10 January 2010

The programme begins

Whilst I appreciate documents posted, however I believe it will be of great assistance to look at documents that were mostly used in the 80's like the ABC of Social and Political Knowledge: What is the Party?, What is Marxism-Leninism, What is Capitalism. These documents are important in order to understand what we purport to be.
- Comment on the SADTU Political Education Blog, 27 December 2009

Reply to the above:
There is a programme, and now that the working year has begun, the programme can start at the beginning. Please click here to find links to all of the “Generic Course” material, accessible at any time. We will begin our programme with “Basics”. During this week (11-15 January 2009) today’s general introduction will be followed the next day by the main text of the week, and then by supplementary (or alternative) texts. Each week we will distribute one part of the course.

To comment, you may reply to e-mail, or you may use the Comments facility on the Blog

The following remarks apply to all the Generic Courses:
These Generic Political Education Courses are designed as a resource for people who meet regularly in study circles, so as to learn in dialogue with each other around suitable texts. The courses are therefore made up as sets of short texts, mainly original writings sourced from the primary authors, and not, as a rule, interpretive texts from “analysts” or from academics.

There is a pre-written Introduction corresponding to each of the main texts, numbered accordingly. Each includes links to the main text download, and to downloads of related, optional, extra readings. (Please click here to see all of the Introductions to the “Basics” course.)

The courses are designed to be undertaken in study circles, without a lecturer. One of the participating comrades who had read the text in advance would usually give an “opening to the discussion”. The introductory commentaries can assist, but it is better to deliver your own opening, based on your own reading of the text.

There are many ways of doing such an “opening”, so as to “kick off” the dialogue, or otherwise to “break the ice”.  One way is to use some quotations from the given text. Another is to try to find one or two strong points of controversy for discussion. Another is to attempt a summary, or a “review” of the item. Another is to state, openly, what one does not understand in the text, and then to ask the comrades to assist.

Paulo Freire
In the method of Paulo Freire, the point is not to learn the text, but to have a discussion. The work is treated as a “codification”, or in other words as common ground, and as an occasion for exchanging dialogue. Some of this theory is given in the “Basics” series.

The texts are best distributed, by e-mail or in hard copy, in advance. Each day, subscribers will receive links to (downloadable) texts. Today’s (click to download) are:

The source of many of our texts has been the Marxists Internet Archive.

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