How to use Econo-wha?

Econo-wha…? is comprised of ten sessions broken into four sections:

  1. Start where you are are introduces critical literacy.
  2. Understanding the world so we can change it asks why we should question mainstream economics, and introduces themes including feminist economics, understanding migration in terms of economics, the impact of our current economic model on the environment, and the ‘logic’ of the market.
  3. A world in crisis looks at the economic crisis, debt crisis, international tax regimes, and the international financial institutions.
  4. Hope and alternatives looks at social movements.

Core Sessions

Although we recommend your group review all ten sessions of the resource, there are five core sessions. If you can’t do all the sessions, we recommend you do these five at a minimum (the core sessions are highlighted in bold in the column on the right-hand side:

1A Asking why
2A Questioning economics
2E What is the market?
3A The financial crisis
3D Who has the power?

Using the Resources

Each session has a range of different types of resource, which appeals to different types of learning, including audio, video, written documents, discussion questions, and learning journal questions. As there are plenty of resources in each session to choose from, it would be time-consuming and demanding to do all of them. The group (or if the sessions are being facilitated) can ask the facilitator to pick and choose resources, as appropriate.

We suggest choosing three or four resources to review in advance of each session.

Each session includes:

  1. Introduction and learning objectives.
  2. Resources [approximately 6 per session, in some cases more. Mixture of video, audio, and text] Each session features a blog whereby someone has responded to the resources with their thoughts. It acts as a supplement to the resources, and can be used to support discussion.
  3. Discussion Questions: Suggested questions for disucssion to support facilitation.
  4. Learning journal: Suggested enquiries for participants’ learning journal (optional).
  5. Extra resources: Further reading, viewing material, for anyone who would like to look deeper into the topic.

Learning Journal

Over this course, we invite participants to keep a learning journal. This is a private notebook in which people record thoughts and ideas arising from the sessions. It is not designed to be shown to anyone or to be assessed.

It is for the purpose of participants’ learning exploration. We propose enquiry questions for journal entires, but it is really up to participants to write what they want. The purpose of the learning journal is to support deeper thinking on concepts introduced by the resources, and to make links between ideas explored in the sessions and their own personal experience or beliefs.

Forming a Group

You can use this resource either as an individual or in a group. We recommend learning groups as a more supportive way to learn, but it can also be used in adult educational settings, with a facilitator.

Each week a guest blogger will respond to a particular set of resources.

On Your Own

If you have trouble finding a group to learn with, or would prefer to use Econo-wha? on your own, and consider joining one of our annual Econo-wha? courses. Email to register your interest.

In a Learning Circle

You might already be part of a group that meets regularly. If you’re part of a community, campaigning, political, social or faith group you could use some of your meeting time as a learning circle. Your group could do the readings and have discussions about the issues together. If you do this, please let us know, as we can publicise the meeting for you.

You can also form a new learning circle. Ask friends, colleagues, fellow students, or anyone around you who you think might be interested. Again, do let us know, as we might be able to help you in find people for your group.

Facilitate a Group

In some circumstances, a group may wish to arrange a facilitator, or to run the sessions in a local organisation. Again, this is another great way to use the resource.

Group Dynamics

Each group will be different, and remember, there is no ‘right way’ to learn. Use the resources in the way best suited to you and your group. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Kicking off dialogue in a new group can be daunting. Don’t worry, just start off with introductions if people don’t know each other.
  • Ask prompting questions about the materials, if you think it will help.
  • Give everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts.
  • Do your best to listen to other people, even if they share different opinions to you.
  • Agree on time limits: how long the meeting will be, how long each person has to speak, and so on.
  • You don’t have to use all the resources in each session; why not pick one video and one reading, and have a discussion about that?
  • For more tips and tools to support group learning, see our Tools For Popular Education page.
  • If you would like to suggest other resources feel free to add the link in the Comments Section.