UALE Popular Education Working Group
Meeting via conference call Feb 23, 2018
Attendance: Tess Ewing (retired, formerly UMass Boston), Adriane Paavo (USW), Zach Cunningham (CSEA), Riahl O’Malley (UFE), Darby Frye (AFSCME WA), Kate Shaughnessy (AFL-CIO), Eric Larson (UMass Dartmouth), Richard Gaboton (CUPW)
1) Introductions and Agenda Review
See attendance above
2) Proposal Review Sub-Committee Report back
3) Plan for In-person Meeting: What might you hope to get out of it?
4) Sub-committee report-back and feedback: Popular Education definition (see below)
5) Next Steps
Popular Education is an approach to teaching and learning that is aimed at radical transformation for social and economic justice. It begins with the experiences and issues of the learners involved rather than the knowledge of an expert teacher. Participants observe patterns in their experiences and link them to theory about global and historical trends. This process promotes critical thinking and reflective practice as learners design ways to improve their situation, try them out, evaluate, modify and try again.
Popular education does not pretend to be neutral, it is openly on the side of the oppressed. It is focused on empowering a group that is engaged in progressive struggle rather than only promoting individual growth. It challenges oppression not only outside, but as it plays out inside the classroom. A popular educator strives to design and facilitate learning events that hold to these values. This process should be accessible to people of all education levels and should engage people’s minds, bodies and emotions.
UALE Popular Education Working Group Meeting 11.27.17
1) Welcome, Introductions & Agenda Review
2) Reminder to submit proposals by November 30th!
3) Sub-committee to review proposals [Darby]
4) Report back sub-committee (see below) [Riahl]
■ See draft below
■ Subcommittee will take feedback, revise, and send back to the group with a deadline for final feedback
■ Thanks to Tess for taking a lead on making this project happen
■ Suggested changes/additions:
5) Next steps [Riahl]
The sub-committee is working to define popular education as it pertains to our working group. Based on a variety of sources the sub-committee established a list of the following ideas. What would you add? We will compile the following and your feedback into a coherent paragraph to be reviewed once more and brought to the working group.
Popular Education Working Group Meeting
The call started at 2:08pm
Attendance: Riahl O’Malley, Co-Chair (UFE), Keturah Raabe (IBEW), D’Arcy Martin (Independent Contractor), Kate Shaughnessy (AFL-CIO), Guy Bosworth (AFA-CWA), Richard Gaboton (CPWU), Tess Ewing (Retired), Susan Winning (UMass Lowell)
Workshop Proposal Ideas:
Riahl started the meeting inviting us to brainstorm proposal ideas. The ideas generated in no way committed us to submit an actual proposal or guaranteed acceptance of a proposal.
Lessons Learned from the 2017 UALE Conference
Call for Proposal
Working Group Description
Popular Education Resources
UALE Popular Education Working Group
August 11, 2017
2. Getting Popular Education Working Group members on the Conference Planning Committee for 2018 DARBY
3. Having a track or slate for Popular Education, as we often have in the past RIAHL
4. Having longer sessions for popular education- should we propose workshops running over 2 sessions or having one longer session for workshops? DARBY
5. We could propose having an interactive component in each presentation, workshop, or panel RIAHL
6. Online curriculum and resource sharing
7. Next Steps DARBY
Attendance: Susan Winning, Riahl O’Malley, Tess Ewing, Steve Schnapp, Don Taylor, Annetta Argyres, Susan Williams, Maureen Lamar, Eric Larson, Jeffery Santos, Corina Crawley, Monique, Lara Skinner, Bill Shields
The working group mission: UALE includes a broad range of people involved in labor education, including union- and community-based educators as well as academics. The Popular Education Working Group will work to ensure that the organization serves the needs of those of us who work in a non-academic setting or who are able to use non-traditional and transformative teaching methods within the academy. We will promote the use of Popular Education methodology in working with adult learners by soliciting proposals for popular education workshops at the UALE conference; sharing techniques, activities and materials; and any other means at our disposal.
Examples of previous activities:
Examples of previous proposals:
Observations from previous activities
Riahl O’Malley, Mareen Lemar, Murphy Institute, D’Arcy Martin, Theresa Williams, AUPE, Mille Rodrigues AFGE, Bill Shields, Tess Ewing, Deb Rosenstein, UFCW, Marsha Love, Susan W - notetaker
1. Recap UALE meeting – this agenda came from the Pop ed WG meeting at UALE, please see notes from meeting.
2. Popular Education Plenary – we need to submit a formal plenary proposal if we would like to be involved
Bill – would be good to have a plenary and what we have to offer is substantive; concern is that we need to be mindful of our location and local organization and see if we can highlight people who are using pop ed in their work in the DC area
Deborah – agree with Bill, not sure if this would be part of the plenary; but thought it would be useful at the conference to have people grapple with their hesitations in using pop ed – how can we get people in the room – we don’t’ get deep about why people don’t think it would work in their context
Maureen – has there ever been a plenary in the conference; do we have the same definition, for ex. Is participatory research part of it.
Tess – probably we are not coming from the same definition or same place. We have had plenaries that use techniques that some would define as pop ed. Might be hard to get a plenary
D’Arcy – its only worth doing if it invites people to reflect on their own practice – but we are talking about a strategy or building power together – and would hold to that- don’t just talk about techniques – need to talk about how to build the power in the room together
Riahl – one idea is people reflecting on their own practice, another is engaging local groups who use that lens, incorporating some set of tool into the plenary itself
Susan W – endorse D’Arcy’s point of view
Theresa – there needs to be some recognition or discussion on what we mean by popular education, recognition of the various forms that we use to mobilize and advance workers/social justice issues – we use a variety of educational approaches
Bill – think about the purpose of the plenary – unless it’s linked to something that is ongoing, not sure we will be able to claim plenary space. Plenary is by definition presentational - -how could we address tension that popular education start the the participants
D’Arcy – if we just engage in groups of 25, if we engage in an internal process – we talk about how we can build power
Bill – what is the deadline for putting in a plenary proposal? Bill will find out
B. Some additional thoughts on proposal,
Reflective process with whole conference group would be good – Maureen – good idea, but wouldn’t have time to work on it. Tess – good idea, doesn’t have time to work on it, Deborah – good idea but is it worth it? Are we all on the same page of whether it would be valuable.
Bill – can’t take on being the lead, can be the liaison and advance on the ex bd, but would need other partners to take the lead on the cmte
Bill – we should get in there early, we have an exciting idea, connects with the theme of the conference, we have a good chance.
D’Arcy – if we want to build excitement, we will need to do some participatory research with UALE and building from there.
Theresa – great idea, very light lifter.
Millie – great idea, very light lifter
Riahl – new to UALE, give feedback
Marsha Love –
Bill - -Riahl can talk to her about being part of this
Deb - notes form this call reflecting the draft and if anyone wants to join us that would be great
C. Next steps: D’Arcy and Deborah will draft an outline proposal and it will be sent to the Pop ed WG listserv. Others are welcome to weigh in. Proposal will be submit to the ex board and Bill, as the lisaon will advocate for it. Riahl will talk to Jeanette Huezo to get her input into the proposal.
3. Proposal from Popular Education working group to Conference Committee regarding number of workshops, option of having “popular education track”, etc.
B. Consensus and next steps:–
Agenda items not discussed – for future call
C. Proposal for review about definitions of demonstration workshop and popular education – Elissa and me – for next call
4. Discuss ways that we could influence the format of all sessions – do we have a role in advancing pop ed within academic programs/teaching? (discussion) – this could be a roundtable discussion at next year’s conference
5. Ideas for workshops for next UALE – deadline likely to be end of this calendar year
a. On rights of blind and deaf
b. Roundtable on using pop ed in the academy
c. Workshops on different pop ed methodologies – a different model/approach each day
POP ED WORKING GROUP MEETING – UALE 2015
Here: Tess, Elissa McBride, Manuel Melendez, Nancy Lessin, Milly Rodriguez, Paul McNeil, Howard Kling, Marsha Love, Susan Winning, Maureen Lamar, Riahl O’Malley, Dale Melcher, Anneta Argyres, Eric Larson, Bill Sheilds
Overview of WG:
- WG needs a few new co-chairs and two are stepping back.
- Tasks that the working group has been doing:
Ideas for next conference workshops
- on rights of blind and deaf
- roundtable on using pop ed in the academy
- workshops on different pop ed methodologies – a different model/approach each day
What would people like this group to do?
- clarify workshop/pop ed labels at UALE conference
- continue to pick workshops for the UALE conference
- do we have a role in advancing pop ed within academic programs/teaching? (discussion) – this could be a roundtable discussion at next year’s conference
- we could write up a guiding document for what we mean by a paper, roundtable, panel, workshop, teaching demo vs pop ed workshop (Elissa and Susan W will work on this. Tess and Dale will work on including some basic principles/definitions of pop ed—something to be included in the call for proposals.)
- pressure to hold fewer concurrent sessions – do people think the balance was ok this year?
- Interest in getting more training on more popular education methodology – next year could we do workshops about pop ed methodology
- What efforts have there been to think of the whole conference experience from a pop ed lense?
- What’s our relationship to LRAN? What’s their use of pop ed? Elissa’s insight: lots of overlap of people who are involved; but more focused on idea sharing
Co-chairs for the committee: Riahl O’Malley & Susan Winning
New co-chairs will figure out how to hold conference calls.
Will need the committee to do a few tasks:
- develop plenary proposal and, potentially, plenary
- develop workshop proposals (see ideas above)
- review workshops submitted to conference committee and recommend which to advance
Popular Education Working Group Meeting - 3/28/14
Present: Anneta Argyres, Cameron Barron, Dale Melcher, David Neun, Keturah Raabe, Bill Shields, Helena Worthen, Don Taylor (co-chair), Steve Schnapp (co-chair)
1. Brief introductions followed by a proverbs warm-up activity in which we named some hopes for the Popular Education WG going forward. These included having a broader impact on integrating popular education practices into the conference, developing criteria for conference session proposals to be considered “popular education” and identifying them as such the conference book (with an asterix, for example), and offering an “advanced” workshop on popular education theory.
2. Reflection on the “Demonstration Workshop” track and other uses of Pop Ed:
- As in past conferences, the Pop Ed WG reviewed session proposals forwarded by the Conference Committee, and ones the WG solicited. The WG, using a pop ed then made its recommendations for the Demo Workshop track, to the Conference Committee. Some proposals we recommended for other tracks.
- Some sessions in the “Demo” track used pop. ed., some did not. And some sessions in other tracks, including panel presentations, used pop. ed. practices. There seems to be broadly shared unclarity about the definition of a “demonstration workshop” and the connection to Pop Ed.
- Several of us heard many positive comments about the sessions that used Pop Ed, particularly from community-based labor educators.
- There were no sessions on popular education theory or advanced practice, as there have been in the past.
3. Suggestions for what to do next
- Have discussions on line about what popular education is. Perhaps we can end up with a summary of this dialogue and a short description of Pop Ed, including basic principles, that we can share.*
- There are at least 2 members of the Pop Ed WG who are on the 2015 Conference Committee. This is an opportunity to advocate for greater inclusion of popular education principles and practices in the conference, although a balance of presentation methodologies is important. Another suggestion is for the “call for proposals” to be more specific about designating a session as “Pop Ed.”
- Don and Steve agreed to continue as co-chairs but invited others to step up to replace either or both. We will also tell Tess, the WG’s 3rd co-chair, that she was unanimously re-appointed.
* Dale will circulate a past discussion thread on popular education, and we will encourage continued online dialogue by asking such questions as: What have we learned about these issues since the original discussion in this thread? What are the elements of popular education that contribute to our “best practices?”
Popular Education Working Group Call
Nov 1, 2014
These are notes, not official minutes. I can’t guarantee I’ve captured everything!
The second conference call of the UALE Popular Education Working Group took place on November 1, at 1:00pm EDT.
On the call were: Susan Williams, Corina Crawley, Ruth Needleman, Keturah Raabe, & Tess Ewing. Steve Schnapp joined call at the end.
We discussed the draft of the “mini-call” for workshops that Tess had put together in accordance with the decision made in our September conference call. Steve asked for an additional sentence about the funds that will be made available to community-based groups to help them attend the conference. Everyone agreed to the draft as amended by the addition of Steve’s sentence.
Tess agreed to be the contact person (i.e., email address) for people submitting proposals to the Pop Ed WG. She will create a spreadsheet on Google docs and give other WG members access so that we can keep track of what has been submitted.
We discussed having a subcommittee to vet the proposals, as we have in past years, but we ended the call without having actually taken names of people who would be on the subcommittee.
We shared what we know so far about who is planning to submit a workshop proposal:
Demonstration Workshop: Using popular education to help local unions implement genera equity policies: Nina Benjamin, Labour Research Service, Cape Town, South Africa. Over 2-3 years the LRS worked with a number of locals to transform their culture and policies to promote gender equity. These pilots have already been completed and evaluated, and Nina will share the methodology and the materials.
This is the workshop Ruth had described to us last time. Solidarity Center will pay Nina Benjamin’s way, so it looks as though this is a “go”
The phone call ended at about 1:40.
P.S. Within ½ hour of the “mini-call” for workshops going out, two people expressed interest in proposing workshops: Steve Ashby, on “teaching messaging in union campaigns,” and Sarah Laslett, on best practices for integrating basic workplace rights information in to a variety of education settings and are seeking partners.
These are notes, rather than official minutes. Highlighted names indicate where someone has taken responsibility for a particular task.
Popular Education Working Group Notes
October 18, 2013
The UALE Popular Education Working Group met on Friday, October 18, by conference call. On the call were: Tess Ewing, Jerry Levinsky, Steve Schnapp, José Soler and Don Taylor.
Background information: The conference will have 9 sets of 5 concurrent sessions this year. This is fewer than the past (last year, we had 7 concurrent sessions, and before that usually 6). Also, this year, working group meetings will take place in those same concurrent session spots, as opposed to during snatches of “free time”, as in the past. This means that we will have more time for our meetings (a full 2 hours), but it further cuts down on the available slots for concurrent sessions. In the past, the PopEd WG has had control over a full “track” of sessions (i.e., 1 session in each time slot), but this year that seems extremely unlikely. We do not know how many slots we will be allocated, nor whether we will have any role in deciding what workshops or teaching demonstrations to accept other than those submitted by our group.
Working Group Meeting: Working groups are getting a full 2 hour session for their meetings. We discussed having a discussion topic for our meeting, possibly something along the lines of “Barriers top Using Popular Education” or possibly something like “Using Popular Education to build union/community relationships”. But see below under “workshops”.
There is a new Working Group forming for community based educators. Since many of them will be popular educators and immigrants, we want to make sure that WG meetings are scheduled so that there is no time conflict among the Pop Ed WG, the new WG and the Immigration/Globalization WG. Steve will contact the Conference Planning Committee about this.
Workshops: We discussed how to get proposals for workshops/teaching demos for the conference.
Tess will send out an email to the UALE list serve, the PopEd WG list serve, and the list of community organizations that Steve has, encouraging people to submit workshop proposals—a sort of “mini call for proposals” (Steve will send Tess the community organization list)
We discussed several concrete possibilities for workshops:
Where to go from here: We agreed to try to flesh out these various ideas in the next couple of weeks via email, and then re-convene for another conference call in early November. Tess will set up another Doodle poll to find out the best time, and then set up the call.
Steve Schnapp (United for a Fair Economy)
Tess Ewing (UALE Retired)
Susan Winning (UMass Lowell Labor Extension)
Anneta Argyres (UMass Boston Labor Extension)
Jenn Sherer (U of Iowa)
John Lepley (Steelworkers Pittsburgh)
John Kretzschmar (U of Nebraska)
Rhonda Rogers (Machinists Training Center)
Richard Suarez (Machinists Training Center)
Edgar Moore (U of Nebraska)
Bill Shields (City College of San Fran)
Jose Soler (UMass Dartmouth)
Deborah Rosenstein (UFCW)
Charles Paidock (Machinists)
What should this working group (WG) do between conferences?
- convene 2-3 video conference/skype discussions during the year about pop ed applications (theory and practice)
- develop budgets for projects: (Proposal due to E-Board by November)
- host regional gatherings:
- organize an international pop ed "exchange" -- a few of us go somewhere else, or bring international pop ed folk(s) here
- explore issue of new technologies in education and how we should deal (resist or not…)
- sponsor popular theater/Boal fest
- solicit finished curriculum on specific topics -- potentially request UALE funds to pay for that development
- do periodic (every x months) check-ins via email
- Volunteers: Bill, Susan Winning, Tess Ewing, Don Taylor (volunteered in absentia!)
- Will solicit other volunteers through email
Feedback about posting curricular materials
- Buildthewheel has a searchable capacity / UALE doesn't
- Doing it in house helps to drive people to UALE and gives added value to membership/UALE
- make sure that UALE logo or tag is added to all posts to Buildthewheel
- Buildthewheel has a very broad range of topics, but that could also get UALE more exposure
- could also list curricula on UALE website driving people to Buildthewheel to find specific curricula
- Buildthewheel has a wide range of curricula, from an activity to a full course; their "quality control" may be quite limited
- Reach out to Buildthewheel to see if they will create a sub-section on workers' education
- Does Buildthewheel limit to pop ed? Need place to post non-pop ed worker curriculum
- UALE doesn't have internal capacity to build own searchable database
- how can we push people/programs to write up curricula and post them to UALE or wherever? Maybe ask them.
- Curricula do NOT need to be polished to post!
- posting video of pop ed activities to YouTube -- and add links to UALE webpage
Nominees for new WG chairs
- Don, Steve and Tess are all willing to continue
- Bill would like to offer participation as popular theater point person to team
- Steve will do WG web maintenance
- officially give feedback to conference committee that this (Wed afternoon/evening) is a great time to run WG meetings
- What role can labor educators play to help connect efforts to unions and others?
- Occupy Spring raises long-term tensions in our work: can we explore how to address them? politics and opportunities?
- Bill Shields: developed six session curriculum "Occupy-Educate-Agitate" -- happy to share curriculum
- Meet at 8:30 : AA will facilitate continued discussion on 99%Spring