I’ve written A LOT about how to help students enhance their feelings of intrinsic motivation and help them want to change their behavior and attitudes.
Many of us would also like to make change occur in our schools, districts, and in broader policy areas. Obviously, that’s a particular interest of mine, too, after spending nineteen years as a community organizer prior to becoming a teacher.
Here’s the beginning of a list my choices for The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change (you might also be interested inThe Best Resources Sharing The History Of Teens Organizing For Justice, The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship), as well as The Best Ways To Talk With Someone Who Disagrees With You:
I’ve got to start with must-read review of Robert Caro’s new biography of LBJ, written by David Frum and appearing in Newsweek, Read Book, Obama!
I’ve written a number of posts linking to additional resources, including:
Teachers Must Help Determine New Ideas Being Implemented is one of my posts at Education Week Teacher.
TV Shows: Thinking “West Wing” In A “House Of Cards” World is by Alexander Russo. The Melian Dialogue is a classic tool used by community organizers to illustrate the importance of living in the world “as it is” instead of “as we’d like it to be,” and Alexander effectively uses the contrast in the two TV shows to demonstrate the same lesson about making political change.
Why Reformers Are Being Beaten Up by Teachers is by John Thompson.
Bridging the Naughty-Nice Divide in Education Debates is a very thoughtful post by Marilyn Anderson Rhames. Her advice on respectful participation in the school reform rhetorical wars make a lot of sense, and it would be good if many writers/bloggers heeded it. However, those who are actively involved “on the ground” in organizing campaigns probably want to not follow it to the letter. I explain why in other posts on this list.
Policy Decisions Must Be ‘Done With’ Teachers, Not ‘Done To’ Them is my two-part Ed Week series discussing how teachers can effectively engage in educational policy decisions.
The Art of the Protest is from The New York Times.
Public opinion matters less, in these moments, than public pressure. Broad but weak support often loses to intense, concentrated opposition
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 31, 2017
From Protests Past, Lessons in What Works is from The New York Times.
New Education Ideas Must not be ‘Just for the Sake of Change’ is a series in my Education Week Teacher column.
Has Protesting Become Too Easy? is from Slate.
Reform Lessons from Skeptical But Not Cynical Veterans is by Larry Cuban.
Is There Any Point to Protesting? is from The New Yorker.
Colin Kaepernick and the Myth of the ‘Good’ Protest is from The NY Times.
Waiting for a Perfect Protest? is also from The NY Times. Here’s an excerpt:
What Gun-Control Activists Can Learn From the Civil-Rights Movement is from The Atlantic.
These kind of narrow place-based strategies r doomed to fail if not connected to a broader-based power based organization- so many problems facing neighborhoods have their causes far beyond neighborhood boundaries https://t.co/l9crSszPzJ
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) April 9, 2018
What Civil Rights History Can Teach Kavanaugh’s Critics is from The NY Times.
Three Lessons for Winning in November and Beyond: What union organizers can teach Democrats. is also from The NY Times.
Additional suggestions are welcome.
The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world is from the BBC.
Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en los Campos Community Engagement Resource is from The Smithsonian.
In-Person Protests Are Stronger Than Online Activism is from The Atlantic.
The Magic Number Behind Protests is from NPR.
This Is How To Change Someone’s Mind: 6 Secrets From Research is from Barking Up The Wrong Tree.
In Times of Disagreement, How to Find Unsticking Points is a pretty interesting book excerpt. I’ve previously written about this idea at No Surprise To Organizers: Two-Way Conversation More Successful Than One-Way Communication In Changing Minds.
Stacey Abrams: I Know Voting Feels Inadequate Right Now is from The NY Times.
Why Protests Work is from The Atlantic.
An Experiment in Wisconsin Changed Voters’ Minds About Trump is from Atlantic.
Hi, There. Want to Triple Voter Turnout? is from The NY Times.
Grassroots Organizers Flipped Georgia Blue. Here’s How They Did It. is from TruthOut.
How ‘Good’ Social Movements Can Triumph over ‘Bad’ Ones is from Scientific American.
From Conversation to Revolution is from The New Yorker.
Why Democrats Keep Losing Culture Wars is from Five Thirty Eight.
The Essentials: Persuading People is from The Harvard Business Review.
Persuading Your Team to Embrace Change is from The Harvard Business Review.
I Was Wrong About Why Protests Work is from The NY Times.
When I was a community organizer, the smartest elected officials would basically say, “I agree with you. Please now go and put public pressure on me.” https://t.co/B1ZN8Rh2Kc
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) August 26, 2022
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s response to those who called *him* and his movement “divisive”: “[W]e … are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.” (1963)
— Ken Levy🇺🇸 ☮️ (@KenLevy2020) September 4, 2022
As someone who was a community organizer 4 19 yrs prior 2 becoming a tchr, I can strongly recommend this piece as an accurate analysis thru an organizer lens ——-Opinion | A New Playbook for Saving Democracy, Defeating Fascism and Winning Elections https://t.co/LQyPsq5GI8
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) October 22, 2022
Tired of arguing with bigots? Here’s a new type of conversation. https://t.co/g12Gc90feV
— Vox (@voxdotcom) February 17, 2023
The Smithsonian Learning Lab has a collection of resources for teaching about “activism.”
This is definitely one of the better TED-Talks I’ve heard. You can read the transcript here.
The Most Successful Approaches to Leading Organizational Change is from Harvard Business Review.
Ahead of Earth Day on Saturday, BBC Future investigates whether climate protest can force change. https://t.co/EAMOwi1M2J
— BBC Future (@BBC_Future) April 21, 2023
How the battle for democracy will be fought — and won is from The Washington Post.