I apologize for website glitches (like the fact that the popular education handbook is not showing up!) I recently upgraded the software and databases and have some work to do. I'll try to get it fixed asap!
My friend and collaborator Charley MacMartin tells me that friends of his may visit this site looking for the problem tree. Welcome! Please do register and also let me know if you have questions, comments, suggestions, links etc.
intro - explain pbl format
In an English as a Second Language class for immigrant workers, Ramona is sitting in the back of the classroom, talking excitedly in Spanish with the person next to her. Standing at the front of the class, Matt is frustrated and curious.
- What's the problem? (this is not as simple as it may seem, to begin with it depends on whose standpoint you look at it from, for Ramona, the problem may be that there is no good chance to talk with the person next to her...)
Over time, the standard chants and slogans used on picket lines and in demonstrations, protests, and marches, become stale and cliche. The content gets lost and the music becomes sing-song. The chants have no impact. The whole experience becomes disempowering. (This has been true for so long that even complaining about it is stale and cliche!)
So, what's this handbook about?
This handbook is:
- a toolkit for educators and activists
- a case-study of grass-roots worker education in the US workers movement
- [an argument for popular education for union democracy, and
- [an argument for union democracy for worker education
- [a call for allies
- [a starter
[box]What kinds of activities can I use to help workers learn their rights and develop their ability to organize for democracy and power?[image: we're all here, now what do I do?]
I have made some progress: you can now find one activity from each chapter in the handbook: Popular Education for Union Democracy, along with an introductory piece that lists all the activities from that chapter and puts them in context.
Click on the link at left for a full table of contents.
Please let others know about the site and feel free to register and comment.
Adapted from "The triangle tool" in Educating for a Change.
Using a simple analytic tool, this activity helps people become aware of the different factors -- structure, culture and participation -- that combine to make a union more or less democratic. It also emphasizes the role of the rank-and-file as well as the officers and staff.
[In which some knowledgeable, highly respected labor educator sings the praises of this handbook and notes its unique contribution.
Elaine Bernard, Nadia Marin, Jerome Scott?]
Explain what popular education offers to union democracy and power.
Teaching/learning tech (learning techniques exist also)
Democratic teaching for democratic organizing...
Building capacity for collective action...
This should explain union democracy to an unfamiliar but pro-labor reader, in context of labor renewal. It should reinforce
Use triangle tool here to show union democracy as laws and procedures, culture, and participation.
Maybe include checklist of democratic organizing?
Links to AUD, quote material from AUD site.
Is Democracy Good for Unions? Is Democracy Good for Intellectuals? exchange
The Union Democracy Triangle
(The Triangle Tool is from Educating for a Change.)
I find it helpful to think of union democracy as having three main aspects: