Penn State

Consortium forSocial Movements and Education
Research and Practice

Materials and Resources

Materials and Resources

The Consortium for Social Movements and Education Research and Practice put together this large collection of materials and resources addressing social movements and education. These materials are divided into three categories:

  1. Theoretical perspectives on social movements and education.
  2. Popular education, adult education, and social movement learning.
  3. Social movements within, through, and for public education.

The collection contains materials from authors across the globe, with key Consortium research highlighted with the ‘Our Research’ tag. Educators, students, and community members are invited to browse this collection to learn more about social movements, their history, and the broader impact they have had on people and society. If there is an additional resources that you want added to this collection, please email the Consortium team at


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The Collection

Theories of radical or critical pedagogy have emphasized the importance of relating educational work to broader social movements although this has not been developed in detail. The recent history of community publishing and worker writing workshops in Britain helps to illuminate how these ideas have been adapted in a number of informal settings. Using archive materials, interviews with activists and my personal experience I explore some dilemmas and tensions within the idea of radical pedagogy. In particular, attempts to reconfigure relations between writers/students and organizers/tutors, as well as the role of personal experience, are examined in relation to both organizational and wider societal relations. These interventions faced many challenges but were not completely undermined.

Writing on social movement learning and environmental adult education invokes particular views on knowledge that need further examination and development in relation to food social movements. Although food social movements take different forms, the paper argues that the politics of food knowledge is at the centre of many of these movements. Contributing to the discourse of social movement learning, this article focuses on the film Food, Inc., an important activist resource and documentary film about a particular food movement. We analyse how it legitimates certain forms of knowledge about food production and consumption and de-legitimates others. Whilst a useful case study on knowledge and film activism in itself, the article seeks to challenge what it sees as some key tenets about knowledge in social movement learning literature. One key tenet is that it is self-evident whose interests are served by ‘ordinary people's knowledge’ and ‘scientific knowledge.’ Instead, it is argued that when it comes to collective action for food there is ambiguity, messiness and contestation about what constitutes knowledge and, in particular, anti-capitalist knowledge. But realisation of such ambiguity, messiness and contestation should not lead to paralysed inaction, but to informed and nuanced action. A question then for social movement learning practitioners is how they can mobilise social change through a broader sense of knowledge and its effects.

This article explores how the Base Nacional Comum Curricular (National Learning Standards), entered the policy debate in Brazil and became the most important reform initiative of the Ministry of Education between 2015 and 2017. We argue that this accelerated policy process was contingent upon the practice of philanthropizing consent: foundations’ use of material resources, knowledge production, media power, and informal and formal networks to garner the consent of multiple social and institutional actors to support a public policy. In other words, these foundations do not impose policies on governments; rather, they ‘render technical’ high-stakes political debates on pressing issues of educational equity and then influence state officials’ consensus about which policies to adopt. We argue that this philanthropic influence is not simply a neoliberal, profit-maximizing scheme; rather, it is an attempt by foundation and corporate leaders to garner power and influence on different scales, and re-make public education in their own image. Although this educational policy game is in many ways participatory and widely accepted, foundations are only able to play this role due to their tremendous economic power, a direct product of the unequal global political economy, and the systematic defunding of the public sphere.

This article offers a Critical Discourse Analysis of an episode of the reality TV show Tia & Tamera. A symbolic interactionist frame provides a lens for focusing on how social interactions impact the ways in which meanings of race are constructed around the topic of biraciality, while critical race theory facilitates an understanding of this construction on a macro-level. Conversations between the biracial title characters and their family and friends comprise the data corpus considered for analysis. Three notable themes emerge from the discourses observed: (1) race talk is avoided; (2) racial understanding varies in public and private contexts; and (3) realities of racial self-concepts based upon past experiences shape expectations of future racial self-concepts. Each theme provides insight into how and why the title character engages in discourse work that serves to establish the racial identity of her yet unborn son within the context of a societal structure that leaves her without a range of choices for how to do so.