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Cards Against Humanity

This seems like a great game format, combining up to date culturally relevant* questions and answers, many of them inappropriate (a good thing), with random, surrealist play. The instructions are snarky but include many good ideas. It seems like a great game to re-tool to fit your situation, if you can find the right balance of elements: commercial culture, obscenity, poetry, social realism...

I will definitely be using this in some way.

Cooperative Learning Equations

This morning in a meeting with Professor Imamura Hajime from Toyo University and Jon Ander Musatadi from GLOW cooperative and Mondragon Team Academy, Jon explained the need to help people unleash their creativity using an equation.

Instead of 1+2=3, rote learning, or 1+ X = 3, where "finding the unknown" is just a matter of filling in the answer dictated by the problem, think of learning as X + Y = 3, that is, an infinity of different possible combinations, different ways to reach a given goal. As cooperative entrepreneurs, the students and coaches at MTA value innovative solutions.


I learned about this tool from Shimpei Ogawa.

In addition to being very useful for scheduling a meeting, or people's work schedules, it can be used for accountability in group work -- making a list of tasks and having the group members identify which ones they will do. You can easily visualize how well the group is distributing tasks.

Cooperativists for a Democratic Cooperative?

One of the many interesting sources I have read in the Masters in Social Economy and Cooperative Management at Mondragon University. In these slides you see a frank critique of the evolution of cooperative ideology in the Mondragon Cooperative Experience. The practice of critical self-reflection within Mondragon is a real strength, even as they lament the failure to maintain cooperative values and strategies for social transformation.

Interesting Resource: The Pedagogy Project

This looks interesting -- I will definitely be checking it out.

Free online resource: Smartphone Journalism

Richard Hering, from introduced this technique for making and uploading short videos in our English for Activists class in Tokyo.

They call it "Video Citizen Journalism," but, since not all of us are citizens of the countries in which we find ourselves, I prefer grassroots journalism or just smartphone journalism.

In any case, they have a handy leaflet that explains the most simple method, the One Shot News Report:

Yet another great free online resource: Paulo Freire's works

Huge collection of Freire's work and other work by popular educators online for free. What the internet is supposed to be.

"o Centro de Referência Paulo Freire (CRPF) se dedica a preservar e divulgar a memória e o legado de Paulo Freire. Possui caráter público e de livre acesso, onde é possível ter contato com textos, imagens, áudios e vídeos relacionados ao educador e também com alguns de seus objetos pessoais."

Another great online history source: American Social History Project

The American Social History Project is a rich source of material and teaching ideas/tools. "American" here means USA, mostly, but the building of "America" is one of the themes they explore well.

I still meet people who got their labor history through Labor's Untold Story or their alternative US history through Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, but haven't read Who Built America?, which, in my opinion is much better.

A great resource online for free

How great to have this labor and social history teaching resource online for free. I hope others will add new lessons and comments. I still recall the time I did the Organic Goodie activity with IBEW apprentices -- a huge guy finally stood up and seized "the machine", holding it high above his head (far out of my reach). The question: what to do next?

This is not what democracy looks like...

In an English for Activists class on Occupy, Aki Owada had an idea for how to discuss the question: "What is democracy?" Instead of asking people to talk about what democracy is, she asked everyone to give examples of experiences they have had that were not democratic. (This is the same basic idea as the nightmare scenario, using the opposite as an entry way into a discussion.)

Here's what we came up with:

  • Police telling me I can't cross the street at a demonstration. The young activists said, "be patient Grandmother!" But I don't want to be patient!


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