A Theory of Change

The Allied Media Project is a fantastic group of people in Detroit working with artists, teachers and students through the lense of critical pedagogy. In a nutshell, this is education tied to the broader purpose of positively transforming students and their communities. A little bit different from the generally accepted, all too simplistic purpose of education for narcissistic economic well-being.

This is what AMC calls their “theory of change.”

“Media-based community organizing is a process of speaking and listening as a community in order to investigate the problems that shape our realities, imagine other realities and then work together to make them real. When we use media in this way, we build new kinds of relationships internally, interpersonally and within our communities. We transform ourselves from consumers of information to producers, from objects within narratives of exploitation and violence to active subjects in the transformation of the world… It is most succinctly expressed through the verbs: CREATE, CONNECT, TRANSFORM.” (Emphasis added.)

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I love the idea of transforming ourselves ‘from consumers of information to producers,’ from ‘objects’ to ‘subjects.’ Isn’t this the core of an education for citizenship.?

Note some of the the assumptions in this theory:
* Organizing is a process of speaking and listening.
* Investigating the problems of our realities together leads to re-imagining alternatives.
* The transformation is of ourselves (students, teachers, community, etc.) from passive recipients of media (other people’s narratives with our role in these narratives pre-determined) to agents of our own media (stories/narratives that shift us from being objects of others’ desires, to subjects acting from our own desires).

Powerful stuff.

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