Education for Changing Unions

Education for Changing Unions

By Bev Burke, Jojo Geronimo, D'Arcy Martin, Barb Thomas and Carol Wall


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  • Best Book in Labor Education, 2002-2007, United Association of Labor Educators, 2008 (Winner)

Education for Changing Unions presents a rich, stimulating, and provocative storehouse of practical and structured activities, ideas, and debate about union education. Written in a clear and accessible style, the authors have created a book to inspire working people and teachers in many settings and locations. All the exercises and activities have been widely tested.

Six thematic threads tie the book together: community, democracy, equity, class consciousness, organization building, and the greater good. Evaluation, strategic planning, and survival for the long haul round out the discussion.

See also the popular companion book, Educating for a Change, Martin et al. (BTL, 1991).

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Education for Changing Unions is an excellent book that provides inspiring ideas and practical tools in popular education and worker education. The authors are all talented popular educators who have generously shared their thoughts and experiences through this publication. This book represents an important contribution to the field, and will be a great resource for popular educators and union activists everywhere.

– Kent Wong, Director, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, Los Angeles, CA

Education for Changing Unions is a timely and insightful book by some of the world’s most experienced social movement educators. A social movement learning classic has been born.

– Budd L. Hall, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.

If I were “Queen of the World” I would mail a copy of Education for Changing Unions to every labor educator in the United States. For those of us who labor in the House of Labor and who truly believe that in order for unions to survive in the global economy we must educate and empower our members, this book is an invaluable tool for planning our work and working our plan.

– Elise Bryant, George Meany Center for Labor Studies, Washington, D.C.

Education for Changing Unions will help to make a louder, prouder, more effective union voice for the future.

– Barbara Byers, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Labour Congress

This book is an inspiration for union educators: we feel the meaning of values, we identify with the spirit of being unionized, we can right now imagine all the pleasure of working with this tool.

– Johanne Deschamps, Education Director, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec, Montréal, Québec


Part I The Job of Union Education
Chapter 1 The Union Educator: What's the Job?
Chapter 2 Working Inside: Navigating the Union Culture
Chapter 3 Union Education in a Globalizing Economy
Part II The Craft of Union Education
Chapter 4 Designing the Program
Chapter 5 Making Activities Work
Chapter 6 Our Favourite Union Education Activities
Chapter 7 Facilitation
Chapter 8 The Power of Co-Facilitation
Part III Making Our Presence Felt
Chapter 9 Evaluation for Impact
Chapter 10 Worker Education Programs
Chapter 11 Strategic Planning
Chapter 12 Staying the Course
Appendix A More of Our Favourite Union Education Activities
Appendix B Resources and Sources