Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Cox L.
Capitalism, Nature, Socialism
Pedagogy from and for Social Movements: A Conversation Between Theory and Practice
Optional Fields
ecosocialism learning and knowledge production Marxism popular education Social movements
© 2017 The Center for Political Ecology Much radical writing on academia is grounded in a mystified view of knowledge in which an ecosocialist pedagogy would be “theory from above.” This article argues for a different understanding of knowledge as materially situated in social and ecological relationships; oriented towards practice; developmental and contested from below, demystifying third-level education from the perspective of movement-generated knowledge. Concretely, this means starting from participants’ existing praxis and “learning from each other’s struggles”—using “frozen” movement theory and activist experience—to move towards a wider, more radical understanding. In Ireland such pedagogy is rooted in working-class community self-organising, rural environmental justice alliances, women’s and GLTBQ activism, and the anti-capitalist “movement of movements,” encapsulating Audre Lorde’s dictum, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” The article focusses in particular on a “Masters for activists.” The course supports movement participants to deepen and develop their activist practice but also to situate it within these wider and more radical understandings and emancipatory alliances. Taking movement praxis—rather than “contemplative” knowledge—as a starting point raises very different questions about theory and practice, forms and distribution of knowledge and the purpose and shape of learning.
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