. INVITATION TO SUBMIT LIST OF POPULAR EDUCATION BOOKS AND RESOURCES

Readers of this newsletter are invited to submit lists for a new monthly column for the newsletter of "Ten Recommended Popular Education Books And Resources."

Please include background and theoretical books and materials. Although the newsletter has been dedicated to "practitioner and facilitator materials," any books, materials, or resources valued by the one submitting the list are appropriate for this new column. Think about what you might suggest to someone who came to you and asked you about popular education. What ten books or materials would you recommend.

One list per month will appear in the newsletter. Other submissions may be posted on this web site at the discretion of the newsletter editor and webmaster.

 

2. UPDATES ON FUTURE SOCIAL FORUMS

2006 WORLD SOCIAL FORUM (WSF)

Three polycentric 6th WSFs will take place in January 2006 in Caracas (Venezuela), Karachi (Pakistan) and Bamako (Mali). For further information about each polycentric forum:

Caracas (www.forosocialmundial.org.ve)
Bamako (www.fsmmali.org)
Karachi (www.wsf2006karachi.org)

2006 UNITED STATES SOCIAL FORUM (USSF)

The (USSF) Planning Committee recently announced that the USSF has been postponed until summer 2007. In 2006, the U.S. will focus on developing regional processes leading to the summer 2007 gathering. The U.S. has 10 regional committees. Some regions will conduct a Regional Social Forum in 2006, while others are electing to have regional planning meetings in the summer of 2006. Regardless of format, the 2006 events will prepare for the 2007 USSF. For Information see www.ussocialforum.org or contact United States Social Forum, 211 10th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Tel: 505-247-8832

MIDWEST SOCIAL FORUM (MSF)

The MSF will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin June 15-18, 2006. A planning process is underway. For information contact pbarrett@ssc.wisc.edu

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FORUM (ESF)

The ESF will take place in Athens, Greece, in April 2006. For further information: http://www.fse-esf.org/

OTHER SOCIAL FORUMS AROUND THE WORLD

For info: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/quadro_frc.php?cd_forum=9

***********************************************
3. INFORMATION ON RESOURCES

Politics the Wellstone Way: How To Elect Progressive Candidates and Win on Issues by Wellstone Action (edited by Bill Lofy). University of Minnesota Press, 2005, 222 pages.

Can elections be an opportunity to organize and educate? If yes, can a popular education outlook be a useful approach for the education part of the endeavor? Will such an approach, as many of us intuit, strengthen the organizing? But what tensions and contradictions are there with the needs of elections or issue campaigns - the two kinds of campaigns to which the authors say the "Wellstone method" applies - and educating or organizing? Interesting questions, particularly given the unprecedented, both in its systematic character and its scope, electoral activity by progressives that went on in the 2004 USA presidential campaign. Part of that electoral activity was the work of Wellstone Action. About 7000 people had attended Camp Wellstone sessions offered all across the USA by the end of 2004 and received the training outlined in this manual.

The publication of the manual brings one dimension of this important ongoing work to the fore. The book is written for USA styled elections; its value to Popular Education News readers in other countries may or may not be limited. But surely if you are interested in nexus of elections, organizing, and educating, it is a starting point.

(This newsletter would welcome a review of the manual that emphasizes its organizing and educating aspects.)

 

Training for Transformation, A Handbook for Community Workers, Books 1-4 by Anne Hope and Sally Timmel.

The four books that make up this series are perhaps the worlds most widely used popular education materials. For many years the Grailville Bookstore, Loveland Ohio 45140, (phone: (513) 683-0202, email: grailvillebks@fuse.net ) has been the only place in North America where one could buy the books. One can still buy the books from the Grailville Bookstore (Spanish and French translations too) but now a new printing of the books published in the UK by ITDG Publishing is available more widely in the USA and Canada - and I assume, available to the rest of the world, too. Amazon now lists new copies of both the series (the first three books which were revised by the authors in 1995) and Volume 4 first published in 1999. And there are often copies available on the used books market - both www.amazon.com and www.abebooks.com have numerous listings.

A less expensive version available only in Africa and the global South, published by Mambo Press, is distributed by David Philip Publishers, PO Box 23408 Claremont 7735 South Africa. The books are also available from the African Institute of Social Development, PO Box 283, Kampala, Uganda Tel. 077513911 Email: aisodev@hotmail.com .

For those who wish to complete their collection of TfT books an NGO in Dublin, Ireland, Partners, has produced the Partners Companion To Training For Transformation compiled and written by Maureen Sheehy.(Reviewed Ju-Jl 2004) A few months ago when I last had communication with them, they were nearing completion of a second "companion" volume. Partners, 24 Northbrook Rd, Ranelgh, Dublin 6, Ireland Tel: + 353 1 667 3440 Email: partners@circom.net

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education by Joe Berry.

This book is described as an organizing guide, sort of a "Troublemaker's Handbook," for contingent faculty.reflects the contributions of hundreds who have contributed to the movement over many years. www.reclaimingtheivorytower.org

***********************************************
4.
ADDITIONS TO WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER

Jan 24-29, 2006 An Invitation to Join Grassroots Global Justice Alliance for the 2006 Polycentric World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela. For info contact joann@ggjalliance.org. (The deadline for submission is October 14, 2006)

March 10 - 11, 2006 3rd Annual (Net)Working Conference on Women & Literacy - Moving to Power & Participation Sponsored by:WE LEARN / Women Expanding­Literacy Education Action Resource Network Call for presenters and registration info http://www.litwomen.org/welearn.html

June 25-27, 2006 Peace Education Conference (part of the World Peace Forum June 23-28) The British Columbia Teachers' Federation For further info and a request for proposals www.bctf.ca

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

*Catalyst Centre
*Highlander Center
*Institute for Peoples'Education and Action (IPEA)
*Resource Center of the Americas
*Growing Communities for Peace
Kotare
Project South
Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research (site temporarily unavailable)
Pop Ed Links Directory
WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network
Centre for Popular Education, University of Technology Sydney
The Change Agency

***********************************************
6. "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

What exactly is Popular Education, anyway?

The idea of popular education (often described as "education for critical consciousness") as a teaching methodology came from a Brazilian educator and writer named Paulo Freire, who was writing in the context of literacy education for poor and politically disempowered people in his country. It's different from formal education (in schools, for example) and informal education (learning by living) in that it is a process which aims to empower people who feel marginalized socially and politically to take control of their own learning and to effect social change.

Popular education is a collective effort in which a high degree of participation is expected from everybody. Teachers and learners aren't two distinct groups; rather, everyone teaches and everyone learns! Learners should be able to make decisions about what they are learning, and how the learning process takes place. A facilitator is needed to make sure that new ideas arise, progress, and don't get repetitive, but this isn't at all the same thing as a teacher. In popular education, then, we can't teach another person, but we can facilitate another's learning and help each other as we learn.

In popular education, the learning process starts with identifying and describing everyone's own personal experience, and that knowledge is built upon through various activities done in groups. After the activity, a debriefing process allows us to analyse our situation together; seeing links between our own experience and historical and global processes in order to get the "big picture". Through the generation of this new knowledge, we're able to reflect more profoundly about ourselves and how we fit into the world. This new understanding of society is a preparation to actively work towards social change. In fact, in popular education, the education process isn't considered to be complete without action on what is learned; whether it be on a personal or political level.

From: Bob Hale Youth College for Social Justice : Participants' Handbook. Peace and Environment Resource Centre

***********************************************

*****************************************************************************
Those who do not listen to the voice of the elderly are like trees without roots. - Luo proverb
*****************************************************************************