TICO Presents: Principles of Civic Organizing

Overview

TICO provides a new style of socio–political education that aims to make civic organizing accessible. As we define it, civic organizing is the process of questioning our society and institutions, guiding political participation, and promoting perpetually innovative and sustained organizing to ensure effective social action. 

 

While trial and error is effective, we believe that gaining the skills to engage and advocate for one’s community can and should be learned through more accessible means such as a curriculum.

 

Recognizing the fluidity of civic organizing, our curriculum bridges the gap between community experimentation and rigid academic teachings. As such, our curriculum, and the classroom it is intended for, reflects this sentiment. learners can be those in high school and college, or learners in non-traditional settings (such as community centers and non-profits). educators can be those with either formal training, lived-experience, or some combination of the two. 


 Our Principles of Civic Organizing (POCO) program is a curriculum with lesson plans for educators, textbooks for learners and community advocates, and a supplemental experiential learning component. This experiential learning component is a broad based program that guides learners along a variety of paths, whether that is seeking an internship with a think tank or non–profit or crafting community projects. Using grassroots mobilization techniques, TICO aims to overcome obstacles to political involvement by providing the framework for sustainable organizing.

Curriculum Objectives

  • Introduce learners to the foundations of civic organizing and their application to historical and contemporary movements

  • Examine how and why organizing methodologies have succeeded or failed

  • Develop and encourage grassroots community leadership and sustainable social action by equipping learners with civic organizing skills

Educator Outcomes

  • Understand the importance of participating in and teaching civic organizing

  • Encourage learners to practice methods central to successful civic organizing while promoting teamwork, leadership, and community

  • Guide learners through brainstorming and innovation to go beyond traditional organizing practices

  • Work within existing TICO curriculum frameworks to create innovative assignments to assess and improve learner skills

Learner Outcomes

  • Understand the foundations of civic organizing and their application to historical and contemporary movements

  • Learn from and build on established principles of effective civic organizing to address community challenges

  • Research civil issues within different societal frameworks and brainstorm innovative ways to organize around them

Curriculum Structure

Our lesson plans and textbook are divided into two sections with a supplemental third component:

  • Methodology: Civic organizing is an untapped facet of the ever evolving field of organizing. Going beyond the widely accepted ideals of organizing, the methodology section discusses how civic discourse is expanding in the modern world. These methods include questioning our society and institutions, guiding political participation, and promoting perpetually innovative and sustained organizing to ensure effective social action.

  • Case Studies: This section works to bridge theory with practice by introducing learners to grassroots advocacy. By providing in-depth analyses of specific civil movements from the past and present,  This section debates how traditional organizational methods have been applied to make societal change. This section challenges organizing norms by asking how movements can be potentially revived or expanded on through civic organizing practices, covering topics such as digital movements, organizing during a pandemic, and much more. By weaving in first-hand accounts from organizers involved in these important events, our case studies section emphasizes how societal change is always in effect and can be influenced by anyone.

  • Supplemental Experiential Learning Component: This section connects the book’s discourse with direct engagement in one’s community, ushering in the beginnings of effective change. This end to the curriculum provides civic organizing frameworks to encourage learners to volunteer, shadow changemakers, and participate in community-based group projects. This component leaves room for further academic research and development of civic organizing by different groups and peoples.

** POCO is the result of 50 passionate young activists, researchers, and organizers imparting their wisdom to other young innovators. 

 

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