Activism or Science/Technology Education as Byproduct of Capacity Building

Wolff-Michael Roth


Human consciousness and human knowledge have arisen, so suggests Karl Marx, in practical work. Thus, practical work not only changes the world, but also it changes those who bring that change about. In this paper, I argue for activism as a context for becoming as a citizen, and some of the things young citizens learn concern science and technology. To explain why I think activism is an appropriate context, I first present the case of some residents in my hometown who have been fighting for more than a decade for access to the water main that already supplies the rest of the municipality. I then describe and theorize one of my research and development work in the same municipality designed to show the feasibility of using activism as an educational context that provides school-aged learners with opportunities to change themselves while they change the world as they practice alongside environmental activists. I conclude with general reflections on expansive learning and the role of education in providing opportunities for individual as much as for collective transformation.

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