Publication Date

2012

Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Ryland White

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine how learning can help the Occupy movement in Washington DC. It explores three questions. What are the learning needs of the movement? What educational content can help meet those needs? And how can education be practiced in a way that most effectively addresses the learning needs within the real world circumstances of the movement? Research methods include participant observation, surveys, interviews, focus groups, literature review, and primary document review. Data was coded into 11 outcome oriented learning needs and 3 educational orientations which are geared towards meeting those needs. This paper is organized by first looking at the background of the US Occupy movement; then describing research methods, my own involvement in the educational history of Occupy DC, findings in terms of learning needs and available educational content, and finally proposing processes for meeting learning needs. This paper concludes that an internal/community building approach, with a particular focus on healing and dialogue, was what could have been most helpful for advancing overall learning needs within Occupy DC, and outlines a proposal for developing a community support system, dialogue groups, as well as specific workshops related to healing and group dynamics and campaign strategy. This paper aims to also provide useful insight for the overall work of movement building, community organizing, social justice education, and social change theory.

Disciplines

American Politics | American Studies | Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | History | Inequality and Stratification | Other Education | Political History | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Social History | Sociology | United States History