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THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS

NO. 9 OCTOBER 2003

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 is at www.americas.org (follow library/popular education link).

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.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

· REVIEWS OF THE MONTH

- Starting With Women’s Lives Changing Today’s Economy - A Facilitators Guide to a Visual Workshop Methodology

· OTHER RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

· ON-LINE POPULAR EDUCATION MATERIALS

· LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ON-LINE BOOKSTORES

· "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

 

REVIEWS OF THE MONTH

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.

Starting with Women’s Lives is mainly for women who want to facilitate workshops with women on gender relations in today’s economy. Because the method begins with women’s experience, it works most effectively with groups of women. It can provide a unique opportunity for women to learn from each other, discover strengths and identify actions women can take to create a more just society. The authors also include guidelines for those interested in adapting the method for a mixed group of participants.

The publication could be used by any group of women to (1) analyze the effects of economic changes on women; (2) analyze a specific trend in the economy (such as hospital closings) in order to identify actions for change from a woman-centered perspective; (3) develop an understanding of the connections between women’s daily lived experiences and national and global economic trends.

This "how-to" guide shares the experiences of the authors and many of their collaborators in doing gender analysis in a visual and participatory way. The authors are popular educators who have worked with grassroots groups in church, community and labor sectors. They draw much of their inspiration for popular education from Central America.

The method is called "the Wall" because it uses the image of a stone wall to depict a gender analysis of today’s economy or a particular aspect of it. The wall image provides an opportunity to analyze changes in the economy over the past ten years and what those changes have meant for women. In building the Wall (1) participants begin with their own lives, sharing experiences of how changes in the economy, especially changes to jobs and the social safety net, have affected them; (2) then they analyze their experiences, looking at how women’s work has been undervalued, underpaid and unpaid; and (3) they identify actions for change.

The method as presented requires a one-day workshop. The guide suggests, however, ways in which some pieces could be used alone or in combination when time is limited. There is a section on the step-by-step preparation of the materials you will need to build the Wall. And there are visual summaries along the way to help you see where you’ve been and where you’re going.

The guide is organized into six sections Introduction, The Overview, The Thinking Behind the Wall, the Facilitator’s Notes, Adapting the Wall, Preparing to Facilitate the Wall, and The Resources Section

In a one-day workshop we created a beautiful Wall that looked like a patchwork quilt. We put up differently-colored stones speaking about the pain, fatigue and the anger women are feeling with the changes in the economy. But it wasn’t depressing because we realized the strength we have as women to change it. There were all of those paper women running all over it, identifying actions we can take to support each other and to challenge privatization and globalization.

…a participant in the workshop

This summary description of Starting with Women’s Lives was written by Larry Olds using the book’s introduction by the authors.

 

OTHER RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

On Our Feet Taking Steps To Challenge Women's Oppression. A Handbook On Gender And Popular Education Workshops by Liz Mackenzie. Centre For Adult And Continuing Education (CACE), 1992. 175 pages. (So. Africa)

This handbook was produced to fulfill part of the mission of CACE-- to build and extend adult education for a non-racist, non-sexist democratic society, to train adult educators formally and non-formally, to provide resources for adult and community educators, to support research, to hold workshops and to publish materials to further these aims. This is their classic pop-ed text focusing on gender! "On Our Feet" was written "mainly for women" and aims to help them "to challenge the gender bias in organizations and educational programmes." Another aim of the handbook is to "help create a network of adult or popular educators who will actively challenge gender oppression."

Women’s Education in the Global Economy A Workbook of Activities, Games, Skits, and Strategies for Activisits, Organizers, Rebels and Hell Raisers by Miriam Ching Louie with Linda Burnham. Women of Color Resource Center, 2000. 166 pages.

This workbook was written to enable women in our communities to increase their awareness of the impact of global economic restructuring on women’s lives and to help women envision ways to organize for economic justice from a strong gender, race, and global perspective. The workbook has eight modules that engage participants in small and large group activities drawing on their own experiences and on the information in the handouts. Each of the modules includes an overview, objectives, summary of the main points, list of materials required, time needed, and directions for the exercises.

 

ON-LINE POPULAR EDUCATION MATERIALS

Citizens Trade Campaign

http//www.citizenstrade.org/resources.php#Training%20and%20Presentation%20Materials

Training and Presentation Materials

The following materials were developed by the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition for use in presentations to workers regarding new rules on Trade in Services. Feel free to use them and alter the content to suit your needs. Should you make any changes, however, please remove the "Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition" name. Among the materials available Trade Deals and Construction Workers, Trade Deals and Postal Workers, Trade Deals and Public Sector Workers, Trade Deals and Democracy

United for a Fair Economy http//www.faireconomy.org/econ/trainers_resources.html

Resources for Trainers

These links will take you to UFE workshop kit materials available for free download. Each workshop page also includes a list of readings and resources for that workshop. Among the materials available The Growing Economic Divide, Fair Taxes for All, The Massachusetts Budget Crisis, War and the Economy, War and Globalization, FTAA for Beginners

 

 

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 )

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)

 

"WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

Popular education, developed in the 1960s and 1970s by the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, is a nontraditional method of education that tries to empower adults through democratically structured cooperative study and action.

Popular education is carried out within a political vision that sees women and men at the community and grassroots level as the primary agents for social change. It is a deeply democratic process, equipping communities to name and create their own vision of the alternatives for which they struggle.

The popular education process begins by critically reflecting on, sharing, and articulating with a group or community what is known from lived experience. The participants define their own struggles. They critically examine and learn from the lessons of past struggles and from concrete everyday situations in the present.

The process continues with analysis and critical reflection upon reality aimed at enabling people to discover solutions to their own problems and set in motion concrete actions for the transformation of that reality.

Organizing guided by the following principles at the core of popular education helps to address two key interrelated challenges many organizations face how to make our organizations more democratic, and how to get people involved who will work to make the organization represent their interests and achieve its goals.

· Encourage participation.

· Develop democratic practices.

· Promote participants’ control of the process and actions.

· Focus action around the issues in people’s daily lives.

· Involve the entire person, including the heart, mind, body, and spirit.

· Respect the histories and cultures of those involved.

· Take power relationships into account.

· Integrate a gender and race perspective.

· Challenge all privileges (e.g. race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age).

· Affirm identity.

· Emphasize movement and/or organizational base-building.

· Have long-term goals and visions.

Excerpted from "Popular Education" by Steve Schnapp. THE GLOBAL ACTIVIST’S MANUAL LOCAL WAYS TO CHANGE THE WORLD edited by Mike Prokosch and Laura Raymond. Thunder’s Mouth Press, New York, 2002. (Steve Schnapp is the Education Director of United for a Fair Economy.)

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If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed. Chinese Proverb

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