Thursday, 14 August 2014

QTP Resources for Political Education

Political Education that addresses power inequality:
The ‘Question the Powerful’ educational project promotes materials that aid learning about why and how those with more power than others are to be subject to democratic control. The key lessons relate to the importance of structuring power in society so that:
• none will be so strong that they can exploit or oppress others;
• each can have an equal say in determining the pursuit of the common good; and
• all can count on the security produced by their shared endeavours.

Learn from the QTP resources:
We have drawn from a wide range of ideas on democracy and community cooperation to produce a set of key texts and support materials. Each one offers a new perspective on the threats of letting the powerful dominate others, and together they set out how a better alternative can be secured. If you’re interested in rethinking the potential of politics in redressing power imbalance and socio-economic injustice, take a look at the following:
• Dystopian fiction warning against the dangers of allowing the powerful to take over ever more wealth and power: the satirical Whitehall through the Looking Glass and the allegorical Kuan’s Wonderland (for details, click on: Dystopia of the Powerful novels).
• A historical review of how the devious, greedy and arrogant everywhere have always tried to amass power to dominate others, and how democratic and progressive activists have organised the struggle against them (for details, click on: Against Power Inequalities).
• A comprehensive and accessible introduction to the communitarian theory of strengthening democracy and building more inclusive communities; and reform ideas to inform policy discussions and campaigns (for details, click on: Communitarianism).
• Resources on community empowerment practices and cooperative problem-solving techniques that have been tried and tested in enabling citizens to deliberate and act together to shape decisions that affect them (for details, click on: Together We Can).

Promote the ideas & key texts:
As a writer/editor or a host of a reading circle/web group, you can support the ‘Question the Powerful’ project by:
• Reviewing one or more of the key texts listed above and recommending them to your readers;
• Suggesting they keep in touch by subscribing to the ‘Question the Powerful’ blog (it’s free – just have to enter their email address in the box on at the top left of this webpage);
• Co-writing or commissioning an article about one of the texts or a particular aspect of the project that will most interest your readers.
• Explaining the thinking behind the project or specific texts through, for example, an interview with the project’s director;

Organise learning sessions:
As a learning provider or community organiser, you can support our political education project by:
• Arranging for a one-off presentation on a core theme or one of the key texts of the project (see QTP Talks for examples of past and current talks);
• Co-producing learning aids for your students/members;
• Hosting a briefing session for tutors/teachers on utilising the QTP ideas & key texts;
• Organising a Q&A session at one of your routine/annual events to discuss feedback and follow-up work to learning from the QTP materials.

Help us Question the Powerful:
Politics ought to be the public antidote to exploitation by the powerful few. But if we allow the few to buy their way to controlling political institutions, then we are rendered mere pawns in servicing their private gains. To forestall the hegemony of the unaccountable, help us promote the ‘Question the Powerful’ project, its resources, and the learning opportunities that can be developed with partners in schools, adult education, civil society and government.