Hubby and I were browsing around in the UPenn Bookstore last Saturday and I picked up George Lakey's Facilitating Group Learning. I knew nothing about him or his organization, but the book delves into topics I'm interested in exploring. I would like my ESL class to be a place where learners feel safe enough to step outside their comfort zones. I want learners to take ownership of the exploration process and to approach the unfamiliar with a sense of curiosity. Actually, I want to do these things myself!
It's not a stretch to see our ELCivics-based classes as a sort of training for social action. Not that I want students to take any particular action. But an important purpose of the class, as I see it, is to give learners the communication tools and cultural information they need to take action of their choice. Participation at all levels of community is social action!