Hope that you are staying warm and well this winter! We thought now would be a good time to update on what's been happening and where we are so far.
Since September CAMINA has grown from 2 of us to over 20. We now have a small core team of 5 people who have been involved in planning some of the processes we're beginning to take forward (more below). As well as the core team, a diverse range of people have come on board as collaborators from different parts of Scotland.
We have also had input from a number of supporters/allies in Scotland and beyond, who have experience to share but limited time.
Online collaboration space
The idea behind creating and maintaining an online space is to build stronger connections between folk and allow a space for dialogue, sharing ideas, knowledge etc. We wanted this space to be accessible, easy to use/organise, and collaborative.
After a couple of months trying to develop the google plus site for these purposes we are wondering whether there might be a better alternative. So far the google plus has only been used in a very limited way without much in the way of dialogue, and we have the impression that folk haven't found it very accessible or haven't been finding time to access it.
On this basis, we're asking those involved in CAMINA so far for feedback. However, we also welcome ideas and suggestions from folk as to useful/appealing online platforms they've used before or ways to make online spaces more accessible/inviting. What do you think?
After our first meetings and feedback from the first draft CAMINA Plan we would like to propose the following 3 research themes as most pertinent. We're very open to feedback about what might be missing but we feel that we need to explore these 3 at least in some depth.
We've begun to identify, consolidate and develop potential research processes which can help us to address the above questions. Some of these are fairly straightforward and are beginning to happen, whilst others need to be developed further.
1) Webinars/online discussions
These will link specifically to research theme 2 (challenges and opportunities), and will be held every 6 to 8 weeks (approximately). For future discussions we aim to link in more resources in advance of discussions, as well as providing a space for ongoing discussion on the issues/topics raised during webinars. So far we have explored the relationship between critical education and the State. Collaborators are very much welcome to propose key topics for future exploration within the wider theme(s).
2) Map of practice (current and past)
This will link to research theme 1 (what exists and where are the gaps).
Ideally, we would like this to be both online and a physical artefact, with information around what/who/how/where. We are encouraging folks in different parts of the country to contribute to this process so that we gather a detailed and contextual picture of what's happening where and with whom.
3) Challenges of Practice Reading groups
A research process with a focus on action, this will link to research theme 2 (challenges and opportunities), though may also draw on theme 3 (what we need).
Caminantes based in Edinburgh have already begun and looked at the relationship between ideology and popular education for their first session (drawing on Liam Kane's work). The next text they are looking at is In, Against and Beyond Capitalism by John Holloway. (We're looking to make sure both texts are available to those collaborating in CAMINA.)
Is there any interest in similar groups beginning in different parts of Scotland? Or, online? Get in touch if you'd be interested to start something similar!
4) Postcards from practice (idea still being developed)
This will link to research theme 2 (challenges and opportunities) and 3 (what's needed).
CAMINA members will attend events and visit groups of educators across Scotland. We will invite folk to create visual post-cards that respond to one of the research questions (primarily around theme 2). We will then ask participants to write their post-card to another educator, sharing something useful they have learned from practice or something they hope for.
Got an event or a group who might like to participate in this process? Let us know!
5) Invitations to Walk (and talk)
This will link to all 3 research themes but particularly theme 3.
A more interesting take on interviews, drawing on the meaning of 'camina' (an invitation to walk, in Spanish), CAMINA collaborators will invite participants (other educators or community members) to walk with them in their community and talk through one of the themes in relation to their own context and ideas. Conversations will be audio-recorded where possible and photographs may also enhance this process. If each collaborator invites 2 others on a walk we will have a great number of conversations to draw on.
Is there someone you would like to or think we should invite for a walk? Let us know!
6) Community Workshops
This will link to research theme 3 (what's needed).
We would like to deliver a series of workshops in the community which bring educators (and community members) together, to explore what is needed to support more effective, sustainable and transformative practice. These workshops will be delivered by educators across Scotland and will hopefully employ a range of creative methods which adhere to the principles of critical education, e.g., Forum Theatre.
Fancy running a workshop? - let us know and we'll support how we can!
7) Developing a critical education toolkit for Scotland
More of an action than a research process (though certainly feeds both), this will link to theme 1 and theme 3 (what exists and what is needed).
Could we draw our knowledge/experience and ideas together to compile a comprehensive and context-specific toolkit for critical educators in Scotland? What would this include? Do similar things exist already? How can we make it as accessible and useful as possible?Tell us what you think!
If you're not yet involved in CAMINA and would like to be...
Whats going on?
This is where we will keep you up-to-date with the project as well as sharing regular insights/findings/resources.
Check out upcoming events here: