Welcome to Rolling Earth

This website offers tools for education for democratic self-organization and reflections on their use. I hope it will provide a space for discussion and exploration of the use of "popular education" in movement building -- guided by a commitment to equality and democracy. See the website guidelines for more about the mechanics of the site. - Matt Noyes

"This is not a pipe..."

The idea of this circle game is to take an object and then re-imagine it as a series of different objects. I took this from a children's game I learned from Robyn Avalon when visiting with her family in Santa Fe. Kids love it.

Good for: loosening up, for using language naturally, in a fun and creative way that people at different levels can understand and enjoy.

Set up: chairs in a circle (could also do it standing)

Number of people: at least three

Materials: some simple object

Time: 30 minutes or so

Game Categories: 
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The Ignorant Schoolmaster's Toolbox: Participatory Techniques for Democratic Learning

A collection of participatory activities I have used in teaching, both at Meiji University and in my English for Activists courses for Labor Now. All activities were created by Matt Noyes, unless otherwise indicated. All content is under a Creative Commons attribution, share-alike, non-commercial license (see footer). To see activities listed by:
Activity Type (Acting, Drawing, Reading, Singing, Speaking/Listening, Surrealism, Video/Smartphone, Writing)
Alforja Categories (Icebreakers, General Analytical, Abstract Thinking, Communication, Organization, Structural Analysis, Economic Analysis, Political Analysis, Ideological Analysis)

Some activities are only accessible if you register on the site, please do!

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Draft intros and activities added

Registered users can now find draft intro material and activities for each chapter. There is much to tinker with, but it's a start. Feel free to ask questions about the activities and to offer corrections, improvements, doubts etc about them as well.

Getting started

I've been working on setting up the site (the software I am using -- Drupal -- is great, but with more control comes more work!).

  • I have started adding bits to the book, which I retitled. Two activities online so far (draft form, but usable): Challenging the Educators, and The Union Democracy and Power Line.
  • I've added several annotated links, still need to set up a page for viewing them.

Chapter 4 -- Adding New Information

This step can be tricky for popular educators. It is easy to slip back into the old "banking" model of education: and play the role of the expert whose job it is to give people information or ideas, treating your fellow participants like so many empty vessels waiting to be filled.

Providing new information (or helping people find it themselves) and helping them learn how to use it is essential in any educational process. Obtaining and learning to use information is a central part of building power. Sharing information and helping others learn is essential for democracy.

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Chapter 3 -- Digging in: analyzing problems

Another term for popular education is problem-posing education. We are getting people together to identify, analyze and figure out how to solve problems.

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Chapter 2 -- Sharing Experiences and Finding Threads

Popular education has been described as a "pedagogy of the question." (Bruss, Neal, Macedo, Donaldo P. Toward a Pedagogy of the Question: Conversations with Paulo Freire. Journal of Education, v167 n2 p7-21 1985) That's especially true of the starting point.

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Chapter 1 -- Where we Begin: Naming the Context

Et toi? Quand est-ce que tu pars? Elle est ou, ta place? (from Ressources Humaines, Laurent Cantet)
What about you? When are you leaving? Where's your place?

Tu, con que intencion y como pretendes utilizar las tecnicas? (Alforja, Tomo 2, "Advertencia!")
And you, what are your intentions, how do you plan to use these techniques?

Where and how does popular education for union democracy begin?

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Pop Ed. Sources


Books you must have:

Tecnicas Participativas Para La Educacion Popular The best resource book for popular educators, combines technique (lots of activities) with method and embodies the work of popular educators in Central America.

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How to participate in this handbook

To participate in this handbook you must first register on this website.

Anonymous users, people who visit the site without registering, have limited access to the contents of The Workers Inspiration: Popular Education for Union Democracy and can not read or write comments.

Registered Users can access most content, post comments, and create content of various types. They can see first drafts of activities as well as the final versions.

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