SECTION 2 - EXAMPLES OF MATERIALS
Fight for the Living, developed several years ago for use in the Ontario Federation of Labour BEST (Basic Education for Skills Training) programs, has been used widely. At the end of the unit, we have chosen to include a case study of what happened when the material was used in a particular program. This account illustrates what emerged from the participants' engagement with the materials - the actions they were inspired to undertake, and the changes that came about as a result of these actions. The account ends with a description of what the participants learned.
In contrast, Water Watch has not yet been used in a program, so there is no account of usage to be shared here. Instead, we have included three additional sections in the unit's introduction: participant learning, adapting Water Watch, and using Water Watch in a program.
The instructor has a tremendously important role - to stimulate, value and support the movement of the participants beyond what is explicitly laid out in the materials. This requires an attitude of openness, a willingness to risk and to take time.
Since Fight for the Living is a relatively short unit - eight activities in all - it is easier to discern the problem-posing process as it starts with description and moves through analysis, strategizing and action. These are explicitly identified in the instructions for the activities. When you look at Fight for the Living, you will see that strategizing and action come up only in the two final activities of the unit. In activity 6, for example, it is suggested that participants find out about possible local actions in support of the Day of Mourning. This will require them to strategize about how to do the research and, depending on the results of their investigation, they may have to strategize about actions they want to initiate. While there are discussion questions in the unit to spark strategizing and action, these phases can only come into being when a group engages with them. The case study at the end of Fight for the Living describes how the strategizing and action phases were lived out by a particular group of participants.
The instructor has a tremendously important role - to stimulate, value and support the movement of the participants beyond what is explicitly laid out in the materials and to venture beyond the confines of the class.This means going with the participants into the unknown - beyond curriculum as prescription and toward an emergent curriculum. This requires an attitude of openness, a willingness to risk and to take time. It means leaving behind certainties and engaging possibilities - What if ..? Why not...? How about...?