From the TUC

Organize for Social Change

03 Aug 2011, By Guest

This week is the start of the prepping for the upcoming year’s programme.  

If there is one thing I really enjoy about teaching, it’s the prepping and putting together a curriculum, or, in other terms, putting together the structure and content of a course together.  Most of the time I explain the way I think of course writing as this: I’ve got a story to tell and just like a story there needs to be a beginning, middle and end, with characters and ideas being built up over time. 

So, when writing new, or even adapting existing courses, where to start and get inspiration?

Well, I can’t help but be inspired by the work in Wisconsin; the commitment, the community work and, quite simply the joy in what coming together and watching it via the ‘We are Wisconsin’ documentary has constantly renewed my enthusiasm for the work we do here.

Secondly, and keeping on a Mid-West USA theme, is the book that has stayed with me these past ten years of organising.  I was introduced to the heavy tome ‘Organizing for Social Change’ just after completing my Academy year and was desperate to learn more and put some of the community campaigning I’d done before into practice.  Quite simply, it is my go to book.  I don’t always follow everything because it is so US specific, and within a union context not everything is applicable but it has always helped me to critically evaluate my work.

I feel very strongly that the ability to think strategically, to critically analyse and evaluate has been an key skill for an organiser and now more than ever is this the case. 

So, are you doing that?  Do you know how?   Do you have the time?  Following on from the Mid West lead, the Diploma course next year is going to cover that and give you the time to reflect.

One Response to Organize for Social Change

  1. Ben Donahower
    Aug 10th 2011, 1:17 am

    Boy, I don’t have much to say on most of those questions except ‘do you have the time.’ I don’t have the time NOT to think strategically.

    Deciding what’s important and what’s not prevents a lot of wasted time.