For items relating to popular education for union democracy, including blog entries, etc.

The Marshmallow Challenge

You are, I am

In this game, which I learned from Sakiko Ishitsubo, people pair up and take turns closely observing each other, describing what they see. When person A says, "I see you are holding the zipper pull on your jacket." Person B repeats the description, "I am holding the zipper pull on my jacket." In this way each observation is stated and verified. There is no strict sequence, players can shift back and forth as they like. The goal is to observe each other closely, to describe what you see, and to verify the observations.

Me --> You (recognition game)

Haka Variations

Use the haka form to practice the body language of other emotions and attitudes: instead of intimidation, how about love, shame, flattery...?

Use it with language, as a kind of competition -- each side having its players say something in English, different for each player, showing off their language skill and clever ideas.

Use it with sounds, each side taking turns making one sound or word, like my name "Matt." The leaders can coach their teams and tell them which word is next.

Dating Game

The idea is to start a discussion of a famous person (or text, artwork, etc) using the Dating Game format.

There are three roles: the Joker (emcee), the player, the potential dates.

The flow:
The player sits separated from the three potential dates.
The joker introduces the player.
The joker then asks the dates to introduce themselves in one sentence that will be attractive to the player.
The player then proceeds to ask questions, to one date at a time, trying to find the one who sounds best.

John Cage's Ten Rules

From the great Open Culture website.

These rules can be used in many ways:

  • As one big prompt for a writing activity;
  • As individual prompts for a writing activity;
  • As prompts for role plays or speeches;
  • As propositions to debate...

They are great to use for thinking about innovation, creativity, education, any kind of self-directed work.
RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.

Using FB in class

For a few years I have been using Facebook Groups in my university courses. One technique that has been especially useful is to have students post comments for homework, then, in the following class, read and respond to others' comments, using their smartphones. I also participate, provoking discussion and reflection. It becomes a kind of instant writing/reading process and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun.

If money did not exist

I learned this from Jon Ander Musatadi, a young cooperative entrepreneur from the LEINN program at Mondragon University in Euskadi.

The idea of this activity is to help participants focus on their "Why?" -- the dream or aspiration that drives them -- and give them support from their peers.

The Joker asks participants to write on a piece of paper the answer to this question:

  • If money did not exist, what would you be doing right now?