Community Organising Participatory Pedagogy Teachers

Back to Basics: Community Organising in the Classroom

Shared by EFA teacher-organiser Dermot Bryers, Pedagogy Lead

In class, we’ve been looking at EFA, Citizens UK, and the Living Wage campaign in recent weeks. Students compared the two organisations using their knowledge from previous lessons and the projects’ respective websites in terms of:

  • Type of organisation
  • Purpose
  • Methods
  • Activities
  • If it were an animal

It produced lots of interesting discussion and emerging language. The emerging language was often comparing/contrasting language eg. “Both organisations are charities,” and “EFA is mainly for migrants whereas Citizens is for everyone.”

We also looked at the word injustice, translating it into other languages and exploring its meaning.

We then watched this People in Action video made by EFA students, which sees EFA students interviewing a community organiser from Citizens UK. After watching, the students focussed on their first three questions:

1. What is community organising?
2. What is Citizens UK?
3. Why does Citizens UK do community organising?

We reflected on any differences between what community organiser, Claire Arkwright, says in the video and our previous understanding.

We finished by sharing two upcoming events to get a better idea of community organising a la EFA and Citizens.

1. EFA’s community day at St. John’s Waterloo where there was a lunch, a puppetry performance, action-planning and, of course, a creche. Student Lian had been involved in organising the event and pitched it to her classmates.
2. Citizens UK’s Christmas Living Wage action on 15th December (more info to come on our social media).


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