Popular Education for Social Justice (3-part series)

Popular Education for Social Justice (3-part series)

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A 3-part training series for adult and community education teachers and staff to learn the basics of popular education theory and practice

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Description: Popular Education is an approach to adult and community education that centers students’ lived experiences by building instruction around critical issues in their communities, and by engaging students in action projects to address these issues. In this 3-part series, participants will learn about popular education theory and practice; explore techniques for identifying and analyzing community issues; generate ideas for activities that build listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills and engage students around questions of racial, social, and economic justice; and be introduced to a framework for designing action projects with their classes.

Dates: 4.29, 5.6, and 5.13.22 (must attend all three sessions)

Time: 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

Facilitators: Sierra Stoneman-Bell and Ira Yankwitt

Location: Once you register, you will receive an email with the link to join the sessions via Zoom.

Audience: ABE, HSE, ESOL teachers, program staff in adult literacy programs and social justice organizations

Session 1: An Introduction to Popular Education and the Problem-Posing Approach In the first session, participants will reflect upon their own philosophy of education, examine how it relates to Popular Education, and discuss how Popular Education aligns with the goals and expectations of their students and programs. Participants will also be introduced to the “Problem-Posing Approach,” a critical component of Popular Education that provides a process for analyzing community issues - starting with participants’ own experiences and knowledge - and moves toward solidarity and action.

Session 2: Popular Education: Problem-Posing and the Learning & Action Cycle In the second session, participants will continue to explore and practice the Problem-Posing Approach and will be introduced to the “Learning & Action Cycle,” a tool designed to support Popular Education planning and activities.

Session 3: Popular Education: Peer Sharing and Feedback In the third session, participants will share their Learning & Action Cycles and the specific activities that they have developed, receive feedback from their peers, and discuss next steps for implementation and follow up.

Register once for all three sessions by April 4th. Attendance in all three online sessions is required as the sessions build on each other in a progressive sequence.

Note: You will receive an email with assignments to be completed before the first session.

Contact: Sierra Stoneman-Bell, sierrasb@lacnyc.org

Facilitator Bios

Sierra Stoneman-Bell is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Literacy Assistance Center, where she leads the Literacy & Justice Initiative to advance adult literacy education as part of a broader vision for racial, social, and economic justice. Sierra joined the LAC in 2016 to lead the Investing in Quality project, bringing her experience in education, youth development, workforce connections, and community organizing and advocacy. Before this, Sierra directed the adult education and workforce programs at Make the Road New York as part of a larger strategy to build the power of working class and immigrant communities. She has also led advocacy campaigns for public investment in adult education and youth services and worked to directly support first generation college students and out-of-school youth. She is excited to collaborate with educators and organizers to center social justice themes in the classroom.

Ira Yankwitt is the Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center. Ira began his career in adult literacy education in 1993. He has taught high school equivalency, managed a community-based adult literacy program, and spent many years training teachers and program administrators. Ira is a longtime adult literacy advocate. He plays a lead role in the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL) and created the LAC’s Literacy & Justice Initiative. Ira served as the Director of the New York City Regional Adult Education Network from 2004 through 2007. From 2007-2012, Ira oversaw curriculum, instruction, and professional development for the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education. He has served in his current position since December 2012.

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