Welcome to Rolling Earth

This website offers tools for education for democratic self-organization and reflections on their use. I hope it will provide a space for discussion and exploration of the use of "popular education" in movement building -- guided by a commitment to equality and democracy. See the website guidelines for more about the mechanics of the site. - Matt Noyes

Mistake Game

A fast-moving concentration game in which mistakes are celebrated. I learned this from Kaisu Tuominiemi, a coach at Mondragon Team Academy.

In a circle, five to maybe ten people.

Phase One

The joker starts the game by putting her left hand on her right shoulder and saying, "one!"

The person to her right repeats the motion, saying, "two!"

This continues four more times.

Game Categories: 
Activity type: 
Publication Status: 

Cooperative Learning Equations

This morning in a meeting with Professor Imamura Hajime from Toyo University and Jon Ander Musatadi from GLOW cooperative and Mondragon Team Academy, Jon explained the need to help people unleash their creativity using an equation.

Instead of 1+2=3, rote learning, or 1+ X = 3, where "finding the unknown" is just a matter of filling in the answer dictated by the problem, think of learning as X + Y = 3, that is, an infinity of different possible combinations, different ways to reach a given goal. As cooperative entrepreneurs, the students and coaches at MTA value innovative solutions.


I learned about this tool from Shimpei Ogawa.

In addition to being very useful for scheduling a meeting, or people's work schedules, it can be used for accountability in group work -- making a list of tasks and having the group members identify which ones they will do. You can easily visualize how well the group is distributing tasks.


Cooperativists for a Democratic Cooperative?

One of the many interesting sources I have read in the Masters in Social Economy and Cooperative Management at Mondragon University. In these slides you see a frank critique of the evolution of cooperative ideology in the Mondragon Cooperative Experience. The practice of critical self-reflection within Mondragon is a real strength, even as they lament the failure to maintain cooperative values and strategies for social transformation.


Interesting Resource: The Pedagogy Project

This looks interesting -- I will definitely be checking it out.


Wikipedia 66

This game, loosely based on "Philipps 66" in Técnicas Participativas Para la Educación Popular, is a way to introduce background information from Wikipedia (and such) through engaged reading and summarizing.

The Flow:

  • The joker explains and motivates the game: [______] is a new topic/person/thing about which we can get background information online.
Free Tags: 
Publication Status: 

Free online resource: Smartphone Journalism

Richard Hering, from http://visionon.tv/ introduced this technique for making and uploading short videos in our English for Activists class in Tokyo.

They call it "Video Citizen Journalism," but, since not all of us are citizens of the countries in which we find ourselves, I prefer grassroots journalism or just smartphone journalism.

In any case, they have a handy leaflet that explains the most simple method, the One Shot News Report: http://streetreporter.org/en/tools

Smartphone Journalism

I learned this technique for "video citizen journalism" from Richard Hering in a workshop he did for our English for Activists class in Tokyo. Seems like a great tool for activists that can also be a great tool for learners. The key factors are immediacy, a clear simple structure, and low technical barriers: you use the video camera on your phone, a simple formula for organizing content, and no editing or effects. (See remoscope for a similarly direct approach.)

Activity type: 
Publication Status: 

Silent Story

In this activity, the joker uses drawings to tell a story without speaking.

The flow:

Joker deals playing cards to participants, two or three cards each. (To equalize participation but maintain some freedom to choose when to participate use playing cards as talking chits.)

Game Categories: 
Publication Status: 


Filmmaker Emiko Aono introduced this approach to participants in the media working group of Labor Now, the Tokyo-based labor research and activist group. (www.jca.apc.org/labornow) I have doubts about the theoretical project of overcoming the difference between spectator and performance, especially since reading Ranciere's Emancipated Spectator. But I think this technique is perfect for practicing the attentive seeing and verification that is central to emancipated learning. For more information see http://remoscope.net/

Publication Status: 


Subscribe to Rolling Earth, movement education RSS