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"Still Life with Union Movement"

Learned a great opening activity in the Labor Education study group I participate in at Meiji University's Labor Media and Education Center. Needs a good title -- "Still Life with Union Movement"?

The activity is similar to Statues (where participants use other participants to create a statue representing an idea or situation).

Facilitator piles up three or four chairs in the middle of the room, some on top of others, in a jumble.

She asks participants to think of this pile of chairs as "The Union Movement."

Augusto Boal talks about solidarity, dialogue and democracy

Interview with Augusto Boal on Democracy Now from 2007. Boal died recently, at the age of 78.

The interview is great -- he describes his evolution as an educator/actor as well as the evolution of movements in Brazil, including the MST, landless workers movement. I love the way he describes the moment when he realized that he needed an alternative to using theater to tell people what to do.

Two facilitation problems

At a recent workshop on participatory techniques for worker education I had the chance to be a participant, giving me the opportunity to study facilitation from the other side of the equation. While the facilitator was quite good, she made a couple of mistakes that are worth describing so as to watch out for them. (It's so much easier to troubleshoot other's mistakes!)

At the end of the workshop, with about 20 minutes to go, the facilitator suggested the group (20 people) do a quick go around, with each person re-introducing herself and making one comment about the workshop.

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How to use me

Are you planning a workshop or other education activity and looking for advice or feedback? Want to use activities from this site, but not sure how to adapt them to fit your circumstances? Send me an email and we can set up a time to skype or conference. I'm happy to share experiences and provide feedback or a sounding board for your planning process. Of course it all depends on how busy I am at the time, but it's a good way to use me, so give it a try!

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I apologize for website glitches (like the fact that the popular education handbook is not showing up!) I recently upgraded the software and databases and have some work to do. I'll try to get it fixed asap!

Welcome Vermonters!

My friend and collaborator Charley MacMartin tells me that friends of his may visit this site looking for the problem tree. Welcome! Please do register and also let me know if you have questions, comments, suggestions, links etc.

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Popular Education for Union Democracy: activities now online

I have made some progress: you can now find one activity from each chapter in the handbook: Popular Education for Union Democracy, along with an introductory piece that lists all the activities from that chapter and puts them in context.

Click on the link at left for a full table of contents.

Please let others know about the site and feel free to register and comment.

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Adjustments committee

Put this in glossary and also in action?

Source: Theresa El Amin, Ira Shor

Negotiating control over the education process, good test of democratic facilitation and group's capacity for control.

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New on this website

I have been concentrating on The Workers' Inspiration: Popular Education for Union Democracy. My plan is to get the intro section for each chapter and one activity into good enough shape to be viewed by the public.

I had initially planned to make them available only to registered users until they were in more finished form, but that would mean that a new visitor wouldn't really see much, and might not decide to register.

So, though they are not entirely finished, I am making them public in the hopes that they will make the site more useful to people.

This is not a pipe

I am collecting activities I have used in my English for Activists courses and other language teaching for a book on Participatory Techniques for Language Learning. Like Popular Education for Union Democracy, to get access to all the activities, and comment on, ask questions about, and contribute to the book, you need to register on this website. See "how to participate."

The book is here.


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