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THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS

NO. 1 JANUARY 2003

A monthly newsletter about the Popular Education/Community Organizing Resources Collection in the Penny Lernoux Memorial Library at the Resource Center of the America, 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 with some titles also in Spanish. An annotated bibliography with links to where to purchase materials is at www.americas.org (follow popular education link).

This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Member Circle of the Resource Center of the Americas. Betsy Barnum, Larry Olds and Kristi Papenfuss worked on this issue. You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials you know about and short reviews to lolds@mtn.org.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

REVIEW OF THE MONTH

WHAT IS NEW IN THE COLLECTION

QUOTES FROM FOLKS ABOUT POPULAR EDUCATION

LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORE

"WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

REVIEW OF THE MONTH

Popular Education for Movement Building A Project South Resource Guide, Volume II. Georgia Project South, 2001.

Project South is a broad-based, community-driven membership organization working in [or on] popular political and economic education and action research for organizing and liberation. They develop indigenous popular educators and movement leaders from grassroots and scholar-activist backgrounds, bringing them together on the basis of equality to engage in building a bottom-up movement for social and economic justice.

Popular Education for Movement Building A Project South Resource Guide, Volume II is a popular education tool. It is a gathering of resources, experiences, ideas, lessons learned and visions that can aid in movement-building work. In its pages you will find suggestions for leading workshops, resource materials that will lead you to more tools and information, as well as topic-based activities that have worked successfully in past Project South Popular Education Institute workshops.

This popular education workbook is written in an easy-to-use format. The activities are well-designed lesson plans that are easy to adjust for a variety of audiences. The authors actually advise to "Use the tools in this book as a beginning - then change and shape them into an educational process that works for you. Popular education is only effective if it helps move people to deeper understanding and action for social change."

In addition to offering a wealth of ideas and strategies for movement building and leadership development, the workbook provides valuable training information for workshop facilitators and community organizers. This workbook is a wonderful blend of organizing strategies, methods for participatory facilitation, and leadership training. These three categories are discussed individually and shown working together as a complementary unit. In short, this workbook contains the basic building blocks needed to effectively organize and educate in a participatory manner. It is a musthave for anyone or any organization interested in popular education for movement-building.

(Project South Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide, 9 Gammon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30315, 404-622-0602 , www.projectsouth.org)

- Review by Kristi Papenfuss

WHAT IS NEW IN THE COLLECTION?

We have recently added four new items from Project South. In addition to Popular Education for Movement Building A Project South Resource Guide, Volume II reviewed above, we also have their three popular education toolkits. The topics of these loose-leaf binders containing materials for conducting a popular education-style workshop are 1) Today’s Globalization, 2) Anatomy of a Movement the Zapatistas, and 3) The Prison Industrial Complex. Other recent additions include The Rainbow of Desire The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy, an additional book by Boal on ideas about theatre of the oppressed; Understanding the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a facilitator’s guide for a workshop; Building Community A Tool Kit for Youth & Adults in Charting Assets and Creating Change, a remarkably thorough and clear guide to initiating community organizing, youth-adult partnerships, and strengthening community projects in progress; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights A Human Rights Perspective - Human Rights Education Series Topic Book 3, the latest of the excellent resource books for educating about human rights from the Human Rights Resource Center.

We recently received notices for two new books on Popular Labor Education and have them on order. Watch for reviews of them in a future issue of this newsletter.

The Catalyst Centre in Toronto has recently reprinted two classic general popular education manuals, Counting Our Victories Popular Education and Community Organizing and Naming the Moment (see their online bookstore at www.catalystcentre.ca/index.htm to order).

Big news for the collections is that we have finally added the materials in Spanish to our database so they are accessible on the web site. Also annotations of many of the books by Paulo Freire have been added in both English and Spanish.

Reminder Details about the materials mentioned in this newsletter, including links to sources to buy them, can be found on www.americas.org (follow the popular education link on the home page)

QUOTES FROM FOLKS ABOUT POPULAR EDUCATION

"For me, popular education is a strong movement to recognize that everyone has knowledge to share. Education as it is, there are professionals who know everything and there are people who have to learn everything. That’s not true. There are people who have never been in school but they know a lot. They have experience, they are surviving, and they know how to work. They know a lot." (Sandra Moran quoted in Counting Our Victories, p. 4)

"This workshop helped transform my sense of being alone and isolated in my work to a new appreciation of working with others who themselves are facing similar problems. I’ve gained confidence, self-esteem, new energy, new knowledge, and new friends. I have gained confidence in being able to tackle work that lay ahead." (Quoted in Educating for a Change, p. 166)

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 )

*Institute for Peoples Education and Action (www.peopleseducation.org/ )

*Resource Center of the Americas (www.americas.org )

Project South (www.projectsouth.org )

North American Alliance for Popular and Adult Education (www.naapae.org )

Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research (www-gse.berkeley.edu/research/pepr/ )

Popular Education Links Directory (www.flora.org/mike/links/poped.htm)

"WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

POPULAR EDUCATION WHAT IS IT?* Educación Popular or Popular Education forms part of a current in adult education which has been described as 'an option for the poor' or 'education for critical consciousness'. Most of the methodology and techniques of popular education are also those of adult education. But while many adult education programs are designed to maintain social systems, even when unjust and oppressive, popular education's intent is to build an alternative educational approach that is more consistent with social justice.

Popular Education is called 'popular' because its priority is to work among the many rural and urban poor who form the vast majority of people in most Third World countries. It is a collective or group process of education, where the teacher and students learn together, beginning with the concrete experience of the participants, leading to reflection on that experience in order to effect positive change.

*We have chosen to formulate the definition primarily in terms of who is taught. Other ways of defining the term relate to what is taught or the objectives…or the characteristics of popular education.

- From Rick Arnold and Bev Burke in A Popular Education Handbook

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When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion. - Ethiopian proverb

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This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Member Circle of the Resource Center of the Americas. Contact lolds@mtn.org 612/722-3442