Some education handbooks, especially those written for classroom teachers, add a "Time it takes" item to their descriptions of activities. I had initially planned to do this, because it is so important as a facilitator to have a realistic sense of how long any given activity might take, or, put otherwise, how much time to give it. No one wants to run out of time just when things get interesting, or find herself standing there with twenty minutes left and nothing to do.
After a long day I thought, "students are harder than Allah, you have to take two steps towards them to get them to take one step towards you."
On a related note, sitting in a contentious meeting with my academic higher-ups I finally really got what Elijah Mohammed was talking about when he showed Malcolm the glass of water with ink in it: "if you offer only dirty water, people will drink it because they are thirsty. If you offer the choice between dirty water and clean, they will choose the clean water."
I've been working with a woman, native Japanese speaker, whose English is very good. She uses me as a "native informant" -- a resource for developing her awareness of English. (She is a Gattegno teacher/student.)
[img_assist|nid=154|title=CUE power and democracy line 2001|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=450|height=318]
This is a chart recording the results of a democracy and power line Mike Orrfelt and I did with members and officers of the Coalition of University Employees in 2001. (See also the Mosh Pit activity in Chapter 5.)
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.
[Put here the AUD handout -- who does what? Use it as a checklist activity that people can do, discuss in pairs and then share in group. Can also use it as an agree/disagree list.]
[WHERE DOES THIS BELONG? MAYBE BETTER TO PLACE IT UNDER ACTION, OR UNDER PREPARING FOR ACTION?]
Checklist of 13 Basic Principles of Democratic Organizing
(adapted by Matt Noyes from The Troublemaker's Handbook, by Dan LaBotz, Labor Notes 1989)
Spectrum of educational approaches in the field of labor education.
These models are intended to represent three distinct approaches to labor education. They are simplified and incomplete, but should reflect coherent methods that we have experienced in our work. The idea is to use these models to explore how we work now, and how we want to work, where we want our work to go.
For each category, please:
Circle the paragraph that best describes how you do your education work now.
By Matt Noyes, adapted from "Power" in Literacy for Empowerment: A Resource Handbook for Community Based Educators. Washington, D.C. : Association for Community Based Education, 1988. (ACBE credits this activity to Barbara Greene of the Mountain Women's Exchange.)
[illustration: workers placing stickers on a democracy and power line]
The best way to study popular education is to experience it both as a facilitator and as a participant. Try it out in a small group of people who share your interest. I was lucky to be part of a working group of teachers and organizers who came together to study popular education and organizing. (Their names are all over this handbook!). Popular educators need to create our own contexts, our own support, our own 'schools' in order to deepen and extend our work.
Do I name names? Do I ask everyone first?