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

Interesting Resource: The Pedagogy Project

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


Wikipedia 66

This game, loosely based on "Philipps 66" in Técnicas Participativas Para la Educación Popular, is a way to introduce background information from Wikipedia (and such) through engaged reading and summarizing.

The Flow:

  • The joker explains and motivates the game: [______] is a new topic/person/thing about which we can get background information online.
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Free online resource: Smartphone Journalism

Richard Hering, from http://visionon.tv/ 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: http://streetreporter.org/en/tools

Smartphone Journalism

I learned this technique for "video citizen journalism" from Richard Hering in a workshop he did for our English for Activists class in Tokyo. Seems like a great tool for activists that can also be a great tool for learners. The key factors are immediacy, a clear simple structure, and low technical barriers: you use the video camera on your phone, a simple formula for organizing content, and no editing or effects. (See remoscope for a similarly direct approach.)

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Silent Story

In this activity, the joker uses drawings to tell a story without speaking.

The flow:

Joker deals playing cards to participants, two or three cards each. (To equalize participation but maintain some freedom to choose when to participate use playing cards as talking chits.)

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Filmmaker Emiko Aono introduced this approach to participants in the media working group of Labor Now, the Tokyo-based labor research and activist group. (www.jca.apc.org/labornow) I have doubts about the theoretical project of overcoming the difference between spectator and performance, especially since reading Ranciere's Emancipated Spectator. But I think this technique is perfect for practicing the attentive seeing and verification that is central to emancipated learning. For more information see http://remoscope.net/

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Our She-roes

In the 1980's in NYC I first heard someone use the term "she-roes" to emphasize the role of women in history and society. Not being so interested in the concept of "heroes" -- I believe with Debs that people have waited too long for some Moses to lead them out of bondage, waiting for a Joan of Arc to lead us out is equally problematic -- I didn't think much about the term. But it stayed in my mind, like an advertising jingle or a virus. The fact is, I use figures like Debs to orient myself, to represent my aspirations, to express that which I dream of being in some way.

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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."


Teach the chair

Teaching is the best way to learn. Why? Because what we call teaching is usually a combination of actions, attitudes, and responsibilities that make for good learning. The teacher is fully engaged and active, often acting with strong motivation, clear goals, and a sense of responsibility not just for the material and her/his own action, but also for others and for the group as a whole. "Student," on the other hand, often describes a very limited range of activity.

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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.



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