Educating for a Change

Arnold, Rick, Burke, Bev, James, Carl, Martin, D'Arcy, Thomas, Barb
Publisher:  Doris Marshalll Institute for Education and Action/Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1991  
Pages:  206pp   ISBN:  0-921284-48-9
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX4552

For the authors of Ecuating for a Change, genuine democracy does not happen solely through our political and educational work. Democratic processes and practices are essential elements in achieving a truly participatory society. The books offers theory and practical tools for consciously applying the principles of democratic practice to daily work.


Abstract:  Educating for a Change is a book written for educators, those interested in how education works and for everyone who believes that "top-down practices" in education should end. Written by critical educators and formed from a series of notes and ideas established in workshops, this book responds to how people avoid taking a position on the role of power within education. The book proposes these two axioms: education must empower all to enact change and education must be based on democratic practice. This democratic practice should ensure conditions in the learning environment which allow for full and equal participation in discussion, debate and decision making.

Educating for a Change unearths the political dimension of learning and reveals power relations within society with the hope of offering tools, skills and confidence to those who have a vision of alternative power relations. The authors note that educators for social change fundamentally reflect on "praxis," "theory in action" and how to engage politically as opposed to when one learns only for the sake of knowledge. The goal is for the book to have international applicability beyond its Canadian context. The authors hope to use the book as a vehicle for dialogue with other groups in areas where they lack experience and knowledge in order to gain new insights.

The book is structured into five chapters with an additional introduction and a postscript. At the end of the introduction the reader is given important terms and definitions used throughout the book to familiarize him/her with the critical position of the editors. Chapter 1 focuses on the topic of strategy in addressing the following: factors to consider before getting involved in educational programs and the importance of analyzing both your place as a teacher and the broader social context in which learning occurs. In Chapter 2, the writers relate their experiences of designing educational events to show the readers how goals are achieved. Their experiences focus on interactions with international solidarity groups, the trade union movement and anti-racist educators. Chapter 3 discusses educational activities with the use of examples from the past, while Chapter 4 discusses the challenges of group facilitation, such as coordinating conflicting agendas. In Chapter 5 the authors share lessons they have gained from past experiences working as educators for social change. Finally, Chapter 6 predicts the challenges to come for educators and education programs. The Postscript includes two items: a discussion which took place between authors towards the end of the writing process and comments from colleagues who read the manuscript along the way.

[Abstract by Amanpreet Dhami]


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
THE WRITERS

A WORD ABOUT WORDS
Words about education
Words about people

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

1 THIS IS OUR CHANCE: EDUCATING STRATEGICALLY
PAINTING OURSELVES INTO THE PICTURE
Social identity
Organizational identity
Political identity

ASSESSING THE SITUATION
The purposes
The content
The method

2 WORKING BY DESIGN: PUTTING TOGETHER A PROGRAM
TAKING OURSELVES SERIOUSLY
The politics and economics of planning
A note on planning, design, and facilitation
The planning phase
The design phase: the model matters
Why we find the spiral model useful

THE BUILDING BLOCKS
Steering around our nightmares: who's coming and why
Getting the objectives straight

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
Getting started
Getting out people's experience or knowledge of a theme
Looking for patterns in our experience
Adding theory/new information
Practising skills, forming strategies, and planning for action
Reflection and evaluation
A twist in the spiral
Documenting the process

A DESIGNING CHECKLIST

3 SHAPING OUR TOOLS: DEVELOPING AND USING ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITIES AND HOW TO CHOOSE THEM
What is an activity?
Steps or moments in an activity
Deciding on an activity
Reshaping an activity

GETTING STARTED
Buses or lifeboats: an introductory exercise
Paired interviews
Starter puzzle
Three paired skirmish and round robin

DRAWING OUT KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE AND LOOKING FOR PATTERNS
Helps/hinders
Nightmares
The power flower: reflection on our social identities
Drawing "When I see, hear, feel these things..."

ADDING THEORY OR NEW INFORMATION
Triangle tool
Facilitator presentations
Sculpturing an analysis

PRACTISING SKILLS, FORMING STRATEGIES, AND PLANNING FOR ACTION
Using video
Case studies
Stop drama, or "take two"

REFLECTION AND EVALUATION
Quick and dirty: reconstructing an activity
Quick and dirty: line-up
Fly on the ceiling
Process observers
Head, heart, feet

ENERGIZING PARTICIPANTS AND FACILITATORS
The people say
Post office
Sentence reconstruction
Person to person

A FINAL WORD

4 WORKING ON OUR FEET: THE PRACTICE OF DEMOCRATIC FACILITATION
USING SPACE: THE POLITICS OF FURNITURE
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on using space democratically

MAKING THE MOST OF WHO WE ARE
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on making the most of who we are

ESTABLISHING CREDIBILITY/SHARING THE EXPERT ROLE
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on establishing credibility/sharing the expert role

GIVING AND GETTING FEEDBACK
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on giving and getting feedback

CHALLENGING AND ENCOURAGING RESISTANCE
A Story
So what's going on?
Tips on challenging and encouraging resistance

WORKING WITH DISCOMFORT
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on working with discomfort

CONFLICT: HEADING INTO THE WIND
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on handling conflict

TIMING: EXIT LINES
A story
So what's going on?
Tips on timing

THE FACILITATOR'S ROLL

5 LOOKING BACK: ISSUES EMERGING FROM OUR PRACTICE
THE BASIS OF OUR PRACTICE
What is education for anyway?
What if you're educating for a change?
Whose agenda?
Connecting with learners
Educators as consultants: who are they?

POWER RELATIONS
Power and social change educators
Power and social identities
The benefits of recognizing the role of social identities
Sharing power
The educator as facilitator and learner

INCREASING OUR IMPACT
Assess the situation
Grab the free space
Acknowledge the contradictions in the work
Work collectively
Help to give voice to others and promote their presence

A VITAL BRIDGE

6 LOOKING AHEAD: IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR WORK IN THE 1990s
ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
Canada's economic future at stake
Lifting the last frontiers: capital and resistance go global
The "human resources" talk back

POLITICAL CHALLENGES
First Nations on the move
Sovereignty and association

SOCIAL CHALLENGES
Deeds not words: feminizing our practice
Confronting White privilege
Taking back the Grey Agenda
A matter of planetary survival
Humanizing the workplace

CULTURAL AND IDEOLOGICAL CHALLENGES
Democracy: the threat of a good example
Arts and media: freeing the imagination

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS, BUILDING LINKS

POSTSCRIPT
THIS BOOK AND US: A CONVERSATION

READERS RESPOND: SOME QUOTES

EDUCATING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: A BIBLIOGRAPHY


Subject Headings


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