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

Monopoly with a real distribution of wealth and income

Simple idea:

Play Monopoly (or Life) with an initial distribution of wealth and income that matches the one prevailing in your society.

The flow:

Prepare the game. Joker gives participants a Monopoly set and a source like Wealth Inequality in America (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM) or G William Domhoff's "Wealth, Income and Power" (http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html) and asks participants to divide the property and cash among the players in a way that mirrors the actual division of income and wealth in the United States.

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Hey! Shujinko!

I learned about the history of the japanese word 主人公 shujinko from Yurie Kumakura, a researcher of workers cooperatives in Japan. Goshu Nakanishi, one of the founders of the workers cooperative movement in Japan, used shujinko as an equivalent for protagonismo (which he may have learned from Jose Maria Arizmendiarrietta). The word is common in Zen Buddhism, where it is often translated as "Master," and the story goes that the Chinese monk Zuigan used to talk to himself while meditating, addressing himself, "Hey! Shujinko! Are you sleeping?" or "Hey! Shujinko!

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On games, agency, protagonism and more

I find this article very interesting. I think the overlap of online games, artificial intelligence (not discussed in this article), and theories of agency and protagonism is a fascinating area. What can we learn as educators? If we see a class or other learning process as a game, how do we sort out these various factors (e.g. weak interaction?).


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Ken Loach Films online

The great director Ken Loach has uploaded many of his films, a wonderful resource.


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.


Two week check in

A technique for encouraging participants to support each other in applying what they learn, that I got from Kaisu Tuominiemi, a coach at Mondragon Team Academy.

The flow:
At the end of a learning event, a course, a workshop, a class, the joker asks participants to write down one (or two) specific actions they want to take in the next two weeks, as a way to apply what they have learned.

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Mistake Game

A fast-moving concentration game in which mistakes are celebrated. I learned this from Kaisu Tuominiemi, a coach at Mondragon Team Academy.

In a circle, five to maybe ten people.

Phase One

The joker starts the game by putting her left hand on her right shoulder and saying, "one!"

The person to her right repeats the motion, saying, "two!"

This continues four more times.

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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.



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