The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) creates democratic education curriculum, and builds tools to help you teach. Our philosophy is that these tools should be engaging, interactive, and relevant to the interests and needs of the learners. Our tools include games, zines, and handbooks, and we employ a host of democratic education techniques for facilitation. We can work with you and your organization to develop these resources for your classes, ongoing programs, events, or products, and we work on a sliding scale so that you pay only what you can afford.

We can develop educational programs and resources for your organization.

We work with our partners to design and implement educational programs and resources that are imaginative and experiential – as well as make an impact on the way we think, learn, teach, work, and act. As democratic education practitioners, we are experienced in developing and implementing educational programs, learning opportunities, as well as educational tools and resources. We can help you integrate these resources into your existing programs, or build them from the ground up.

Popular, democratic, and participatory education are forms of education where the teachers, educators, and facilitators are valued on an equal level with the students, learners, and participants. It is a collaborative process of learning and teaching that is engaging, interactive, and directly relevant to the interests and needs of the learners. These forms of education are based on social justice principles that seek to help learners understand how they can use information and skills to change their lives, communities, and world.

“TESA’s work made our training engaging, meaningful, and aligned with our democratic principles. We simply couldn’t have done it without their committed, thorough, and inspired participation.”

- The Cooperative Development Institute

We work with all kinds of organizations and individuals, and can adapt our methods to any educational setting. Below are some examples from past projects.

GWC LogoWe have worked with Green Worker to create a four-month Cooperative Academy with a number of aspiring eco-friendly co-ops in New York City. Our responsibility was to train the trainers who designed the curriculum and  to advise and guide them in their curriculum design. Finally, we helped to integrate the elements of democratic and participatory education into their workshops.

We helped this group organize a day-long conference on immigrants’ rights as well as designed and led the opening workshop, which was on the history of Columbus, colonization, and slavery.

In conjunction with the U.S. Steering Committee for the International Year of the Cooperatives (2012), we designed a year-long cooperative education initiative called the Cooperative Teach-In. We connected campuses with co-ops to foster cooperative education and to develop educational resources, such as workshops, lesson plans, handouts, and activities.

We can work with you to design digital resources for social change and progressive education efforts.

Digital resources – websites, applications, and more – can be amazing tools that help us interact with communities and audiences in ways once unavailable to progressive education and social change efforts. Websites, programs, and more can be used to connect individuals and groups to teach and learn from one another as well as to make impacts in their communities and in the world. However, in order to make a real difference, these resources must be designed in ways that facilitate interaction and that incorporate social justice.

Many organizations’ and projects’ websites want to offer interactive components – as well as the ability to continually bring people back to view their websites’ new features, contents, and other offerings. However, this is nearly impossible to accomplish unless their effort works to cultivate a sense of community that will keep people engaged and returning to their website. A key component of this is getting people to use interactive features on the website and share it with others.

Through the use of social media, on-the-ground efforts, incorporating engaging and interactive components on your website, and much more – TESA can help you catalyze the awareness of your mission, as well as build strong communities around your website. logoCultivate.Coop is an online hub for pooling knowledge and resources on cooperatives. It is a space to collect free information for those interested in cooperatives and where people can build useful educational tools for the co-op community.

Sliding Scale Payment

All of TESA’s services are provided on a sliding scale, meaning that you pay however much you can afford. TESA prices all of our services at affordable hourly rates that we scale in accordance to an individual’s or organization’s capacity. If possible, we do not want to turn down working with any dedicated person or group because of financial issues, so TESA will communicate with you and attempt to price our services at an amount affordable for your situation.

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