Sunday, 18 March 2012

Who takes the CEESA masters?

In the first five years of its existence CEESA has had 6 - 15 students a year, so it is a small and quite intense group. We support the group process with induction events, the core module around building a “community of praxis”, field trips, visiting speakers, interactive classroom practices and a skilled team of radical educators.

The group (staff and students) is extremely diverse, and as the title “Learning from each other’s struggles” suggests this is a huge part of its richness – you get to spend a year with people who are also struggling to bring about equality but starting from very different life experiences, in very different movements and with very different tools. This helps you put your own experience and practice into perspective and build very different kinds of alliances starting from a respect for each other as practitioners.

Our participants in the first five years have come from Ireland north and south, Scotland, England, Norway, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria and the USA.

They have been involved in a huge range of movements - including the water charges struggle, GLBTQ advocacy, rural community development, trade unions, radical social centres, disability activism, feminism, community arts, migrant organising, adult literacy projects, alternative spirituality,  community drugs work, interfaith encounters, working-class women’s organising, ecological direct action, anti-poverty campaigning, youth work, radical journalism, women’s refuges, popular / community education, service user advocacy, majority world development, running a homeless hostel, mental health advocacy, community gardening and more - very different in their approaches and issues but sharing commitments to real social change, the courage to reflect on and develop their own practice and a willingness to share with, listen to and learn from each other.

These exchanges sit beside development of your own practice and project and engagement with wider political, historical and theoretical perspectives as an integral part of the course process - which participants say they sometimes find challenging but always value and which they are keen to keep going long after the year itself ends.