Monday, February 15, 2010

5th Int'l Conference of the Popular Education Network

I've just learned about this 5th Int'l Conference of the Popular Education Network and am urging people to connect with it. If anybody trips across a pot 'o gold and feels like sharing... hint, hint. More likely, if someone from the Toronto-area can make it, please bring back news. Edinburgh, folks! Sweet. (It's my father's land).

I learned about this network a year ago and, despite a number of e-mail attempts to connect, i've not actually connected with anyone. It is volunteer-run and that, no doubt, is a huge limiting factor. It also seems to be exclusively academic - "not that there's anything wrong with that" (some old Seinfeld humour for you fans). And there is some excellent theory emerging from this network some published in Popular Education: Engaging the Academy - International Perspectives (eds. Crowther, Jim et al; NIACE) and some found in some excellent podcasts found here (i particularly recommend the two-part interview of Joyce Canaan by Dr. Gurnam Singh).

It's been a dream of the Catalyst Centre to connect some of the many popular education groups around the world - the Freire Centre in Sao Paulo (and some of the many other Freire Institutes/Centres that have been established in the past ten years), Highlander in Tennessee, Popular Education for People's Empowerment in the Philippines, L'Institut d'Education Populaire outside Bamako, Mali, IMDEC in Guadalajara and more. However, finding the resources for such networking has proven, to date, fruitless. The grassroots nature of many of these groups compared to the somewhat better resourced academic networks, is certainly one limiting factor in doing more than e-mail, website linking and (the rather overly-vaunted) social networking. Still, the dream persists.

Spread the word about this conference. Looks like some excellent connections to be made.

1 comment:

Lavish said...

Hi Chris,

I produce a speaker series, Heads, and would love to get you involved in our next evening of conversation. Check out Heads at, and contact me at

We are bring the art of conversation back to Toronto in a modern idea salon, and our next event coincides with the Festival of Storytelling! I think it would be a great way for you to reach a new audience, spread the word about a passion for words, and inspire.

I would love to hear from you!