Saturday, February 02, 2008

New Activist Education Book

Just got my hands on a copy of this latest "handbook" for social change. I learned of the Trapese collective a few years ago and am pleased that they identify as a popular education collective. I still want to learn more about their take on popular education (they have a blog as well), and i can see that they draw somewhat on the Scottish popular education folks and i know there has been a significant interest there (in popular education, Paulo Freire, et al) for some i time. One excellent book from Scotland is Liam Kane's Popular Education for Social Change in Latin America.

Do It Yourself: A Handbook for Changing Our World is 320 pages of critical discussion, action suggestions and activity descriptions that is the kind of blend of theory and practice of which we need to see lots more. I have a small quibble with something that's 320 pages long being called a "handbook" but, to be fair, if i did a "handbook" it would likely be several hundred pages long as well. Activists, educators and engaged citizens have an urgent and overwhelming need for the kind of information found in these pages. The book's website (link above) is excellent and will give you a quick and thorough overview including some sample chapters (in PDF).

The book has nine themes, each addressed by two chapters, one analytical (theory) and one practical (applied). The themes are a good reflection of what social movements (especially since the WTO protests in Seattle) have taken up and include cultural activism, food, direct action and more. I turned straight away to the "Education" section which starts off right away talking about popular education. And it's a good introduction. I've got to read it more closely before i offer more than encouragement to get a copy. And get one you should. This book is packed with good stuff.

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