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Introduction

Like my dad's workshop, this is a collection of tools and materials that I have used over the years. You will find learning activities and games and some reflections on their use but not a method or step by step guide to their use. Most are techniques I have used in my English for Activists and Tokyo Sanitation Workers English courses for Labor Now and classes for Pacific Asia Resource Center and other organizations, as well as undergraduate courses I have taught at Meiji University and Hosei University, in Tokyo. Some are adaptations of activities from books like the wonderful "Técnicas Partcipativas Para la Educación Popular" by Laura Vargas Vargas and "Games for Actors and Non-Actors" by Augusto Boal. Others I learned from teachers, students and friends. Many I made up. Most have been field tested but a few I haven't yet used.

All of these activities are participatory and aimed at fostering a democratic and egalitarian learning process. They are written for educators, but I borrow Augusto Boal's term "joker", instead of "teacher" or "facilitator," to stress the fact that many of the roles we play as teachers can be played by different participants.

I often use other techniques than those written up here, things as simple as group discussion or presentations people make about their activism. In a good course, the "curriculum" is made with the participants. One thing I bring to that process is this toolbox of activities that encourage and support democratic participation.

Feel free to use, adapt and share these activities. Please give credit and please share-alike. Also, I'd love to know about how you use them and what changes you make.

-Matt Noyes

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