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Increasing public awareness: a community action group case study Taylor, Rosemary F. 1993

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INCREASING PUBLIC AWARENESS:A COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP CASE STUDYbyROSEMARY F. TAYLORA THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Administrative, Adult and Higher EducationWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1993© Rosemary F. Taylor, 1993iiABSTRACTThe purpose of this study was to determine how a community action group raised.public awareness for its cause, and to show the importance of acknowledging the manyways in which people of all ages learn in a variety of settings and circumstances. Theresearch question asked "How are knowledge and attitudes transmitted and acquiredwhere the instruction is intentional, but the learning is generally unintentional?"Community action groups are learning systems using planned educationalstrategies to raise public awareness for social issues, where the public are not, initially,intentional learners. This study investigated the educational efforts of the Boundary BayConservation Committee in raising awareness of, and promoting action on, two localissues concerning proposed housing and golf course developments in anenvironmentally sensitive area.Data collection was by semi-structured interviews with representatives from theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee, the public, and the local media. Other datacame from newspaper and magazine articles, publicity materials used in the educationalcampaign, correspondence between action group members and bureaucrats, and studiesdone in the area which were used for educational purposes by the activists.Findings showed that awareness-raising needs to extend beyond the public tothe politicians and decision-makers who, in this instance, were making decisionsaffecting the local population with which the electorate did not agree, and thus twochanges of attitude were required. Firstly the public attitude needed to change frompassive acceptance of 'progress' which had the potential to destroy irreplaceablewildlife habitat, and secondly the attitude of elected officials needed to be changed toreflect the wishes of the electorate.Both these goals were achieved, helped by the educational strategies of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee through the usual meetings, Open House andpublic debates, and also informal on-site educational workshops, fund-raising events andincidental information placed throughout the community. Through saturation of the areawith information the issue became a high-profile topic of conversation. Council meetingsand public hearings which are part of the democratic process also played a large part inraising public awareness, and much incidental learning occurred throughout thecommunity on related matters such as democratic procedure, wildlife habitat, and thelocal economy.TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT^  iiTABLE OF CONTENTS^ iiiLIST OF TABLES vLIST OF FIGURES^ viACKNOWLEDGEMENT viiCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION^ 1Statement of the Problem  2Purpose of This Study  3Learning in the Community 3The Research Setting^ 5Background to the Research Area^ 8Demographic Description of the Area 9Outcome of the Community Action 11Timing of Events^ 13Types of Learning Arising from Planned Educational Strategies^ 15Methodology  17Overview of Contents  17CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE^ 19Contextual Meaning of Terms Used^ 19The Role of New Social Movements in the Community 21Educational Aspects of New Social Movements 22Persuasive Communications^ 25Social Marketing^ 31Attitudes, Values and Beliefs 33The Learning Population 34Types of Learning Involved^ 37Group Dynamics^ 39Summary^ 41CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY^ 42Introduction to Qualitative Research Methodology^ 42Use of Case Study Research 43Choice of Subject Group 44Methods of Data Collection^ 47Other Sources of Data 50Internal Validity^ 50Reliability 53External Validity  53Summary^ 54ivCHAPTER 4: RESEARCH FINDINGS^ 56Introduction^ 56Underlying Causes of Community Action 65Persuasive Communications^ 67Role of Trigger Events 70Vested Interests^ 73Attitudes, Values & Beliefs 74Getting People Involved^ 76Encouraging Participation 78Factors Affecting the Education Process^ 80Summary^ 116Coding Notes 118CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION^ 119Profile of the Community as Participants in the Action^ 120Role of Unplanned Events  121Factors Affecting Communication Flow^ 122How Awareness was Raised^ 128Summary^ 138CHAPTER 6: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS^ 140Purpose of the Study^ 140Methods Used^  141Data Collected 142Findings 144Conclusions Reached through This Study^  149Relevance of Research Findings to Other Educational Dimensions^ 155Implications for Practice^ 159REFERENCES^ 169APPENDIX A: Schedule of Questions^  173VLIST OF TABLESTable 1: Chronology of Events^ 14Table 2: Summary of Research Findings^ 57Table 3: Elements Promoting Community Action Group Success^58Table 4: Planned Learning Opportunities^ 60Table 5: Factors Affecting Communication Flow^ 61LIST OF FIGURESFig.1: Boundary Bay and the Fraser Delta — Geographical Location^ 7Fig.2: Communication Patterns in Community Action — Planned Events^ 62Fig.3: Communication Patterns in Community Action — Unplanned Events^63Fig.4: Levels of Involvement in Community Action^ 64viACKNOWLEDGEMENTThis thesis concerns environmental conflict in the Boundary Bay, Ladner andTsawwassen area of British Columbia, and could not have come about without the helpof many residents who spent time participating in my enquiries. I hope this study willacknowledge their community achievements, and will be of use to other groups fightingfor just cause.My supervisors Gordon Selman and Tom Sork , committee member JudithOttoson, and external advisor Michael Clague, all offered ideas to broaden my outlook,while at the same time helping to keep things on track and focused.My thanks are due to two people in particular, each of whom were entirelyinstrumental in enabling me to be where I am now. To Andrea Kastner, who sowed theseeds in my mind that I should enter the Masters programme, and thus, without knowingit, set in motion a life transformation experience straight from the pages of Mezirow, andDr. Patricia Vertinsky, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Educationwho, in her words "went to bat for me" when the going got tough in the jungle ofuniversity rules and regulations, enabling me finally to storm the bureaucratic wallsuccessfully and be here at all. I can truly say she is my guardian angel! To both of themI will always owe much for giving me the chance, and showing faith in my abilities!Thanks are also due to Sharan Merriam, for her help during the most motivatingand inspirational summer school it has been my good fortune to attend, and for hersupport, advice and friendship, which helped this project to come to fruition. I wouldalso like to thank my 'thesis buddy', Cynthia Andruske for her constant and invaluablesupport, and her generous sharing of time and ideas throughout the thesis process. Towork on a thesis without such support would be a long and lonely process indeed.Beyond the walls of Academe, my thanks in abundance are due to Terry, whotolerated and supported me in so many ways throughout this entire venture, and at thesame time learned a few survival skills himself, and to Gary Shearman, computer guru,who taught me everything I know about computers and how to use them. Without thismost valuable information none of my university papers could ever have been written!And finally, a word of gratitude to those special people I have met along life'sway who have encouraged me to discover how much fun learning can i1CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONEducation as a process to encourage learning takes place in many settings of aformal, non-formal or informal nature, but whether learning occurs depends to an extenton the subject matter being learned, the way in which it is presented, and whether thesetting itself is learner-friendly. Much lifelong learning takes place outside the moreformal educational settings, and may be a result of planned educational strategies orincidental experience.In the late twentieth century considerable educational effort has been put intoencouraging a change of attitude in the general population towards matters of socialsignificance, and one target for such change is the environment which we all share.Initially the matter was brought into focus by radicals in the 1960s, at a time when manyindustrialized countries were just recovering from the effects of World War II. Thegeneral trend at the time was to build and develop land, reach for an ever-increasingstandard of living, keep the economy booming with greater production of materialgoods, and complete the taming and harnessing of nature for the benefit of mankindwhich had been occurring since the beginning of the industrial revolution.At first those who showed concern for the degradation of the environment,which included loss of natural habitats, a penchant for damming and diverting rivers,massive use of agricultural chemicals, and over-use of natural and non-renewableresources, were voices crying in a wilderness of prosperity and material gain. Theirattempts to invoke a widespread change of attitude went somewhat in vain; the timehad not yet come when a majority of the population was receptive to their words orideas. However, they persisted in purveying their message until more people adoptedtheir viewpoint, and environmentalism moved from the radical edge of society to almostmainstream ideology. Gradually social movements formed to give greater voice to theimportance of these and other social issues of the late twentieth century which needed2wide support in order to change existing political attitudes and agendas in these areas.Statement of the Problem This study concerns informal and incidental learning strategies used by acommunity action group to raise awareness for a cause, and the learning which resultsamongst the general public, where the ultimate aim is to change existing attitudes. Thereare many instances where educational opportunities are created at an informal level, butwhether or what members of the general public may learn depends entirely upon theirreason for being there, and their state of mind or mood at the time. If they are there forsocial rather than educational reasons, the impact of exhibits may be only minimal. Forexample, a family may go to a museum because there is a display they really want to seeand study, or they may be there because it is a very hot day, the museum is air-conditioned, and it provides an opportunity for them to socialize in pleasantsurroundings while doing something different. The museum exhibit will have beencarefully crafted and constructed to provide a meaningful learning experience to thosewho view it, but if the family are discussing which flavour ice-cream cones they will buyin the cafeteria afterwards they may only glance casually at their surroundings, payinglittle more than superficial attention to it. Thus their personal agendas control theamount of learning which will occur at any one time in such situations, and is beyondthe power of the educator to alter except by creating such an attention-grabbing exhibitthat the ice-cream cones are forgotten in the excitement of the learning opportunitypresented to them.Education of this nature is often 'arm's length', having been carefully set up toattract attention, but people may or may not choose to attend, and if they do so choose,what and how much they learn is entirely up to them. Under such circumstances,learning objectives intended to result from contact with an exhibit may not beuniversally achieved. This applies also to many other forms of community learning,where education is deliberately planned and carried out, but learning is entirely3voluntary and even incidental to the completion of other tasks. The question this thesissought to research is which educational strategies are effective in achieving a substantialdegree of learning where most of that learning is informal, incidental and oftenunintentional in nature, the ultimate aim of which is to create and maintain a change ofattitude.Purpose of This Study Education in the community may take place by direct means, face-to-face atworkshops, seminars, community meetings and other organized events, indirectlythrough exhibits, media reports and conversation, and incidentally through just livingand being part of that community. Often learning outcomes cannot be predicted and aredifficult to quantify or determine because they are part of everyday experience, but ifthe education is aimed at short- or long-term change of attitude, learning will be manifestwhen a societal shift in attitude towards the new direction is evident.The purpose of this study was two-fold; to determine how a community actiongroup raises public awareness for its cause, and to show the importance ofacknowledging the many ways in which people of all ages learn in a variety of settingsand circumstances. These learning processes are so much a part of everyday life thatmost people take them for granted as ever-present and ongoing in one form or another,and result in acquiring what Fensham (1992) describes as 'commonsense knowledge'.Consequently little attention has been paid to analysis of the learning dynamicsresulting from planned educational strategies which hope to achieve desired learningobjectives, although the learners' participation may to a great extent be unintentionaland even incidental.Learning in the Community Informal, unintentional and incidental learning takes place continuouslythroughout life and across all sectors of the community. It may result from a deliberatewish to gain more knowledge, as a result of doing and experiencing, or peripherally as a4result of living and being a member of a community. Such learning may or may not bemeaningful, it may be fleetingly retained and then forgotten, or it may become part ofmany small pieces of information which eventually become linked into a greater whole.Sometimes knowledge acquired incidentally and gradually over a period of time adds upto considerable expertise, valued not only by the individual learner, but by others whosee this knowledge as an invaluable resource.On the surface it may appear that some information learned incidentally is trivial.However, each individual will link pieces of apparent trivia in different ways. Everyindividual is a product of his or her own biography, and thus what is meaningful to oneperson may be meaningless to another. But because of circumstance, one individual maylink two apparently unconnected incidents together, the `ah-ha principle' comes intoaction, a connection is made, and learning occurs. The `ah-ha principle' is simply afunction of intuition, an acknowledgement of tacit knowledge, when some unknownacts as a catalyst so that two small items become one larger whole. Since no two peoplehave exactly similar life experiences, it is not possible to predict which information willhave what effect and on whom.Although action group members do not generally have time to consider thetheoretical aspects of informing and educating the general public, they use strategieswhich have been successful elsewhere, often having to act quickly, on the spur of themoment, to 'rally the troops'. Immediate issues require immediate action and short-termeducation, while the overall problem often can only be successfully dealt with by long-term educational campaigns leading to an eventual change in attitude. In this thesis boththe short-term and long-term educational strategies of a community action group arediscussed, together with an analysis of the consequent learning which occurred amongstmembers of the general public.Such groups usually carry out well-planned educational strategies in order toinform the public of a problem or concern within the community because grass-rootsmovements depend on numbers of people expressing reasoned opinion to exert pressure5on politicians and decision makers. This means gaining as much support as possiblewithin the community for the action group's viewpoint through the widespread use ofeducation and information campaigns.The Research SettingThe Boundary Bay Conservation Committee is an umbrella organization whosemembers represent 12 environmental and community action groups in the Vancouverand Boundary Bay area of south-west British Columbia. There are also about 200 directmembers and supporters, representing approximately 27,000 people in the LowerMainland. It began initially in about 1988, when a few residents in the Tsawwassen andBoundary Bay area discovered that applications were before the local council todevelop 18 golf courses and a large housing development on lands which were eithernatural marshlands and valuable bird habitat, supporting millions of migrating ducks,geese and shorebirds during their semi-annual migrations up and down the west coast ofthe North and South American continent, or on local farmland which had been set asideby Provincial Government orders in the Agricultural Land Reserve. Land so designatedin British Columbia could not be reclassified unless there were exceptionalcircumstances for removing it from farm use, and required Provincial legislation to do so.It became known throughout the local community that land was being removedfrom the Agricultural Land Reserve apparently on a random basis and with no studieshaving been done, and development permits were being issued without communityconsultation or approval. The removal of farm land from the local inventory wascontentious for several reasons. Firstly, it was against the law except for good reason,and housing development was not considered to be that. Secondly, only a smallproportion of the land in British Columbia is suitable for arable farming, much of which isin this area, and it has already been considerably diminished by development to date . Iffurther losses were to occur it might be very difficult to sustain an agricultural industryin the area at all, and a greater reliance on outside food sources would be necessary6(Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, 1992). Thirdly, the high migratory andresident bird population relies on farmland and undeveloped upland for alternative foodsources in the form of oldfield uncultivated habitat where raptors (birds of prey), owls,herons and eagles can find small rodents and mammals, grain and other fields planted formigrating and resident geese, and woodlands for shelter, nesting and roosting. If any onearea were to disappear, it would create imbalance and imperil all the others which areinterlinked.The proposed use of marshlands for golf courses was equally contentious. Vastnumbers of migratory snow geese and other waterfowl regularly stop to feed atBoundary Bay on their way north or south. There are protected habitats all along thewest coast of South and North America right up to Alaska, except in Canada. TheBoundary Bay area is a vital link in the chain of migratory stopovers, and if it were to bereduced or removed it could possibly have disastrous consequences for the waterfowlpopulation of both the northern and southern hemispheres. In order to locate the areaconcerned, see Fig. 1, (Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, 1992).Thus when some residents of Tsawwassen and Boundary Bay discovered theseproposed changes to their environment they became concerned on many fronts. Themost immediate reaction was one of anger and confusion that land in the AgriculturalLand Reserve could be removed so easily for proposed development. Coupled with thatanger was frustration at not having any community consultation on the developmentplan for the area. Many people living in the area commute to Vancouver to work on adaily basis, and were afraid that the main freeways, already overcrowded, would becomechaotic with a huge increase in traffic as newcomers joined the commute. Others hadchosen to retire from the metropolis to the quiet of a rural area and did not wish to findthemselves subjected to a large population increase, while young families had alsochosen to live in the area to bring up their children in a rural, rather than an urbansetting. Any thought of a sudden and large population influx was seen as a threat toalmost all sectors of the present community.Fig.1: Boundary Bay and the Fraser DeltaLANGLEY: NORTH :V,ANCOU‘412VANCOUVERBURNABYRICHMONDSURREYBurnsBogMudBayCrescentTsa assen BOUNDARY^BeachWhiteBAYRoberts^ Rock__arriiahrpooPoint^ BayRobertsWesthamIslandBrunswickPointDELTALadnere ntitle'Se re'9Little Canpbeii /tWelGEORGIASTRAITBirchBayNorthDelta49°00'^Bank--------Geographical Location8Small independent action groups began to form to ward off the impending development.They included the Homeowners Association, the Delta Naturalists, the Great Blue HeronSociety, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and many other groups, each concerned with theirown aspect of the problem. But each was acting autonomously and independently,sometimes not even knowing the existence of the others, so a lot of energy wasunwittingly being spent covering the same ground. It was at this point that theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee came into being, enabling all the smaller groupsto send representatives to one central meeting where ideas and resources could beshared, and strategies worked out for creating public awareness and gaining publicsupport in an effort to educate and inform the politicians who were responsible formaking such unpopular decisions.One of the first tasks of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee was to plana short-term educational strategy for informing those members of the public who were asyet unaware of the problem in order to pressure politicians to make immediate changeswhere issues were urgent. Secondly there was a need to implement a long-termeducational programme aimed at engendering permanent public concern for the welfareof the local environment. Almost equally important was direct education of politicians atall levels of government through lobbying, presentations, meetings and discussions.Once members of the general public were made aware of the issues and became informedof the implications of both the proposed housing development and golf courses, theytoo were encouraged to lobby, inform and educate the politicians in an effort to changetheir attitude from pro-development to pro-environment. How this took place isdiscussed in Chapter 4, Findings.Background to the Research Area Fig.1 shows the geographical area where the problem arose. The large-scalebuilding development was to be sited near Tsawwassen, which is on a small peninsula,bounded on its fourth side by a major freeway. Housing would have consumed a9portion of farmland on that peninsula, and the resulting traffic could only move in andout of the area on the already-congested freeway. Fears were expressed that anyhousing development of the proposed size, which would almost triple the population in5-10 years, would also require extensive additional infrastructure in the way of roads,schools, hospitals and perhaps even shopping centres, which would all consume morefarmland than just the housing project alone. The people of the area stated repeatedlythat, on the whole, they were not against expansion at a normal rate, but they wereagainst rapid expansion on land which was valuable farmland when there were otherareas of the Lower Mainland which could absorb such a project without endangeringthe local agricultural industry.The eighteen proposed new golf courses lay all around Boundary Bay fromTsawwassen to Crescent Beach both along the marshlands just inside the dykes, andinland through Delta and Burns Bog, and along the Serpentine River complex. Thesewere the very areas which play such a vital role in the Pacific Flyway, providing staginggrounds and winter habitat for migratory waterfowl, and year-round habitat for largepopulations of resident birds. To destroy one part of the eco-system would probablyendanger the habitat as a whole and threaten the birds that relied upon it.Because the Pacific Flyway extends from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, the viabilityof Boundary Bay as a wintering ground was not just a matter of local importance, it wasof international concern, and as such the community action group and their supporterstook their case to as many international agencies as possible in order to raise more thanlocal awareness of the issue. This helped to raise the profile of the problem whendrawing it to the attention of local politicians.Demographic Description of the AreaA demographic study carried out in 1991 by MTR Consultants Ltd. shows thatthe Tsawwassen area has a substantially older, more stable population base thansurrounding neighbourhoods, consisting of "mature, established families, as well as a1 0large segment of empty nesters—mature households in excess of 55 years of age whosechildren have left home". Their average income is high, exceeding that of Vancouver byover 47%, and the population of the area in 1990 was almost 20,000 (p. 4).Many of those who make up the "mature households" are retired managerial andprofessional people with high educational attainment, used to doing their own researchand asking critical questions before accepting information at face value. They were inpositions of authority, and have well-honed skills in dealing with bureaucracy. Nowthese abilities are used in working to support the movement to prevent loss of wetlandand farmland to proposed developments by preparing and presenting briefs to council,lobbying politicians, and offering their expertise as resource persons when required.These people are certainly not radical, but they are not prepared to stand by quietly andwatch the destruction of their neighbourhood. Many of the people interviewed duringthe course of this study were now retired, but were extremely active in defending acause in which they believed very strongly.A second section of the local population who were also very active weremembers of young families, with children growing up in the area. They have chosen tolive in a rural environment rather than in nearby towns and cities, and wish to keep itthat way. This has been described by the then Mayor of the municipality as the`drawbridge mentality', not wishing others to come and enjoy the amenities you haveyourself. But although that may be a factor, there is as much concern among them asamong the retired people for retention of the local agricultural industry and the integrityof the Pacific Flyway. There is a wish to preserve these amenities for their children andfuture generations, not to cash it in for short term gain that would benefit mostly thedevelopers, who stood to make a lot of money if the projects went ahead.Because of the considerable expertise and ability to be found amongst theresidents of the Tsawwassen area, the community action group had many resourcesavailable to it in mounting its campaign. Since the general population of the area is fairlyhomogeneous in that many people share the same beliefs and values, it was perhaps11easier to attract their attention to the problem and get their support than might havebeen the case in a more diverse community.Outcome of the Community Action The educational process upon which the community action group embarked wastwo-step. The ultimate target audience to be educated were the municipal and provincialpoliticians and decision makers to whom the public were appealing for a change ofattitude and values towards the quality of life in and around Tsawwassen and BoundaryBay. Most of the general public were already aware that it was necessary to changepolitical attitudes, but were not so aware of the way in which the development issue wasbeing handled by the people in power, or what impact it might have on the communityshould it be approved.The first step was, therefore, to inform and educate the members of the publicabout the area as it was then, and as it would be if the housing and golf course proposalsmaterialized. Once they gained enough knowledge to make an informed judgment aboutaccepting or rejecting the new developments, they then needed to know how to putpressure on the politicians who were supposed to be representing their views.The second step was education of the politicians and bureaucrats, which waseffected both directly by lobbying and presenting briefs and submissions to council, andindirectly through the media, radio and television open-line discussions, letters directlyto politicians, and gathering petitions. The ultimate aim of all the educational processeswas to persuade those in power to heed the wishes of the majority of the electorate andact accordingly by rejecting the large-scale housing proposal, and retaining only thosegolf course applications which were not ecologically harmful.Evidence that learning had taken place was manifested in a change of behaviouror attitude, which in this particular case study was shown in two ways. The municipalcouncil in 1988, when these problems arose, was very pro-development and theirdecisions and actions were increasingly unpopular with many of the electorate. The12community in general felt that the greater majority were not in favour of removing landsfrom the Agricultural Land Reserve for building purposes, nor were they in favour of somany golf courses in a small geographical area. Council, on the other hand, felt that the`silent majority' who were not speaking out against the projects would prove to be infavour of the proposals and would back the decisions made by council to go ahead withthese plans.Public hearings were a part of the democratic process when people at large canpresent briefs and written submissions to council supporting or opposing decisionscouncil were about to make. During the summer of 1989 a total of 354 people spoke atthese hearings, of whom 315 (89%) were against the proposal and 39 (11%) were infavour. Fifty-two more people were registered to speak but had no opportunity as thehearings were abruptly closed, and of that number, 49 were opposed and 3 were infavour. By the close of oral presentations 465 written submissions had also beenreceived by council, of which 80% were anti-development. Before the matter was finallyclosed a total of 3,748 written submissions were before council, of which 94% wereagainst council approval of the development by-laws and only 6% in favour. It may alsobe of interest to note that it was women who spearheaded and played the most activeroles in the anti-development movement. (J.R. Gagnier, personal communication, Sept.13, 1992).However, council still did not learn from this outpouring of opinion and emotion,and maintained that the 'silent majority' had not yet been heard and would speak intheir favour. The community, on the other hand, did not believe the silent majorityexisted, let alone supported council. Almost no-one in the area had no opinion, or had anopinion which they had not yet expressed, and in order to demonstrate that this was sothe community organized a non-municipally-sanctioned referendum. Although thisreferendum was unofficial in nature as it was instigated by citizens rather than by themunicipality, it was organized and overseen in just the same way as if it had beenofficially sanctioned. There was a voter turnout of 6,500, which was higher than for any13municipal election, and resulted in a vote of 94% against council's proposed decision toallow development to go ahead (Gagnier). Shortly afterwards, when council had to voteon whether or not to pass the contentious by-law they voted it down, despite havingbeen entirely in favour up to that point. Public pressure had finally achieved its goal andthe politicians learned that it was in their interests to listen to the voice of the public.However, their actions were too little, too late. When the next municipal electionwas due, grass-roots environmentally-aware political groups were formed to promote`green' candidates to stand for election. Slates of potential new officers were proposedand supported by the anti-development lobby in an effort to replace the pro-development incumbents, in the hope that the next council would be more sensitiveboth to the wishes of the electorate and the needs of the environment. On the morningafter the election, only one member of the old council remained—there was an almostcomplete changing of the guard.As the citizens of that area are, on the whole, fairly conservative, such a radicalchange of council would not have been expected under normal circumstances. It cantherefore be surmised that the educational campaign run by the Boundary BayConservation Committee to encourage local residents to learn more about their area andwhat they want by way of future plans, and to encourage them to take power into theirown hands, worked sufficiently well to achieve the desired result of stopping thedevelopment by-law and removing an unpopular council from office.Timing of Events In order to set the research period into a time-frame, Table 1, shows the order ofevents which are described in this study. Research, which took place from April to July,1992, covered the period from the founding of the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee during 1988 to the change of council in November, 1989, looking back overthe educational process and community learning which occurred during this particularsegment of the Conservation Committee's history.Table 1Chronology of EventsDate^ Event1988: June^Order in Council permitting golf courses on AgriculturalLand Reserve.1989: May—JulyAugustBoundary Bay Conservation Committee formed sometimeafter this decision by council to unite many smallerenvironmental groups and work together to fight both thegolf course and pending housing development applications,and support the protection of the Boundary Bay ecosystem.Public hearings before council to present briefs andsubmissions regarding proposed housing and golf courseapplications.Community-organized referendum on the issue of whetherthe community generally was in favour of the proposedhousing and golf course developments.6,500 qualified electors voted, 94% against council'spending approval of high-density development (Gagnier).November^Civic elections. All but one member of the present pro-development council replaced with a pro-environmental slatebacked by community political pressure groups.1415Since the change of council, the Committee's work has become less reactive andmore proactive, putting forward proposals on the community's wishes to see BoundaryBay either receive Ramsar designation (an internationally recognizedacknowledgement of wetland's environmental importance) or to work towards creatinga Biosphere Reserve. This is another internationally recognized environmentaldesignation, acknowledging a core area which receives maximum protection,surrounded by a buffer zone which is managed in such a way that it protects the core,and thirdly a zone of co-operation lies beyond the buffer zone, where reasonabledevelopment compatible with the area is permitted (Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee, 1992).The priorities of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee have now shiftedfrom urgent action to cope with immediate, short-term problems, to an on-goingemphasis on long-term educational strategies to keep environmental awareness alive,while encouraging the community to participate in pro-actively planning the future ofthe area and lobbying the present council to consider adopting plans emanating fromthe community as a whole. The attempt to promote the idea of a Biosphere Reserve isone such plan being put forward by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee onbehalf of the community.Types of Learning Arising from Planned Educational Strategies Learning takes place in many ways among the community at large. Some peopleprefer to attend well-organized meetings, listen to speakers, and have an opportunity toask questions or share personal thoughts on the matter. Others get their informationmainly from the media—local newspapers, community television, radio open-lineprogrammes, sometimes even national newspapers and magazines that have beenpersuaded to write about the issue. Where environmental issues are at stake, as was thecase in this research study, on-site workshops are popular, where learning is moreexperiential, through sight, sound, smell, and feel.1 6Events are also organized by core group members which lead to learning, albeitincidental and even accidental. In order to be successful in getting a message across tothe community there must occasionally be an element of fun involved, and peopleparticipate in informal community events for reasons other than to specifically learnabout an issue. Fund-raising dances, barbecues, fairs, sponsored walks, bicycle rides andother fun events are more of a social occasion than a serious learning opportunity.Learning may however take place incidentally, although education is neither the mainreason for holding the event, nor the main reason for attending. Often such gatheringsprovide light relief and a chance for people to take a break from the constant round ofserious hard work while trying to resolve perceived or real threats to the stability of theneighbourhood. Victories large or small along the way need to be celebrated; those whohave worked so hard for so long to achieve success deserve congratulation and time forrecognition by others, while the community at large also needs to be reminded at suchmoments that although a battle might have been won, the war is not yet over. It hasbeen stated by members of various dedicated action groups that it is only the odd funoccasion which keeps them going during the daily grind of maintaining pressure onthose in power to alter their modus operandi.Incidental learning among the public is, however, a carefully planned outcome ofeducational strategies used by community action groups. Posters, placards, bumperstickers and t-shirts, as well as the social events referred to above, are all part of the wayin which messages are conveyed incidentally to living one's normal life and they canhave great impact by providing another channel by which information is diffused. If asingle message is noticed in enough ways in many different places within a short spaceof time it is likely to make some impact on the individual, intentionally or otherwise. Weall receive and discard information all day, every day, but if the same information isreceived often enough, it may eventually be retained and become meaningful.1 7The various ways in which the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee usededucational strategies, and the ways in which learning took place in the community, arediscussed at length in the findings which emerge from the raw data, and from analysis ofthose data, (Ch. 4 and Ch. 5).Methodology This research is a case-study of one particular action group at one particularperiod in their history, and the educational strategies used to create learningopportunities in an attempt to raise awareness amongst local citizens of problems arisingfrom apparently conflicting views of council members and local residents on acommunity development plan for the next decade. Members of that group, theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee, the media, and the general public wereinterviewed in an attempt to discern the educational strategies used, the role of themedia in disseminating information, what learning occurred amongst the general publicand how evidence of that learning was made manifest.Overview of the Contents Chapter 2 explores literature relevant to this study regarding new and old socialmovements, persuasive communications, social marketing, and attitude change, whichcomes from many fields associated with adult education such as health and communityeducation, sociology, psychology and anthropology. The learning population is alsoconsidered, together with the types of learning which the literature suggests occur incommunity settings, and the influence which group dynamics may have on the flow ofinformation.Chapter 3 discusses the methodology on which the research was based, thecriteria for data collection and evaluation, and the way in which this particular studywas carried out.Chapter 4 presents the findings resulting from coding and categorizing the dataand excerpts from that data to illustrate the points made.18Chapter 5 outlines a profile of the community, discusses and analyses thefindings, and shows how learning in the community was promoted by events plannedby the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee and other happenings which were partof the day-to-day routine of the municipality which became, incidentally, some of themost effective learning opportunities of the entire campaign.Chapter 6 summarizes the research findings, discusses possible applications forinformal and incidental learning in the near future, and considers the ways in which thisparticular community action group was successful in its campaign.1 9CHAPTER 2REVIEW OF THE LITERATUREThere are many aspects of the literature to be reviewed when studyingcommunity action and raising awareness. There are definitions of the terms used todescribe the main participants and the dynamics of interaction within the community, thetypes of activities undertaken, and the educational philosophies underlying thoseactivities. There is a wealth of literature on many aspect of education with which thistype of study is involved, but it is found spread out over a wide area, in the fields ofanthropology, sociology, health education, adult education, psychology, andcommunications. Some can only be found through searches of unpublished manuscriptsand conference proceedings, and some information leading to further literature appearsthrough discussions on electronic mailing lists such as Qualitative Research for theHuman Sciences, based at the University of Georgia or the Canadian Adult EducationNetwork from OISE.Some of the literature reviewed discusses the obvious matters which arise whenstudying education in the community, such as that relevant to community action groups,lifelong learning, and informal and incidental learning, but before such a study can evenstart there is much to be discovered about communications generally and how to be aneffective communicator, the way an idea is 'sold' to people, how information diffusesthroughout the community, which channels of communication are used, how peopleinform and educate themselves in such situations and how they use that knowledge toencourage the participation of others.Contextual Meaning of Terms Used The very word 'community' has many meanings, depending on the context inwhich it is used. It can refer to a geographical neighbourhood, or it can equally be usedto describe a group of people unconnected by physical proximity, but sharing a commonbackground, experience or qualification. But when referring to community action20groups and the community in which they work, the most commonly-used interpretationof the term is that of a geographically confined locality, the people who live within thatlocality, and the common interests they share. Roberts (1979, p. 27) describes acommunity as existing "when a group of people perceives common needs and problems,acquires a sense of identity, and has a common sense of objectives." This definitionaccurately reflects the situation in this case study, and therefore defines the word`community' as it will be used throughout.Community action groups, therefore, are gatherings of people who share acommon need or problem, and a common sense of objectives towards providing for thatneed or solving the problem. But not all action groups are alike. Armstrong (1972)suggests there are three main types. Firstly, there are those groups which form inresponse to what appears to be excessive or unacceptable exercise of power by anauthority, that is, groups with a mainly political motivation. Secondly groups arise tofulfill an unmet social need which has been neglected by the authorities, and thirdly, yetother groups exist to satisfy what Armstrong describes as "some kind of identitydemand," working on behalf of language rights, or minority interests.The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee are clearly a group which ispolitically motivated by what is perceived as the undue exercise of power by localauthorities, for their aim is, as Armstrong states (p. 24) "to end its operation or to amendit in a way congenial to themselves."Although some types of community action can be described as class- or status-specific, as sometimes happens when groups deal with minority rights or ethnicproblems, where a majority of those involved in the action are mainly of a single minorityor ethnicity, other issues transect the boundaries of class or status. Armstrong (1972),sees community action as occurring at any level vertically in society or in any area, butacknowledges that some areas of action may have a hierarchical correlation, as studiesshow that some issues, such as those concerning the environment, often get mostsupport from members of the middle-class. Although such issues concern everyone, the21Boundary Bay Conservation Committee bears out Armstrong's contention, but it mustalso be said that in this case it is almost inevitable since the residential area involved inthe dispute is demographically predominantly middle-class.The Role of New Social Movements in the CommunityNew social movements, a phenomenon first appearing in about the 1960s (Martin,1988; Selman, 1990a), are groups working to educate the general public who then forma critical mass that can exert pressure upon politicians and bureaucrats. 'New' socialmovements differ from the earlier 'old' social movements in that their educationalstrategies are not aimed at eventual self-actualization of participants, but to enable themto take part in social action to alter or improve their situation, by means of "participatorydemocracy" (Selman, 1990a, p. 333).Formerly, social movements arose to provide citizen and self-actualizingeducation on a wide scale in non-formal and informal settings in the liberal tradition. Thedynamics of such movements were fairly simple in that an educational theme was chosenor provided by a leader, and the topic was discussed by members of a group, often insettings of their own choosing. They may have been following a programme designedby others, as in Farm Radio Forum, the Women's Institute, and other similar groups, orthey may have had some input as to what they studied, such as in the Great Booksprogramme or citizenship study circles. Leaders may have been from outside the group,or be chosen from within the group by the members. The aim in most cases was toprovide education leading to personal enrichment that was enjoyable and beneficial tothe individual participant, or citizenship education which enabled learners to betterparticipate in the democratic process, and was seldom aimed at upsetting the hegemonicequilibrium. These educational movements were ideologically conservative, and "therewas little truly radical activity in the adult education movement" at that time. (Selman,1991, p. 38). There were exceptions to this, notably the Highlander Folk School inTennessee, which taught workers how to fight for their rights in the workplace, and was22also deeply involved in training leaders for the civil rights movement. The schooloperated between 1932 and 1961 (Zacharakis-Jutz, 1991), and was thus in the forefrontof radical action for the era, and an example of the power of learning in the field of socialaction.New social movements, however, originated for different reasons. Following inthe footsteps of Highlander, needs arose within communities for action to obtain socialjustice or to create an impact on politicians and decision makers who usurp their power.The educational policies of these new movements were aimed at informing andempowering the public to take action (Finger, 1989a), rather than providing educationfor self-enlightenment and enrichment only.Environmental action groups fall within the category of new social movements,and generally form in response to an immediate threat to the local environment. They areoften, but not always, the product of middle class, well-educated neighbourhoods(Armstrong, 1972), where people already have the ability to organize and educate boththemselves and members of the immediate community around them.A comparison can be made between the 'old' social movements, which workedwithin the equilibrium paradigm as defined by Paulston (1977), and new socialmovements which are in conflict with, and set about changing, hegemonic equilibriumand improving the status quo. They are not usually so radical as to be revolutionary inwishing to replace the present hegemony with another, but aim to alter and improve thesituation without completely overthrowing the existing system. This phenomenon isdescribed very succinctly by Alex Comfort, quoted by Armstrong (1972, p. 22) as "...achange in the nature of revolution; away from revolution as a single event and towardsmilitancy and protest as constant civic activities."Educational Aspects of New Social MovementsSeveral forms of education occur within new social movements. In the firstinstance, when a group of citizens begin to notice a perceived threat to their23surroundings, in whatever form, they take steps to learn more about the situation and allthe implications in the impending change. According to Martin (1988, p. 206) "a vitalfirst step for any movement is internal education ... so that the case can be presentedand argued to the wider public through leaflets, talks, letters, broadcasts and so forth."This self-directed learning may take place through peer discussion or personal research,until such time as enough information has been gathered to enable a credible case to bepresented to the community (Martin, 1988). Much has been discovered about the waythis occurs by McCreary (1984).The next step is to take that information and educate the general public in thesurrounding community. Numbers of voices are needed in order for pressure to bebrought to bear upon politicians and decision-makers, because numbers represent voters,and for every person who speaks out on an issue, politicians frequently assume there areten others who feel the same way but have not acted publicly. It is therefore in theinterest of those who are elected to power to listen to those who put them there.Methods by which the community are informed and educated may vary from oneaction group to another, but they all tend to follow a similar basic plan. There are avariety of ways by which information diffuses, including through the media, organizedmeetings and discussions, and planned learning opportunities (Martin, 1988).General conversation also serves as a means by which information spreads, and thisincludes the grapevine, which is a particularly specific aspect of conversation carryingunverified facts and rumours, often found to be substantially correct (Zaremba,1988),through a community in advance of official statements.Information, by whichever means it reaches the community, must be accurate,reliable, current and credible in order to be effective. It is therefore most important thatmembers of the community action group who are responsible for providing suchinformation should keep themselves up-to-date with events and proceedings, and ensurethat, as far as possible, whatever they say about the issue can be independently verifiedfrom reliable sources.24Like the 'old' social movements, the new social movements, of whichenvironmental community action groups are a part, have a high educational component(Finger, 1989a; Selman, 1990a). Learning takes place on three levels; self-directedlearning is found amongst the original core group members, who learn about the issueand the problems involved in solving it before the action group becomes official;informal learning takes place within the general community, together with some self-directed learning as people wish to find out more for themselves; and incidental learningoccurs continuously as a result of living and being in that community setting. Actiongroups usually have a well-planned educational strategy for informing the community inorder to get their support which is not just incidental to the group's initial reason forbeing. Armstrong (1972) goes so far as to suggest that community action groups are afertile area for adult educators to investigate, since knowledge will be needed bymembers to deal with social processes, effective communications and how to be effectiveeducators of the community at large, stating that "this field of community action and theindividuals and groups within it could be the operational centre of gravity in the futurefor adult and community education" (p. 26). At present, these matters are learnedexperientially, by dealing with the task at hand, rather than through any formallyorganized learning outside the context of the community action group itself.Learning strategies used in community settings vary from formally organizedlectures and information sessions, to the informality of the grapevine, about whichZaremba (1988, p. 10) states "it is particularly important to understand the nuances ofthe informal network (the 'grapevine') because so much information travels along thesenon-prescribed channels." Other means by which information is disseminated includepublic hearings, meetings, forums, the media, and personal conversation (Durrance, 1980;McCreary, 1984). Knowledge of how to use these strategies to best advantage is a skilldiscussed under two headings in the literature, persuasive communications and socialmarketing.25Persuasive CommunicationsPersuasive communications is a very large topic to consider. Although there is nota great deal of practical literature on the subject, it is clear from what there is thatpersuasive communications can be pictorial, verbal, or songs (Stewart, Smith & Denton,1984). There are three aspects to the art of communicating persuasively; firstly thesubject matter of what is said, sung or depicted, secondly how the communication iscomposed—the words chosen, or the picture illustrated, and thirdly, how, where and bywhom the message is conveyed. All these aspects have an important, but often unstated,effect on those to whom the message is targeted. The Yale theorists maintain that forpersuasive communications to be effective they must create four internal responses;attention, comprehension, acceptance and retention (Trenholm, 1989).Chants or songs also may have an effect on strengthening attitudes or opinionsof members within activist groups or social movements, while at the same time informingthose who listen of a message the group wishes to convey. Some songs have evenbecome specifically associated with social struggle, and are sung at rallies and marchesto strengthen the conviction of members of the movement, almost as an unstatedwarning to those against whom action is being taken that social movements are seriousabout their intentions. One of the most well-known anthems associated with socialjustice movements is "We Shall Overcome," popularized by Myles Horton, director ofthe Highlander Folk School in Tennessee (Parker, F. & Parker, B.J., 1991).Other songs are used to draw attention to the cause and activate the audience(Stewart, Smith & Denton, 1984), as is seen in a group known as "The RagingGrannies." Members are self-styled older women, who dress in stereotypical grannyoutfits to draw attention to themselves, set new words to well-known folk tunes, andsing wherever they see a need to convey messages on matters of social importance. Thisgroup not only illustrates the literature on persuasive communications, but also Boggs'(1992) exposition that many older people are now actively engaged in new socialmovements and working for social justice.26Chants are a type of slogan, and slogans, either written or spoken, can be verypowerful purveyors of messages, attitudes, values and beliefs (Stewart, Smith & Denton,1984). Written slogans can appear in many places, on t-shirts, bumper stickers, posters orlapel buttons, and thus can reach a very wide audience. They get the message across bybeing witty, rhyming, memorable, puns or other forms of a play on words, which becomespecifically associated with particular action groups or movements as a 'trade mark'.According to Stewart, Smith & Denton (p. 178)Slogans act as social symbols and symbolic justifications. Socialmovements employ them to create impressions, to alter perceptions, toelicit emotional responses, to make demands, and to pressureoppositions. The ambiguity of slogans enable them to serve as verbalbridges from one meaning to another and allow individuals and groupsto interpret them according to their own perceptions and needs. Theysimplify complex problems, solutions, and situations while demandinginstant corrective actions. Many slogans are unique to and readilyidentifiable with specific social movements or social movementorganizations ... and they apply both indirect and direct pressures uponoppositions.And slogans, because they are so mobile, provide excellent opportunities for incidentaland accidental learning to occur as they are noticed, deciphered and decoded by thosewho come in contact with them. People rarely mention how much information they gainfrom slogans, but the fact that slogans are effective, ubiquitous and widely read isacknowledged by the t-shirt sold by a public library which stated "Read books, nott-shirts!"Although persuasive communications, as such, is not always recognized as anecessary skill by those involved in community action groups and the educationalstrategies used to raise public awareness, persuasion is certainly a very large part of anyeducational campaign. There is also evidence that those who try to persuade others toaccept a viewpoint or belief are very conscious of the wording used to create maximumeffect. Pictures and illustrations can also be used persuasively, as, for example,with abefore-and-after scenario, where one aspect may have been greatly exaggerated to drawimmediate attention to it. This exaggeration is not an attempt to make the beholder27believe that this illustrates reality, since most people will instantly realize thatexaggeration has been deliberately used to create effect. It does, however, drawattention to the point being made and awaken the recipient's faculties for criticalthinking. But there is much more to effective persuasion than just careful use of wordsor illustrations, which is tacitly acknowledged by those involved in creating informaland incidental learning opportunities in the community at large.Creating a change of opinion or attitude demands a different type of learningfrom other types of learning (Hovland, Janis & Kelley, 1953). Attitudes, values andopinions are bound up with emotions and feelings which is why, in many environmentalissues, tempers can become easily inflamed when opposing views meet. The conditionsunder which learning takes place are usually those of everyday life, when persuasivecommunication has to compete for attention with everything else going on in the worldaround.The success of being able to communicate persuasively depends not only on howmessages are crafted, the channels through which the audience is reached, and theability to gain attention, but also on how recipients of the information decide to acceptor reject the ideas being put forward (Lamble, 1984). If the message is not congruentwith the recipient's present ideology it may be very difficult, if not impossible, to create achange of attitude, even using the most persuasive tactics. If the recipient of theinformation shares the same opinion as the communicator, then it has been found thatthere will be a greater shift in favour of that opinion, whereas those whose opinionsdiffer may shift only slightly in the new direction, if at all (Hovland, Janis & Kelley,1953).Another factor influencing message acceptance is peer group affiliation. Peopletend to adhere to group norms or standards, they conform with the attitudes and valuesof those around them in their everyday lives, for it is very difficult to maintain allegiancesand friendships when values, attitudes and beliefs are different from those with whomone works or socializes. This may perhaps explain in part why there are so many28confrontations on environmental issues such as logging, or in labour—managementrelations, where each side adheres to its common ideology, which in turn stems fromindividual deep-rooted convictions in beliefs and values.A person's mood or emotional state at the time of hearing a communication willhave an effect on how it is received and understood. Selective perception may 'tuneout' those things an individual does not wish to hear, or alternatively one may read intowhat is said more than is meant, "...while an audience is being exposed to a message,they are picking out of it just those things that fit their own outlook, and disregardingmuch else" (Abelson, 1959, p. 55). It has also been suggested that people do not exposethemselves to communications with which they do not agree (Hovland, Janis & Kelley,1953). For example, it is very unlikely that many loggers would attend a rally to save theStein Valley, and consequently where opinions are polarized, communicators willinevitably find themselves 'preaching to the converted', or being heckled by those whodo not agree. Abelson (1959, p. 54) states that "the people you may want most in youraudience are often least likely to be there."How the communicator, or the originator of the communication, is perceived bythe audience also affects the extent to which any message is accepted and retained.Degree of trustworthiness and affiliations of the originator must be beyond question inthe mind of the recipient, otherwise suspicion, distrust and rejection cloud the listener'sinterpretation of what is being said. This is commonly seen in the political arena, and asmany community action groups are political in nature, this fact will also have a bearingon the way they must conduct their affairs. To be seen as trustworthy, fair, reliable andtruthful is very important in projecting a positive image to the target audience, but nomatter how successfully this is done, it is still not usually enough to help persuade thosewho are opposed to whatever idea is being put forward. Cynicism colours reason, andthose who do not wish to accept a message will find ways to refute what appears to bereliable, factual, verifiably truthful information, thus justifying their rejection. However,studies have shown that the effects on the recipient of distrusting the messenger do not29last as long as the effect of the content of the message, so in the long run, reallypersuasive communications may eventually be positively received (Hovland, Janis &Kelley, 1953).There are many aspects of communication that require attention, and many peopleinvolved in community action will intuitively be aware of them. The manner and dress ofthe messenger must fit in with the accepted code of the target audience in order tocreate affinity and to indicate congruence with the audience's value system. Jargon orlanguage used must be acceptable and familiar to the audience, the method and lengthof presentation suitable, depending on situation or circumstance. Hovland, Janis &Kelley (1953) state that the nature of the source of the communication will affect theway an audience will respond to any appeals and arguments made.Appeal to emotion provides great incentive for acceptance of a new opinion, andone of the emotional responses often invoked is that of fear. The communicator can thenallay these fears by suggesting a recommended course of action to be taken inanticipation of averting the threat. This creates a form of reassurance that the problemcan be alleviated by 'doing something', and people may become participants inwhatever action is deemed necessary to achieve the objective (Hovland, Janis & Kelley,1953). Community action group members and their supporters are in just such a position,recruiting people to take action to ward off whatever is creating an impending threat tothat society.Hovland, Janis & Kelley (1953) and Abelson (1959) are in agreement over manyaspects of the communications process used by action groups and social movements topersuade the general community that they have a message worth listening to. All thetopics regarding persuasive communications discussed below are elucidated by bothHovland et al, and Abelson, and in order to avoid constant repetition, these twoauthorities will not be acknowledged further.Although such processes are not referred to specifically by respondents whentrying to ascertain how awareness for an issue is raised, they are obliquely evident in30what is said about the way in which information is presented to the public at large. Mostaspects of communication as discussed in the literature occur in real life, they are not justtheoretical concepts, but are taken for granted, commonsense knowledge, and it ispresumed by activists that people know by intuition or instinct which are the mostsuitable and effective ways of communicating for the culture in which they live. Culture,in this sense, often refers to micro-cultures, the immediate community in which membersof activist groups live, work and play.When presenting information by whatever means to an audience it is essential totake the collective character of that audience into account. If listeners are sophisticated,well-educated, and friendly towards the presentation, it is probable that only the actiongroup's point of view need be put forward, as it can reasonably be assumed thatmembers of the audience are in a position to make themselves aware of the other side ofthe argument. However, if it is judged that the listening public is not well informed aboutboth sides of the issue, or are not well-disposed towards the message they receive, it issuggested that both sides of the issue should be discussed, bearing in mind that theargument which is presented last will probably be more effectively retained by theaudience.Studies have also shown that greater change in opinion is effected if thepresentation is drawn to a conclusion by the speaker, rather than leave the audience tointerpret the message in their own way (Hovland, Janis & Kelley, 1953). Selectiveperception may enter into what individual members of the audience hear, or perceivethey heard, and they may come to a conclusion which differs considerably from thatwhich was intended. It is not enough for a speaker to assume a high level of educationor sophistication among members of the audience is sufficient to lead them to draw theconclusions required to strengthen the possibility of making an affirmative change ofopinion.Eventually the effect of any persuasive communication will diminish. An originalchange or strengthening of opinion will be reduced with lapse of time from the receipt of31the message unless there is reinforcement and repetition to remind the recipient of theiroriginal thoughts and feelings on the matter. However, bound in with this lapse overtime is the fact that there may also be a time-lag between receipt of a message andmaximum change of opinion, so one may presume that there is a learning curveassociated with acceptance of a viewpoint which will eventually revert to zero if leftunattended. Repetition will help to raise the profile of the issue, and if an individual canalso be encouraged to take some form of action connected with the matter, or to increasetheir learning through direct personal experience in some other way, affirmative opinionscan be strengthened or change of opinion consolidated.It is important for speakers to know their audience, if possible, in order to be ableto present their message in the manner most appealing to that particular sector of thepopulation. Present opinions likely held by an audience, level of education, presentknowledge on the subject, and general background should all be taken into accountwhen trying to maximize the effectiveness of any communication. Many communityissues cross class and educational lines, affecting all equally. Other issues relateparticularly to one specific sector, so that the audience is more homogeneoushierarchically. But whether the shared concern extends vertically or horizontallythrough a community, the diffusion of knowledge will flow more smoothly if there issome compatibility between those involved (Rogers, 1983).Social MarketingAlthough the field of education is somewhat loath to admit that it can gainanything from marketing, there is much in common between them. Marketing wishes topromote a product by creating a need for it through the use of persuasivecommunication and other strategies. Education wishes to promote the acquisition ofknowledge in a variety of ways, one of which is to ascertain the need of the learner andthen fulfill that need by means of communication which is relevant to that learner. Socialmarketing is defined as "the design, implementation, and control of programs seeking to32increase the acceptability of a social idea, cause, or practice in a target group" (Kotler,1982, p. 490).In social marketing, importance is placed on how an audience reacts to acommunication, and emphasizes the fact that the communicator must not just think he orshe knows the audience, but must be able to see things from their perspective if thecommunication is to be relevant and acceptable. No teaching material, however creative,will reach the target audience if it tackles the wrong issue in the wrong way (Hastings &Scott, 1988).The origins of social marketing stem from anthropology, sociology and socialpsychology, taking theory from each of these disciplines to create a problem-solvingsystems approach which can be used to promote public or social policy. But since thename 'marketing' has "crass commercial association, use has been made of sucheuphemisms as social communications, nonformal education, social promotion, andpolitical technology — virtually any label that avoids any hint of linkage to marketing"(Manoff, 1985, p. 31). Social marketing is seen as a strategy that can adapt themethodology of commercial marketing for educational use, which is being done quiteextensively in the field of health education.However, the field of education has problems accepting the notion of socialmarketing since there is often a distrust of the way in which the mass media are used toinform, or misinform, their audiences, and the connections of the mass media withcommercialism. Manoff (1985, p. 12) states that "the notion that they (the mass media)could be useful for education was considered unseemly."Those who work in the field of community health realize that social marketingmay have a role to play when attempting to change attitudes towards alcohol, tobacco,drug use and other issues of concern today, and ongoing research at the University ofStrathclyde, in Scotland, shows that the promotion of commercial products is very similarin intent to the promotion of social issues (Hastings & Scott, 1988). Consequentlyadvocacy groups actively use the mass media and other commercial promotional33techniques to create awareness for their goals. The main emphasis is on the use of clearercommunications between communicator and the target audience, with a widening use ofnon-traditional channels by which communication is conveyed.Social marketing theory maintains that, where possible, the target audienceshould be researched to discover whether they receive the message in the way in whichthe communicator thinks they will receive it. Research provides insights into audienceresponse to educational materials, and may show that the views of a target audience canbe quite different from what would be expected, even by those who feel best able tojudge (Hastings & Scott, 1988).Positive messages have been found to be more effective in promoting a change ofopinion than negative messages, which may be a concern to many community actionand advocacy groups. In many cases these groups are trying to create a new attitudetowards an issue, away from what has been socially acceptable and often beyondquestion, and in many cases the overt message is "Don't." There are anti-drug, anti-tobacco, anti-logging, anti-development groups all working to change a way of life, andit is sometimes very difficult to find an effective positive message to put forward.Attitudes, Values and BeliefsTo be effective in creating a climate for attitude change, social marketing andpersuasive communications must be used together, presented in a meaningful way to thetarget audience, and repeated frequently to reinforce positive reaction to the messagesbeing promoted. But attitudes are very complex, and to change them significantly takestime. It is generally accepted by theorists that attitudes consist of cognitive, affectiveand behavioural components, and since these are connected it is often possible tochange one by changing the others (Trenholm, 1989). This has considerable bearing onthe way community action groups promote their messages, as people learn in manydifferent ways. Since a combination of the three facets of learning are required together,events can be planned to include the presentation of informative messages to appeal to34the cognitive component of attitude, discussion of what might ensue if effective actionto solve the present social issue does not occur may appeal to the affective component,and involving the audience in some form of relevant participation and action couldprovide the behavioural learning opportunity. Making all three types of events availablefor target audience participation at the same time will probably be more effective than ifthere is a concentration on one or two components only.As important in changing social attitudes is the changing of values. Trenholm(1989, p. 11) states that "Attitudes sum up clusters of beliefs, while values sum upclusters of attitudes," all of which are culturally deep-rooted. Changing values fromwhat was socially acceptable to what is now socially acceptable presents a considerablechallenge to any educator, since values are so central to people's everyday lives thatthey are very difficult to alter. Community action groups very often find it is the valuesof one group within society which are incompatible with, or contradict, the values ofanother group within that same society, causing a clash of ideals and a difference ofattitude over the way to proceed.Beliefs are acquired through the culture in which we live, developing as life isexperienced. Any one belief is inter-related to all other beliefs as individuals try to makesense of the world around them. Beliefs are constantly in flux, and understanding theindividual or societal belief system is essential to understanding the response topersuasive communications (Trenholm, 1989).The Learning Population Everybody in a community is a prospective learner when dealing with most localissues. Unless the matter is very specific, affecting only a particular group of people, suchas a playground matter affecting mainly children and their parents, or high voltageelectricity cables which are only of immediate concern to those living nearby, mostcitizens living within a geographic area could be affected equally by the more usualgeneral community issues.35Who becomes interested and who does not depends on many factors. Somepeople are just not politically-minded and will be reluctant to become involved. Othershave family or personal commitments which preclude them from participating at the timealthough they may otherwise have done so. The great majority of community memberswill probably become aware of the issues, and hold a definite opinion if asked, but takelittle active part in trying to solve the immediate problem or right the perceived wrong,Then there are the active supporters of the community action group, who give of theirtime, money and knowledge in support of the cause, and the core-group of very activemembers who originated the movement to mobilize the community. These segments aredescribed by Houle & Nelson, (1956, in Selman 1990b,) as the specialist, the activelyconcerned, the attentive and the inattentive citizens. Martin (1988, p. 203) reclassifiesthe community as dedicated activists, active members, occasional participants, andpassive supporters. This latter classification most nearly correlates with results found inthis research.The mention of community action groups and their supporters usually brings tomind a picture of a segment of the population between school-leaving and retirementages, but this overlooks two very important age groups which can play major roles inthe action, both now, in the present, and in the future. Older people are now taking amuch more active role in community affairs than had been the case in the past. Peopleare retiring healthier, better educated, more concerned with civic affairs generally, andhave time to do whatever research is necessary to keep them individually, and thecommunity generally, well informed with regard to the contentious issue. Boggs, (1992,p. 395) states that "it is no longer uncommon to find older citizens both knowledgeableabout civic questions and problems and in the forefront of efforts to promote specificsolutions to them." They not only have a personal interest in the welfare of thecommunity in which they hope to be living for quite some time, but whereenvironmental matters are concerned, they also have the welfare of the youngergeneration at heart as their claim for bettering society is often to make the world a better36place for their children and grandchildren to live in. They attend civic meetings, courthearings and other day-time events which those still in the workforce are unable to do,acting as watchdogs and information gatherers. Not only do these activities help thecommunity at large, but includes seniors as useful and productive members of the societyin which they live. It is beneficial to older citizens to remain, or become, active in manyways, since they have much to give in the way of lifelong experience and knowledge,and have much to gain from keeping active and informed.The second sector of the population which is usually overlooked completelywhen it comes to community action is the children. Children do not have the vote, theydo not have the wisdom of years which enables them to participate to any great extentin civic activities, and their opinions and participation are rarely solicited. However,today children are potential educators in their own right, as they absorb attitudes andvalues which are comparatively new to society, such as the present move to moreefficient use of resources by recycling, gradually incorporating them into their home lifeand often encouraging their parents to adopt the new attitudes also. Whereas children inthe past were often expected to be seen and not heard, they are now encouraged byteachers and social activists to speak out at home to try and modify family behaviourpatterns to those which are now more socially acceptable. Children are, therefore, asegment of the population which should not be overlooked for the influence they canhave now, and for the potential power of their learning on the community at large whenthey become adults.What children learn informally and incidentally in their early years can also have aprofound effect on their attitudes, values and beliefs as adults. Smells, sights and soundsof childhood are very meaningful, and experiential learning as a child may provide aplatform upon which much is built on the way to becoming an adult. Things we careabout as adults often stem from something we learned as children, or may have been ataken-for-granted part of the childhood environment. Finger (1989b, p. 27) states that"learning is understood as a process which is closely linked to the total life of a person."37Finger illustrates the power that incidental learning in childhood can have on attitudes,values and beliefs carried into adulthood when describing the life history of Alain,(p. 25).Alain, 43, is active in the field of environmental protection. He has builta house for his family according to sound ecological criteria and hetries to live as simply as possible. His childhood was characterized bydeep nature experiences in the Swiss Alps. Even today these memoriesare extremely strong: 'I can still smell the herbs, I still hear the strangenoises of the insects, see the coloured butterflies and flowers, the steephills...' From this childhood time Alain brings a feeling of being closelylinked to nature, as well as the desire to live simply. ... The longer I livethe more I become aware that my commitment to the protection of theenvironment appears to be one of my main aims, if not my raison d'être'... Alain's life history illustrates the process of becoming anenvironmentally aware, concerned and committed person.Types of Learning InvolvedLearning which takes place in a community setting is usually referred to asinformal, incidental, even accidental, vicarious, experiential, commonsense, or learning"en passant" (Reischmann, 1984). By whatever name, the teaching process may becarefully planned by the 'instructor', but learning outcomes cannot be organized,regulated, planned, quantified or depended upon. These forms of learning are the mostcommon in the everyday world beyond the formal education system, to the extent thatCarlson (1980) has argued that unplanned and unorganized learning accounts for three-quarters of all the learning done by adults. Jarvis (1987, p. 164) suggests that "...learning is the transformation of experience into knowledge, skills, and attitudes." Thisdefinition matches the aims of community action groups in creating learningopportunities which raise awareness of an issue.Learning which takes place informally or incidentally in a community setting issometimes not recognized as such because people generally associate the term`learning' with more formal and organized experiences (Rossing, 1991). Nevertheless,learning that just happens without trying is part of everyday life, is referred to by Cann& Mannings (1987) as incidental learning, and is seen by them as the way in which themajority of people learn.38This type of learning is referred to by Reischmann (1986) as learning "enpassant." Rossing, Cann & Mannings and Reischmann each use different terms todescribe the type of learning which occurs as a result of accomplishing an ordinary task,when the task is undertaken for its own sake and not for the learning which may accruefrom it. Such learning can be intentional, but often is not, but when learningopportunities are planned by community action groups and others interested in trying toensure specific outcomes, informal methods are often used where learning on the part ofthe participant may be incidental to the reason for their participation. One of the mainproblems with this type of learning is that, unlike events in more formal settings, theoutcomes cannot be prescribed. Cann (1984, p. 47) goes so far as to say that "muchrelevant learning takes place when information is gleaned from the stubble of informalcontact, rather than from harvesting the wheat of Academia." Learning of this natureoccurs because it is relevant both to the task at hand and the individual performing thattask, and in many cases the experience is also fun and enjoyable.Learning also takes place through everyday conversation and personalinteraction. By trying to persuade another person to accept a particular viewpoint thespeaker is not only creating a learning situation in which the listener may hearsomething new, but the speaker is also confirming the belief to himself at the same time.Thus such conversations are two-way transactions, where learning is occurring in boththe listener and the speaker at the same time but for different reasons. Just to re-iterate inone's own words an argument heard previously stated by someone else may make itclearer and more meaningful and easier to assimilate into an existing framework ofattitudes, values and beliefs (Hovland, Janis & Kelley, 1953).Learning is no longer believed to be a one-way transaction where the instructorinforms the learner, who just assimilates the knowledge. It is now acknowledged to bean interactive phenomenon, even when no apparent, physical instructor is present.Learning can occur through reflection and interaction between the learner and thelearning material; for example questioning as one reads, or thinking about and analyzing39a documentary film as it is being viewed. Some learning is commonsense knowledge,which is absorbed intuitively by participation in and observation of the everyday worldaround, it is not 'taught' or specifically learned, it is unstated knowledge sharedgenerally by members of the community. An example of this is the way one gets a feelfor how the community at large thinks about an issue. How people really think is notknown for sure, because nobody has discussed the matter in any depth, but one'sgeneral assessment of the way things are emanates from being a part of that communityand knowing something about what makes it 'tick'.Learning is also constrained by socio-cultural conditions. Any widespreadchange of attitudes and opinions in society will take time, and those attitudes whichhave support in one era will be out of favour in another. When any new idea as tosocietal mores arise they are generally given little heed at first. People holding thatparticular viewpoint are considered radical, and sometimes new ideas go no further thanto gain popularity amongst a small minority of supporters. However, it has beensuggested that when 5% of the population accept an idea it becomes 'embedded', andwhen 20% accept it it develops a momentum which becomes unstoppable, gainingsupporters until the formerly radical idea moves towards the mainstream and graduallybecomes the norm (Senge, 1990).This gain in momentum can only happen if the time is right, if the groundwork hasbeen carefully laid so that tacit knowledge surfaces, and people discover that they hadalready partially adopted the new attitude without acknowledging it, even tothemselves. This process can be seen in a number of social changes which have occurredin the 1980s and '90s, stemming from radical action in the 1960s and '70s.Group DynamicsThere are many interacting factors within a community and any community actiongroup that affect the success of any group in trying to change or improve the presentsituation. Dean and Dowling (1987) suggest several criteria for success. The first40concerns the number of people who are actively involved in trying to solve thecommunity problem. If there are too few people in the group there will not be enough toshare the work, act as resources, and motivate the community at large to become activein support of their cause. New participants must be encouraged to join the core group toreplace those who drop out, and to bring fresh outlooks to the problem underdiscussion, which will probably change focus as time proceeds.Secondly, the group must be active for quite some time. Usually community issuesare not solved quickly, and constant work is required to keep the general publicinformed, and to maintain a reasonable energy level within the group to cope with newproblems related to the initial issue as they arise. Some groups which arise quickly alsodie quickly as members burn out and the original high energy level cannot bemaintained. To be successful, an overall slow and steady pace is required, withoccasional bursts of energy when necessary to cope with emergencies.A third requirement is that members of the core group should be able to organizeboth themselves and the community they hope to influence. Organizations must beflexible, and able to cope with whatever arises when it happens—rigidity and lack ofability to respond to a situation quickly will dampen enthusiasm both of the activemembers and the community on behalf of whom they are acting, and reduce theperceived and actual efficacy of the action group.Fourthly, knowledge of, and ability to use whatever resources are available whenthey are most needed is essential in being able to raise the potential to deal with theissue successfully. Failure to know about such resources may mean duplication of effort,loss of momentum by the group while they are seeking help or advice, and lack of abilityto act quickly and decisively. This in turn leads to loss of credibility and possibly loss ofsupport amongst the wider community. Well organized, credible and persistent groupshave the power to change local or even national laws, and improve the quality of life notonly for their immediate neighbourhood, but indirectly for many others through theexample set in eventually achieving their goal.41SummaryThis chapter reviewed the literature relevant to social movements, communityaction group dynamics, general demography of participants, the particular role of seniorsand children, and a variety of learning styles which must be attended to in order to raisepublic awareness for the cause. It was shown how persuasive communications andsocial marketing play a very important part in raising awareness, but in themselves areaspects of awareness raising to which very little spoken acknowledgement is given,although their importance is tacitly understood.Although informal and incidental forms of learning are the means by which mostlearning outside the organized educational system takes place, they are topics to whichlittle attention has been given in the literature, in some cases being arbitrarily dismissedin favour of discussion on the more formal, systematic and organized forms ofknowledge acquisition. There is, however, a growing movement to pay more attention toinformal, incidental and commonsense learning and the value it has to the individual inparticular, and society in general. Cann and Mannings (1987, p. 129) observe that"learning incidentally from equals is our normal way of learning and formal educationrelates to only a fraction of each individual's learning needs." Rossing, (1991, p. 45)adds "a number of indicators suggest that it is time for the study of everyday learning togain acceptance as a proper and valuable topic of adult education research" while Cann(1984, p. 47) suggests that "the structures of adult education need bursting apart toprovide greater opportunities for this kind of (incidental) learning."42CHAPTER 3METHODOLOGYQualitative Research MethodologyQualitative research methodology tries to discover how organizations function,what people do, what they know and how they know it, and what they feel about thesituation (Patton, 1990). Case studies, in particular, focus upon understanding a specificsituation, and the processes involved rather than the outcomes achieved. Research ofthis nature approaches the problem from a holistic perspective (Merriam, 1988), gaininginsights from interactions occurring in real life which can be recognized and recorded, sothat where applicable, elements from one situation may be transferable to similarsituations elsewhere.Data are collected through interviews, perusal of documents, records, andrelevant artifacts, participant observation or the use of unobtrusive measures in order toelucidate what is actually happening in everyday-life situations. Merriam, (1988, p. 67)describes data as "nothing more than ordinary bits and pieces of information found inthe environment. Whether or not a bit of information becomes data in a research studydepends solely on the interest and perspective of the investigator." Qualitative databring out depth and detail in a situation by using rich, thick descriptions obtained by avariety of means during research. 'Thick' description ismore than mere information or descriptive data: it conveys a literaldescription that figuratively transports the readers into the situation with asense of insight, understanding, and illumination not only of the facts or theevents in the case, but also of the texture, the quality, and the power of thecontext as the participants in the situation experienced it. (Owens, 1982, p. 8)Information obtained this way is later carefully analyzed for content, meaning andimplication.The methodological guidelines set out above were those upon which conduct ofthis study was based. Members of a community action group, the media, and the generalpublic in the research area, were asked what they knew, how they knew it, and what43they felt about the situation, providing much thick description in the resulting data.Documents were consulted, local newspapers carefully read for further insights on thematter, and people were asked for their recollection of what was going on in thecommunity at the time. As a result, all sorts of "bits of information" were collectedwhich, at the time, did not seem to fall into any particular order of significance. The wayin which these data became significant and meaningful is discussed at the end of thischapter, in the summary. There are many good texts which suggest how coding andcategorizing can be done in order to make data meaningful, but ultimately it is up toeach researcher to discover ways that work best for them. In this instance it was Post-itnotes stuck all over the transcripts indicating phrases expressing similar sentiments, fromwhich rough coding the final categories eventually emerged.Use of Case Study Research The research question chosen for this study concerns the way in which informaland incidental learning takes place within the community, where instruction isintentional but learning is unstructured and generally unintentional. A case study waschosen to explore this phenomenon because the aims and intentions of the communityaction group studied were not only to solve a problem through members' own efforts,but also to educate and inform the community in order to enlist aid and encourageparticipation in the action. The specific action group researched was chosen becausepart of their activism was aimed at removal of incumbent municipal councillors andreplacement by a new slate with different philosophical ideals from the old council. Thisdid happen, and since voting patterns in that election were quite different from trends tobe expected if past experience was relied on, the change of heart amongst the electorateseemed to correlate with the ongoing educational activity of the studied group.Qualitative research can never result in categorical assumptions and conclusions, but canindicate possible cause and effect, bearing in mind the many variables that might haveintervened.44Activities by the community action group from its inception to the time of themunicipal election referred to created a well-defined period which could be researchedin depth, and the action group itself is a self-contained social group which canreasonably be studied. Thus the focus of the research study was limited to events takingplace in a particular segment of society and within a limited historical time-frame,enabling in-depth investigation of what took place.Qualitative research does not deal in random samples which are microcosms of theuniversal, but rather concentrates on the particular, from which it may be possible togeneralize should similar situations arise elsewhere. This aspect of qualitativemethodology will be dealt with in greater detail when discussing external validity.Choice of Subject Group The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee was chosen as the communityaction group to be researched because a particular goal had been achieved, apparentlyas a result of their awareness-raising activities within the local community, thus creatinga finite time period in their history which could reasonably be investigated. The areawith which they were concerned is also within easy reach of Vancouver, enablingresearch to be conducted conveniently over several months. Sources of data were easilyaccessible and available, which is an important factor when limitations of time areinvolved.Originally data collection was envisaged as coming from two segments of thecommunity. Firstly it was intended to interview members of the Boundary BayConservation Committee in order to discover what strategies they planned to use toinform and educate members of the local community about the issue, and how pressurewould be brought to bear on politicians to conform to community wishes. Secondlymembers of the community who were not involved activists would be asked what theylearned, how they learned it, and how it affected their original thoughts on the matter.45One important aspect of qualitative research is that the design of a project mustbe planned, but it must also be flexible enough to include alterations as deemednecessary to procure further information required. In this instance it soon becameobvious that there was a third segment of the community, apart from the core group ofcommunity activists, and the general public whom they were trying to influence, thatplayed an important role in the dissemination of information, and that was the media. Ittherefore became essential to include the two local influential media, the local bi-weeklynewspaper and the community cable television station, in the research enquiries, andrepresentatives of each were interviewed. Reviewing back numbers of the localnewspaper not only provided details of what took place, but was also a way ofaccessing members of the general public who might agree to be interviewed with regardto the way they learned about the issue and became actively interested in it.It is not difficult to find local community leaders and members of any communityaction group to ask for an interview. Their names are well-known and well publicized,and a few general enquiries will find them fairly easily. Such people are usually veryapproachable and willing to talk about a subject which, at the time, may be of all-consuming interest, thus providing a wealth of rich, thick description for later analysis.Members of the public who do not make up the community action core group, but areactive supporters in one way or another are also fairly easy to contact, since they puttheir names on volunteer and mailing lists, attend meetings, are known to the core groupand to each other, and once the first person has been contacted, furtherrecommendations can be obtained by snowball sampling (Johnson, 1990) or networkselection (Merriam, 1988), where each person interviewed suggests the next person whomay be contacted. This is a convenient way of gaining entrée through mention of aname familiar to the person being contacted.However, finding members of the interested general public, who are not involvedin volunteer activities, and who do not sign up on mailing lists, is more difficult. Theyhave their own definite viewpoints, but they do not necessarily know how anyone else46is thinking. Snowball sampling is not very effective in this section of the communitybecause an initial contact tends to recommend friends or relatives who live nearby, whoall share similar views and gain their information from similar sources, so the informationgained for research purposes is severely limited.It therefore became necessary to search backnumbers of local papers which werecirculating in the area during the period being researched to gather names and addressesof those who had written letters to the editor. This source would not be available inVancouver, because no local paper in the city will print any personal information givenby letter-writers. Such information is required by the newspaper concerned before theywill publish any letter submitted, but is completely confidential, and is never printed withthe letter or divulged to anyone who might ask. The research area of Tsawwassen,Ladner and Delta have different publishing policies, printing full names and addresseswith all letters, and thus is becomes easy to contact such people by mail to request aninterview.That still does not address the problem of how average members of the public canbe contacted who have definite opinions on matters of general community concern, butremain anonymous. It was decided for this research project that there was no easy wayto find out who they were, unless random calls were made to numbers listed in the localtelephone directory. This was deemed impracticable for the size of this research project,but might have been feasible in the context of a larger, longer study. Similarly there wasno way of knowing who in the community had no opinion on the contentious matter,why they were disinterested, or how it was that perhaps they had not heard about it.Methods of Data CollectionSemi-structured interview schedules using open-ended questions were preparedwhen seeking information from those interviewed. Questions asked of members of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee were concerned with awareness-raisingactivities they organized and participated in, their educational policies, and the strategies47used to ensure widespread dissemination of information throughout the community.Questions asked of members of the general public aimed at discovering how each personlearned of the contentious issue, why they became interested in the outcome, and if theycould recall details of how they came to the opinion they now hold. The tworepresentatives of the media were asked about the way in which their particular vehicleof information connected the core group with the general public, and how they saw therole of the media in the dissemination of information throughout a community.Although the interview schedule (Appendix A) was prepared in advance ofinterviews to try to elicit information suggested as necessary by the literature review,questions were constantly adjusted as interviewing experience was gained, alteringthem as necessary to obtain the information sought. It must be acknowledged that theway questions were framed and asked dictated, to some extent, the information receivedand the responses given.There is no way to avoid researcher bias in the way this is done, and it is hopedthat the use of open-ended questions allowed respondents to add whatever they feltilluminated the matter. The question schedule was also adjusted as each interviewproceeded, taking cues from the last reply when asking the next question, and probingin depth where the opportunity arose. Even if the interview appeared to be goingslightly off track it is worth following the line of conversation to a logical conclusionand then reverting back to the schedule, because it is at unexpected moments such asthese that valuable details can emerge. Care must be taken not to let the conversationstray too far, but if the interviewer is attending to what is being said the respondent canbe successfully guided back to the original topic.All interviews were conducted at a venue and time of the respondent's choice;often at their home or place of work, occasionally at a coffee shop or shopping mall,and were tape-recorded, with permission, so that the conversation could be closelyfollowed as it proceeded, without having to make detailed notes at the same time. It wasuseful to jot down key words as the interview progressed so that respondents could be48asked to follow up on something mentioned earlier which might prove to be a fruitfulavenue of pursuit.Tapes were transcribed verbatim as soon as possible after the event, at whichpoint very early stages of analysis could begin to take shape. If it is possible totranscribe one's own tapes it starts the process of familiarization with the data which isso essential in the analysis stage. As transcription proceeded it was possible to noticewhere alterations to the question schedule might be made in order to obtain clearerinformation from the next respondent, and also beginning with transcription, acomparison of one interview with another occurs so patterns of events begin to emerge,suggesting possible coding categories (Bogdan & Bicklen, 1992) to be noted for closerexamination later. This is the start of the constant comparative method of data analysis(Merriam, 1988; Bogdan & Bicklen, 1992).One aspect of qualitative analysis is that the data should speak for themselves, iffindings are to be congruent with reality, and thus categories are created from thepatterns that emerge during analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), although it must at thesame time be borne in mind that the researcher's own knowledge and experience willguide, to a great extent, how data will be interpreted (Merriam, 1988). Some initialcategories become obvious fairly quickly, as a particular aspect of the research ismentioned many times, perhaps in different ways, by several respondents. Othercategories become manifest only as familiarity with the data increases during the analysisprocess.The first person interviewed was a founding member of the Boundary BayConservation Committee known to me personally. This made contact easy, and meantthat the interview schedule could be given a trial run in a friendly environment to see ifit produced the information required. From this respondent I then obtained a long list ofother members of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee and its affiliatedorganizations who were involved in planning and carrying out community educationalactivities to increase awareness of potential consequences from housing and golf course49development in the area. Although everybody on that list had a very full schedule, thosewho were contacted to arrange interviews were happy to spare the time, and talkedenthusiastically and at length with little prompting about the events with which theywere involved, bringing to their narration personal insights, thoughts and feelings aboutthe contentious issue which enriched the data considerably. Each person interviewedfrom this group was then asked to recommend several others I might contact.When interviewing began the main logistical question from a research standpointwas when does one have enough data to work with, how many interviews are enough?As research progressed, the point was reached where very little fresh information aroseand respondents reiterate what others had said before. This provided a form oftriangulation, but it became evident that the effort involved in interviewing reaped verylittle that was new by way of reward, so that was the time to change focus and presumethat no further benefit will accrue from interviewing more members of the same group.The point of data saturation (Bogdan & Bicklen, 1992) had been reached.At this stage the editor of the local newspaper and the director of the communitycable television station were approached for their impressions of how they helped toinform the general public, and to what extent they saw the media as an essential part ofcommunity education. Several days were spent in the newspaper office, reading throughbacknumbers which covered the period of community activity being researched to seehow it was presented through this medium, and whether the reporter's representation ofevents reflected what Boundary Bay Conservation Committee members had alreadysaid. Names and addresses were collected from relevant letters to the editor, and thewriters were contacted by mail to ask if they would be prepared to meet in person orgive their impressions by telephone. Everyone contacted agreed, and went out of theirway to be very helpful, providing documentation, and sharing results from their personalresearch when appropriate.Interviewing and collection of data from other sources ceased after severalmonths, by which time seven members of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee,50twelve members of the general public and two representatives of local media hadparticipated. Interviews lasted between 1-11/2 hours when visiting respondentspersonally, or between 15-20 minutes if being conducted by telephone.Other Sources of DataInformation was obtained not only from interviews, but from many of the artifactsproduced by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee to promote their educationalcampaign, including brochures, information leaflets, a Christmas card sent out to allhouseholds in the municipality, correspondence with bureaucrats and others, newspaperand magazine articles from local and national publications, briefs and submissions tomunicipal council and personal correspondence. These all helped to verify and expandthe information obtained through interviews, and acted in part to triangulate data, that is"the use of multiple sources of data, or multiple methods to confirm the emergingfindings" (Merriam, 1988, p. 167).Internal ValidityInternal validity, or credibility, of qualitative research is established by usingseveral strategies, including triangulation, member checks, peer examination, and clearlystating researcher bias (Merriam, 1988). These measures are taken in order to confirmthat findings emerging from the data reflect what really happened, as seen by theparticipants, rather than as interpreted by the researcher.One form of triangulation occurs when information is re-iterated by severalrespondents independently of each other and then backed up by documentation whichoriginated at the same time. In other cases information may be confirmed from threedifferent sources. In the case of this study, respondents very often mentioned the sameevents, and confirmed what others had said, in the general flow of the interview withoutspecifically being asked about the topic, and in some cases there was also documentaryevidence.51Member checks take place when the data, together with the researcher'sinterpretations, are returned to those who provided them for confirmation that theirwords and thoughts have been interpreted correctly to reflect the intended meaning.This was done in this research project, when three respondents were asked to performthis task. However, one copy of the manuscript was returned with extensive suggestionsfor correction of style, but no remarks as to correctness of substance and subject.Another copy of the manuscript was handed to two respondents, for one personto annotate before passing to the second, and was returned with a number of very usefulcomments. In particular one respondent added greatly to the information given duringher earlier discussion-interview when first approached to give her account of events asthey occurred. Consequently a great deal more became known about peripheral learningwhich occurred incidentally as a result of becoming familiar with the subject matter ofthe various contentious issues which had arisen. Member checks are important becauseno one reality is right or absolute, but the aim is to reflect the reality as seen by theparticipants, not as the researcher thinks the participants saw it. Constant checking wasalso done throughout the interviews, when respondents were asked to give their viewson aspects arising from earlier transcripts, so that many aspects of the same event werecollected in the course of different discussions.Peer examination involves discussion of findings as they emerge from the data,and this was done throughout with a faculty member who is a qualitative researchmethods expert, committee members and a fellow student. Their examinations of the dataconfirmed that the categories which evolved were logical and rational, helping toobviate the problem of making mistakes from being too close to the data and not seeinggaps, omissions or faulty logic.All research, and especially qualitative research, is subject to researcher bias. Thesubject chosen for investigation usually stems from personal interest in a particularaspect of life, and the questions asked and the methods of investigation used are subjectto personal preference and cultural constraints, even if these are consciously reduced to52a minimum. In order to increase the internal validity of any work, it is essential for thereader to have a background knowledge of those forces which drive the researcher tomake the decisions which were made, and interpret events the way they are presented inany report.I have always been interested in environmental issues, and have been a memberof various action groups involved in social and environmental problems. However, thefact that this study involves an environmentally-oriented community action group is notreally of great consequence, since it is the creation of learning opportunities which isunder investigation, not the subject matter of the action. Questions asked at interviewwere concerned with discovering what learning opportunities were created by theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee, and whether, where and how knowledgedisseminated throughout the community. The segment of action being researched forthis study occurred between mid-1988 and late 1989, and as field research did not takeplace until 1992 it was being investigated in an historical context, concluding with theelections resulting in an almost total replacement of the incumbent councillors.ReliabilityReliability, which is also referred to in qualitative research as consistency ordependability, is concerned with the extent to which findings can be repeated. In any ofthe social sciences it would probably not be possible to duplicate or repeat a project.The object is not to verify results by repetition or duplication of a study in the same wayas is expected of scientific enquiry, but to try to describe and interpret the events underinvestigation (Merriam, 1988). Even if the whole project were to be replicated exactlythere are still variables such as reflection of participants due to the progress of timewhich would change the way respondents would recount the narrative, a change inoutlook of the individuals involved, and the fact that one can never step into the sameriver twice, as the original water has long since flowed on to the sea.53Qualitative research has different aims from quantitative research. The latter seeksto determine a set of rules which can be followed rigorously in order to reach a constantand dependable result. The former involves attitudes, values, beliefs and emotions, andthe interplay between people, events and time, involving countless uncontrollablevariables, making repetition almost impossible. Merriam (1988, p. 172) suggests that astudy can be considered reliable if outsiders reading it concur that "given the datacollected, the results make sense—they are consistent and dependable."External ValidityExternal validity, in quantitative terms, refers to the extent to which research isgeneralizable from the particular to the general. In order to be valid, such studies involvethe careful selection of a random population which is small enough to study, but is largeenough to accurately reflect a similar population on a very large scale. This cannot bedone in qualitative research, since no two people are the same; they have differentbiographies even if brought up in close proximity, and therefore what one person thinksor how they behave is not necessarily representative of anyone else. The goal ofqualitative research is to understand the particular in depth, not what is generally true ofthe many (Merriam, 1988).Generalizability exists in qualitative research in the same way as precedents areset in medicine or law. If part or all of the results found in one instance can be transferredand used in another similar situation, it is up to the reader of the research to take what isuseful in one circumstance and apply it as appropriate. There are universal truths evidentin the study of the particular which can be applied to the general elsewhere, so thatcomparisons can be made between two cases, but it is up to the individual to make thatbridge.54SummaryThe practical methods by which this case study research was carried out weredetermined almost entirely by the extensive literature on qualitative methodology. Thereare some aspects of the work, however, which have to be learned through personalexperience. Occasionally intuition plays a part in the way things are done, sometimesfollowing a hunch may lead to an unexpected motherlode of information, and the valueof such extra-sensory perceptions should not be overlooked because they cannot beexplained academically. Each researcher needs to bring a certain creativity to his or herproject in order to gain access to resources which may not immediately be obvious. Eachresearch question poses its own specific problems with regard to sources of information,and the researcher must be prepared to be ingenious in seeking these out.One must also be prepared for the fact that analysis of the data might providecategories which were unexpected, and there are sometimes sub-findings which emerge,such as occurred in this case study. There was no attempt to openly seek out thedynamics of information flow through the community, but it became clear that this wasan important part of the learning process, affecting how, when, where and for whomlearning opportunities occurred. Such information would never have surfaced through aquestionnaire or survey, where the answers given depend on the questions asked. Whenopen-ended discussion interviews take place there is no limit to the material which canbe covered, and what may seem to be irrelevant digressions can, on analysis, providesome of the most fruitful details.A literature review done before any field research begins may suggest the type ofquestions which should be asked of respondents, but it quickly becomes apparent thatnot only is it possible to seek out information which the literature suggests might beavailable, but the research has a life of its own and provides avenues of interest whichcan only come as data collection proceeds, and may lead one to return to the literature indifferent academic fields to pursue openings created as interviews progress. However,there is a danger here that too many avenues can be followed too far, leading away from55the original focus of the study, but sometimes these alternate points of interest canbecome suggestions for further studies to be undertaken in the future.As a beginning researcher, it is difficult to know how many respondents shouldbe interviewed, and how one will know when the point of information saturation hasbeen reached. As data collection progresses, however, these questions begin to answerthemselves in that one rarely has access to an infinite number of respondents, or the timeto interview more than a few of those who might be available. Qualitative research doesnot deal with random samples of a population, and therefore information obtained from afew people might be just as relevant and insightful as that obtained from many, and asdata collection proceeds, there comes a point where little new substance is obtained, andthe effort of collection exceeds the rewards in terms of new material resulting.After data analysis takes place there may still be a few gaps which need filling, inwhich case further focused interviews can be arranged for this purpose, but at that stagefieldwork ceases and thoughts turn to initial coding and categorization. This is whatMerriam (1988, p. 104) refers to as "mining the data." In this case, once the data hadbeen well dug over, there were still little gems of information found in the mining tailingswhich only became noticeable as data were referred to over and over again andfamiliarity increased.It is one of the rewards of this type of research that, initially, there can be few, ifany, preconceived ideas as to categories arising from the data, the satisfaction comesfrom careful coding, leading to realistic categorization. It is almost as if datametamorphose from a caterpillar-like surfeit of information into the butterfly of truthsemerging from the chrysalis.56CHAPTER 4RESEARCH FINDINGSOne of the main sources of information in qualitative research is the collection of`rich, thick data' which is then analyzed by coding and categorizing, and from whencefindings finally emerge. Data in this case study came mainly from interviews with thosewho were involved with the action, supplemented by extracts from newspapers,magazines, reports and publicity material used by the action group to promote theircause. As the coding process took place, many excerpts from interview transcripts beganto fall into a few major categories, which eventually became the main findings relating tothe way in which awareness was raised in this instance. These are summarized in Table 2,and are extensively elaborated upon in this chapter, drawing on raw data—uneditedextracts from interview transcripts—to illustrate how the findings were arrived at. It is inthis chapter that respondents tell their own stories. Analysis resulting from the datacollected is reported in Chapter 5, Discussion.In order to make the ways of raising public awareness outlined in Table 2successful, there were many underlying elements present in this case study relating tothe way in which the community action core group created and maintained its ownprofile which seem to be important for the success and survival of the group itself,shown in Table 3. Several of the actions deliberately or incidentally undertaken by thecore group are also reflected in the literature relating to persuasive communications andsocial marketing, such as maintaining congruity with the target audience (Hovland, Janis& Kelley, 1953), encouraging critical thinking, becoming thoroughly knowledgeable onthe issue before presenting arguments to the wider public, and awareness of the dangerof burn-out (Martin, 1988),For an explanation of how the final categories emerged from the data it isnecessary to look closely at the types of learning opportunities created and educationalstrategies used by the community action group which raised public awareness of the57Table 2Summary of Research FindingsCategory^ ExampleSaturate key areas^ Use many means of disseminatingwith information information so people cannot helphearing about the matter.Get people involved By volunteering time & expertiseBy letter-writingOrganizing petitionsParticipate in radio/tv phone-inprogrammesUse multi-facetededucational strategiesMeetings/open houseSeminars/workshopsOn-site experiencesInvolve the five sensesEncourage critical reflectionMaximize/create vested interests^Capitalize on individual personalinterest in eventual outcome of issue.Take advantage of the^ Use unexpected/unplanned learningunexpected^ opportunities when they arise.Take advantage of socio-cultural^Use current trends, if applicabletrends (the time is right)^(i.e. rise of environmental movement in1980s and '90s).58Table 3Elements Promoting Community Action Group SuccessAction^ ReasonEncourage critical thinking.Encourage active participationin the democratic process.Try to 'read' the deepercommunity feeling.Work to gain respectability,credibility and authority.Do a great deal of homeworkon the issue before facing anaudience.Maintain congruity with thetarget audience.Provide a consistent,authoritative and reasonableviewpoint.Make good use of resources.Keep recruiting new membersto the core group.Opinions formed on emotional appeal only areoften not as well-founded or long lasting as thosearrived at after careful consideration of the facts.Discussion of the issue(s) in informal groups or`study circles' creates vested interest in thepolitical outcome - the process serving the people -as well as the issue outcome.It may be possible to appeal to the higher moralauthority of the greater common good rather thanthe individual 'Not in my back yard' syndrome.Action groups must appeal to all sectors of thepopulation to gain maximum support and thusbe fairly 'mainstream'.Part of establishing credibility and reliability. Oncethe community feels it can trust an action groupthe public will be more receptive of the message,and even turn to the group as a resource.Congruence of message and the messenger withgenerally held values and beliefs in the area willhave more impact with the audience than radicalrhetoric and dress. Also part of establishingcredibility.Rely on facts and verifiable information; providecitations and sources which can be checked bythe general public if they wish. This helps toestablish reliability.Know who, what or where those resources are inorder to get maximum benefit from them.Too small a pool of workers may result in loss ofmembers due to burn-out.59various issues of concern at the time as shown in Table 4. Apart from major findings,there were several sub-findings of interest concerning dynamics of communication flowwithin the community. Various factors affected the way in which communication wasinstigated, propagated or received, as shown in Table 5, and the dynamics of that flowdepended upon whether events were planned by the community action group (Fig. 2),or whether the community as a whole was learning together from unexpected sourceswhich incidentally became valuable teaching tools (Fig. 3). A further sub-finding wasthe demographics of community involvement, which relate closely to those described byMartin (1988) and is depicted in Fig. 4.Because many of the respondents interviewed for this research were involved inmore than one community action group, and the many problems of proposed housingdevelopment, building of golf courses and destruction of environmental habitat were allvery closely intertwined and interlinked, it is difficult to tease them out into separateentities. As people told their stories the many events happening at the same timeimpinged on one another, but the main emphasis remained throughout that the manycommunity action groups which were invited to come under the Boundary BayConservation Committee's umbrella were all working, in the long run, for the protectionof the Boundary Bay ecosystem.The immediate danger of high density housing has now passed, but some golfcourse development is still at issue, but the thrust of the BBCC and their supporters isstill the preservation of the Pacific Flyway by designating it a Ramsar Site or a BiosphereReserve. Community education and political lobbying continues, in order to continuethe information and education campaign begun previously, and to further educate andgain the co-operation of politicians at all governmental levels to protect the lastunprotected major wildfowl staging ground on the West Coast of North and SouthAmericaTable 4Planned Learning OpportunitiesSetting^Learning^ OutcomesopportunityNon-formal^Town Hall meetings^Exchange of ideas andOpen House^information.Forums & debates Deliberate intent to learn.Informal On-site workshops Outcomes unpredictable.Cognitive, affective and skillslearning through participation.Deliberate appeal to sensorylearning.(common sense knowledge).Incidental Social events.Everyday life in thecommunity.Placards, posters,conversation,the "grapevine".Outcomes unpredictable.Learning "en passant"."Pre-conscious" learning.Persuasion of others throughconversation, confirmation ofown ideas while relating toothers in own words.60Table 5Factors Affecting Communication FlowFrom the Community^From the Media^ From the General PublicAction GroupAvailable individual timeAvailable person-powerResources - from within- from outsideCoalition with otherinterested groupsReading of communityfeelingIdentification of personal(vested) interests involvedSocio-cultural appropriate-ness (time is right)Creation of group credibilityEducation of media bycommunity action groupEditorial policyAvailability of staffAvailability of print/air timeTiming of storyNewsworthinessPerceived value to the communityImpact of 'trigger event'Previous knowledgePersonal attitudes, values, beliefsMeaningfulness/personal importanceof outcome (vested interest)Degree of concern for greater goodPersonal networksSerendipityFig' 2: Communication Patterns in Community Action(Planned Events)FMediaprintt.v.radioPoliticiansLettersGeneralPublicC.A.G.PlannedeventsPhone-inPhone-innewsletters& flyersCommunityActionGroup(s)GeneralPublicMEDIAACUnplannedeventsFig.3: Communication Patterns in Community Action(Unplanned Events)Personal Networks & "Grapevine"Fig. 4^ 64Levels of Involvement in Community Action65Underlying Causes of Community ActionNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful,committed citizens can change the world.Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead.This quote, taken from an environmentally-friendly coffee mug in use at ameeting of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, reflects the feelings of manyinvolved in community action today, except that committed citizens now often try toprevent change rather than allow it to occur unconditionally. It is oddly paradoxical thatthe wish to maintain the status quo now creates a conflict, and education is not neededto press for social change, but to prevent it. Boggs, in his discussion on citizeneducation and action (1986, p. 2) refers to this:A remarkable phenomenon in the 1980's, however, is the citizen groupwhich employs educational processes associated with communitydevelopment and combines these with social action in order to foilsocial planning. Such groups form not to bring about change, but toprevent it, and to awaken in the minds of fellow citizens an appreciationfor what they already have.That is not to say that change was prevented, but the then-chairperson of the BoundaryBay Conservation Committee noted that the community action researched in this study...reflected a need to change from passive acceptance by the public ofso-called 'progress' which was actually destroying thecommunity/landscape to a watch-dog role, which sought to guard,educate, change attitudes and lobby politically. Keeping things the waythey were (before community action began) equated with allowingnatural habitat to fall into the hands of property developers andspeculators, politicians and bureaucrats, operating on the profitprinciple rather than assessing community values. (3:2:2)*The Vancouver Sun, (1st March, 1990) reported a recent land inventory showed 2,700hectares of farmland immediately adjacent to Boundary Bay were held by Lower* Figures in brackets indicate the respondent code number followed by transcript andpage number.66Mainland realtors or offshore interests, amounting to more farmland than that held bybona fide farmers.Politicians and decision makers sometimes try to implement unacceptabledecisions, creating a conflict situation within a community. Members of that communitythen find themselves struggling to remove the source of conflict by persuading those inpower to discontinue the proposed course of action. This involves the communityworking to change attitudes among the powerful in order to implement the community'swishes rather than accept changes proposed by the politicians that appear to beunacceptable to the electorate.The ideal of democracy has changed, and politicians often do not voice the viewsof those who elected them to power, instead imposing change unilaterally withoutconsultation. This creates conflict within the electorate, who see themselves aspowerless to control their own destiny, and may lead to the formation of grass-rootssocial movements and community action groups, whose aim is to take back the powerthey appear to have lost.Because there is power in numbers, these social movements and action groupsmust work to gather support from the community generally in order to be able to exertpressure on the politicians to undo the perceived wrong. Thus community actions whichare an accepted part of our society today are a manifestation of this paradigm paradox,in that they are in conflict with equilibrium because they want to improve the presentsituation rather than replace it with some unacceptable alternative. The purpose of thisstudy is to ascertain how a particular action group, the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee, raised awareness of potential problems threatening their community, andwhat could be done to remove that threat.Data analysis in this case study showed several ways in which the Boundary BayConservation Committee raised public awareness of a proposed housing development,and also a change of land use which permitted golf courses to be developed withoutremoving the land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, which had formerly designated67specific areas for agricultural use only, in order to protect the local farming industry.It was interesting to note while interviewing respondents that some high-profileawareness-raising events staged by the action group were not recollected by thosemembers of the general public with whom I talked. Members of the action group feltsure that these particular events must have made a considerable impact on thecommunity, whereas those members of the general public I talked with neithermentioned some of these events spontaneously, nor recalled them with much claritywhen questioned specifically about them. This was surprising, because when in the thickof things, one is certain that everyone else must know about these all-consuming events,when in fact other people hardly recall noticing them.Persuasive CommunicationsMembers of community action groups need to know who the experts are inconnection with the issue who could be consulted and asked to act as speakers atpublic meetings and forums, or be willing to prepare and present submissions to councilor other official bodies. Experts are needed in fields such as public relations, printing,and communications, or core-group members themselves must become sufficientlyinformed to take on those roles. Dealing with the on-going daily creation of persuasivecommunications in many forms is vital to successfully raising awareness, and involves agreat deal of consistent hard work. The founding chairperson of the Boundary BayConservation Committee stated that:I know certainly we have spent enormous amounts of time writingpamphlets and trying to get them right, doing draft upon draft of visuals,and using inside and outside help, and professional and non-professional people, all combining and agonizing over how to get thingsright. And then afterwards, of course, not everybody's happy with it.There've been times when we've been screaming at each other about theidiotic things that have gone out. Numerous people have worked onputting those together and trying to get the words right. (1:13)However, it occasionally requires some creative thinking in order to gain attention.Another Committee member who is also an artist and designed many of the pamphlets,68posters and flyers used during the campaign described one particular piece of her work.The (municipal) election was very much an environmental one. We(community activists) backed a slate for Mayor and full number ofcandidates, and a pamphlet came out with pictures asking 'Do you wantDelta to look like this?' and it's all green and pretty, with birds andthings, 'Instead of this ... if you don't vote for these people?'— a black-and-white picture hand drawn by an artist with aeroplanes and cars andfreeways and high rises and golf courses—a total exaggeration with thisbeautiful landscape. Very, very vivid image, just to create awareness.(3:12)In order to be persuasive, information must be correct, factual and credible.Without credibility no action group will gain support, and this is something theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee was scrupulous about. While admitting itsbiases, it also tried to present all sides of the issue, so that people could make up theirown minds. A member of the committee reported that:You have much more credibility if you can say that this report here says... So we've always tried on the Committee to base everything on facts,so everything we've put out is factual, coming from recognized reports.It definitely has an environmental bias in that we're not particularlylooking at other angles of it, we're standing very much for thepreservation of the environment, but we're going to recognize scientificreports on the value of it. I've never had anyone come along, even ourworst enemies, and say we've exaggerated here, or this is a load of lies.(3:5)Getting the facts correct requires a great deal of careful research. A very activeworker with the Committee stated:I think the big secret here was that we did incredible research, and wedid a lot of photocopying to get information out. That's the secret, workfrom the facts. Every time we had a public meeting we'd set up a table,and we'd photocopy newspaper and magazine articles, we'd do researchand put out factual information on the Bay, and they could helpthemselves. (2:5)And the information was tailored for the various types of public meetings beingattended in order to present messages which were appealing to the audience, andcongruent with their values and beliefs. In elaborating on this she continued:Yes, but don't forget we kept putting out the information, so they had allthe facts and all the sources. There were some Ph.D. dissertations andthings like that, so we just gathered everything, and sought out the69expertise. So you're raising people's critical awareness, it's part of themovement, definitely. But it's very, very difficult, because we don't havepaid people, it's very hard work. And when you're working with peoplewith integrity they do very, very thorough research, hours and hours ofwork, and every time we go to a public hearing or meeting, the wholebent is different, so we have to do a whole new set of research andcollation of information in another way. We go again and again andagain to meetings all over the place, and each time we have to presentmaterial. We always take the angle with everybody that these are thefacts on Boundary Bay, and this is why it needs to be protected. Wealways go from that angle, and then we will focus in on what thatparticular meeting is there for. So first we will reiterate the importanceof the area,and that's the only way people really get educated, is to hearit again and again and again and again and again. (2:7)Making the information available for people to pick up and read for themselvesdid not mean that it was necessarily accepted by the general public at face value, eventhough every effort had been made to ensure it was factually correct. Of the generalpublic a Committee member said:I think they did their homework. I don't think it was something they justblindly accepted. People are very wary of environmentalists if they seethem —`greenies'—particularly in an area like Tsawwassen. They're very,very conservative people, they're very wary of radicals, so they wouldnot take anything we say without questioning. So it was an educationalprocess. (2:8)Once the public had become informed of the issue, debates and forums were held to givepeople the opportunity to learn more from experts in the field. Those on the Committeewho spoke at public meetings were aware of the need to encourage critical thinking.The chairperson mentioned that:There are just so many more deeper questions, and I think the wholething is to ask these questions and then have them discussed in thepublic forum. And by asking the questions that most people who are toobusy with their daily lives to even think about asking, critical questions,you bring forward this whole discussion, and then people can make uptheir own minds. (3:5)It is also important that people believe in the messenger as much as in the messagethey bring, and this is where opinion leaders, people who have standing and credibilityin the community, can become role models and educators. However, the public is quickto make judgments based on assumptions, as is recognized by this respondent, who was70one of the main players in the core group:I'm not the sort of person that can say a lot of that sort of thing in publicbecause they'll listen to my English accent, even though I'm a Canadiancitizen. They say you've only lived here 41/2 years type of thing, and youcome in with all your ideas. But I think it's because you've beensomewhere else that you do bring ideas with you. They haven't examinedthese sorts of issues. (3:15)Selective perception of the content of the message also changes what wasoriginally expressed to what the individual wants to hear. People tend to perceiveinformation in such a way that it conforms with their own beliefs and values,remembering those parts of a communication which reinforce their own thinking at thetime, or they interpret things in such a way it becomes congruent with their own ideas.For example, BBCC members reiterated thatwe're not against golf courses, although a lot of people don't notice thatbit of the phrase, but they're being put in the wrong places. (3:5)Generally most people have their own opinions on a variety of public issues, and theyget out of a speech or conversation what it is they want to hear, otherwise the messageis deemed incongruent and may be discarded.As with any form of persuasive communication, much depends on how eachindividual interprets the message. As one member of the BBCC put it,If you don't agree with the BBCC's approach, then everything we writeis junk. (1:13)However, since many of the residents in the area share basic values, and were alreadyprepared to consider both the common good and the individual good, the communityaction group was, to an extent, preaching to the converted.Role of Trigger Events Most members of the general public interviewed said that the trigger eventswhich first brought the matter to their attention were unrelated to promotion work beingdone by the community action groups. Several people mentioned, amongst other things,that they had recently moved to the area, and joining one or other of the many71community action groups was a way of getting to know their neighbours. They mayrecently have retired, and now, having more time available, were able to put their energyinto volunteering for whatever was needed. They also had special skills and areas ofexpertise, acquired through many years of education and participation in theirprofessional work, which were valuable resources upon which groups could call.Most trigger events were often something seemingly inconsequential at the time.One member of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee moved to the area in 1988,just at the time when this particular issue was gaining prominence. Her interest in thematter arose from the fact thatI walked around Boundary Bay, and was amazed that so close toVancouver you could see hawks and eagles, and my husband went downand saw owls. Never in my life had I seen these things, and so close to abig city like that. And then 1 heard they were going to put golf coursesall in this area, so I thought I can't believe anybody would do this. So Iasked around, and when you start asking you get in touch with peoplewho had been working in this area. The first thing we decided was thatwe needed more information before we could do anything, so weorganized a meeting that fall of all the people who were experts... (2:1)and things went from there. Before long she found herself involved as an early memberof the BBCC, right in the middle of the action. Another very active member of the coregroup got involved almost immediately on arrival in the area by presenting a brief tocouncil on behalf of the local naturalists, but soon joined the newly formed BoundaryBay Conservation Committee because she was deeply interested in the fate of themillions of migrant birds which would be displaced by the proposed development, andbecause the BBCC was much more pro-active in raising public awareness than thenaturalist group she first joined.I was used to much more active groups in the past, where you're outthere fighting more, so that suited me! (3:10)Before long, she was chairperson. Although the two respondents quoted above are not`general public' now, in that they are both deeply involved in the activities of the coregroup, at the time when their interests were originally piqued they were both newcomers72to the area and uninvolved in any local groups, but quickly became involved in localissues.People also hear about things serendipitously. One newcomer found she had aheronry at the bottom of her garden, and thus began taking a personal interest in thebirds' wellbeing. Through work she occasionally met another local resident who cameto the office from time to time.I met her at work because she was a customer of ours, but I didn't knowher before that, I'd just chatted with her. And then I bumped into her atthe bank here, and she asked if I'd come to the annual meeting of theGreat Blue Heron Society — they were looking for volunteers. So 1 did,and that was that. When you're new to a district that's a good way ofgetting to know people and know what's going on. I had a bit of time,and after seeing these magnificent herons, and heard that everything,the place where they fed ... you had to do something. (4:9)The Great Blue Heron Society was one of the groups that eventually came under theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee's umbrella. Other newcomers to theneighbourhood found they were quickly informed of local controversies soon after theymoved in.It's a small community, and you hear what's going on. You certainlyhear it from the neighbours, it was the centre of a lot of talk... (9:1)Even those who were long-time residents often first became interested quiteincidentally.I was driving between Ladner and Tsawwassen with a friend one dayand commenting on the beauty of the local farmland when my friendremarked that the land had been bought by a developer and was goingto be developed for housing. From then on I paid more attention to thenewspapers, and I called Agriculture Canada for more information tofind out what was going on. (16:1)This respondent did not get deeply involved, but she did petition the neighbourhood,and in her wordsAlthough developers have to make a living too, they tried to do a snow-job through the press, which was pro-developer. So I petitioned theneighbourhood as to what they thought about the loss of farmland andthe arrival of so many more people. Most were against it, some wereapathetic, and one person told me if 1 didn't like it, I should move out!Many in the neighbourhood did not seem to be aware that there was a73problem on the horizon, some hadn't heard about the proposeddevelopment. (16:1)So at this point, early in the proceedings, it was evident that there was a lot ofawareness-raising to do. Once people become aware of something, they cannot becomeunaware, and start paying attention to incidental occurrences where the matter comes totheir attention again. As was observed by the editor of the local newspaper,Everybody's in their own worlds, and don't know the issues. A lot ofpeople came to it because of the extra traffic, and trucking and fill, andwhat it means in terms of the wildlife and so on. (8:6)Vested Interests The fact that people were fearful for the fate of their community, their quality oflife, and in the larger perspective, the fate of the migratory wildfowl which needed thewetlands as wintering and staging grounds was something which the BBCC could useto their advantage. Development, if it took place, was going to cause ever-increasingtraffic problems, population density and infrastructure problems, and a possibledegradation of the farmland to the point where it may no longer be viable for agricultureas an industry meant that most people had a personal and vested interest in maintainingthe status quo. A resident spoke for many when he noted thatIf it affects your lifestyle, it isn't remote...vested interests cause people tocome alive. (9:5)Eventually it also began to matter to people, as individuals, that the environmentwas going to suffer if they were not careful. Thus the community action groups had hiton one of the most powerful teaching tools available to it, the empowerment of peoplewho care enough about something to fight for it with all the resources at their disposal.As one core-group member said,People are not keen to save something unless they appreciate it... (3:1)so one of the first things to do is find a reason for the public to believe that they shouldbecome personally involved, and promote it until a sufficient number of peoplesubscribe, at which point it will gain its own momentum.74Encouraging learning through experience and gaining skills was fostered by themany practical on-site events which were organized. Some of these included mud walks,bird watching with skilled ornithologists to teach beginners how to tell one winteringduck from another, nature walks and tours of threatened areas, school programmes andspecial events for young children. Even encouraging people to get out and walk withfriends along the dykes provided them an opportunity to learn something forthemselves, experientially, when they did so.Attitudes, Values and BeliefsAll those interviewed emphasized the value placed on quality of life in the area,which was one of the main things they were fighting to retain. Impinging on this wasthe attitude of Not In My Back Yard, colloquially referred to as the NIMBY syndrome,where the major concern is for the individual good. The editor of the newspaperremarked that people, generally, were sayingWhat's in it for us? For the people who are living here, to all of asudden destroy all the farmland, and there's the whole other issue ofhow important farmland is for the future. But over and above that, 1think that even if people weren't thinking that farmland had to be saved,they were saying they'd rather have farmland than 10,000 more houses,(8:7)andwe're going to have pollution, we're going to have more traffic, where'sthe upside? (8:7)However, an interesting attitude shift became evident, perhaps as a result of long-termeducation, from one of concern for personal wellbeing to a more general concern for thegood of the environment as a whole.One of the main concerns was that farming should remain a viable industry in thearea.B.C. only has 4% arable farmland, and much of that is here in Deltawhere the climate is favourable. If you sell off the farmland you put theprovince in a very vulnerable position in the future, and I just don'tthink we can afford to do that. What's the alternative? California can'tfeed us for ever. This is where the education is so important, because Ithink most people in their hearts don't want to see the environment75destroyed. I don't think it's something you have to convince people of. Ithink you just have to show them where it's happening, and ways out.(2:10)Farmland statistics quoted by this member of the Committee are supported by theCanada Land Inventory (Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, 1992, p. 8).Increasing environmental awareness is not only apparent in major issues, but in some ofthe smaller matters affecting everyday life, indicating how pervasive long-term educationcan be and how taking advantage of social trends is a very effective mean of continuingthat education. For example, a BBCC committee member laughed when she recalledhow that awareness was now being used politically by the community at large.For instance, down at a housing sub-division right on the Bay there wasa ditch which the people living there wanted to keep. They liked thislittle river bank, and it was an attractive area. So in making their case tocouncil to keep the ditch rather than put it into a pipe, which was howengineering was seeing it, their argument was that 'we have anecosystem!!' I know the people who live there, and they're not reallyenvironmentalists, and if anything, they would have been in the businesscommunity and development camp. But when it suits them people willsay 'we've got ducks, we've got birds, we've got an ecosystem, and it'spart of Boundary Bay, and therefore we must save it!' So people arebeginning to see all this as a possible way of saving what they careabout, and they're using it because they think it might work. (3:9)Quality of life was another thing greatly valued by all the people interviewed inthis study, whether it was the recently retired well-off professional who valued openspaces and unlimited views across flat farmland to Mt. Baker every day, or the fishermanwhose family had lived all their lives in close proximity in a low-lying and less affluentarea, who got annoyed when their houses flooded every winter as the drainage systemhad not been updated to cope with the rapid increase in development. But equallyimportant to all was the deterioration of their rural atmosphere and community feeling.On the outskirts of the nearby fishing community of Ladner, which has been settled agreat deal longer than Tsawwassen or Boundary Bay, a long-time resident told meMy wife is third generation here, and the reason we live here is forcertain kinds of things. The more people that come in, then there's nopoint in living here any more. There's a lot of people who grew up herewho've moved away. My father-in-law moved to Lasquiti Island, and hewas born here. A lot of the people—that's why they lived here and it's76changed, and they don't see that it benefits them. It's not just that. In ourcase, for example, this house now floods regularly, because all the newdevelopments, they're all higher. So where does the water go? It comeshere, and the municipality just says 'tough'. So that's the kind of reasonthat people say 'no, we don't want any more.' Seems to be a reasonableposition. (10:2)Getting People InvolvedBecause those immediately involved in the action are passionate believers inwhat they are doing and the way they are doing it, their world, for the duration of theaction, is entirely bounded by it. Their daily routine changes to accommodate extrademands upon their time. Even their families sometimes came second when dealing withurgent problems. A very active member of another of the community action groupsexisting at the time talked of her complete involvement with getting the message out toothers:So the first night, the Tuesday night, we made the posters, we phoned thepeople who were going to silkscreen some more for Wednesday morning,so they went on working for Wednesday morning silk screening, and wehad the placards and everything. So from there on, we didn't sleep thatnight. There were five of us who never slept for like three days. And thenon the Wednesday morning we organized people, we got them to get outon the exits and overpasses to the freeway with placards... and that iswhat we spent doing, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. (6:7)This respondent was so excited and enthusiastic, even during the interview, which wassome time after the event, that everything came out in a rush, and she was gesticulatingwildly to illustrate her point. Boundless enthusiasm and untiring ability to work as longas was necessary are essential characteristics of individuals who become deeplyinvolved in community and social issues.Those people close to the centre of the action were not the only ones whose liveswere disrupted. The issue became such a major topic of conversation within thecommunity as a whole, and was of such importance to so many people that the summerof 1989 became a blur to many. City Hall and other venues where public hearings werebeing held became second home to some, who spent hours listening to proceedings, andhours more arranging pot-luck suppers when hearing times were suddenly scheduled to77start earlier than normal, making it difficult for commuters to arrive in time to participate.So a group of very active members of the public got together to solve the problem, astold by one of the organizers.Because they moved the hearing earlier, to 7 o'clock, well, what wedecided to do was to have the dinner and to invite the council to join us,right there, in the Hall. So we made a potluck dinner for, I don't know,500 people or something like that. We brought stuff, everybody broughtsomething. We brought in the food, we started filling the Hall from 5o'clock. It was just like we were having a picnic, there was food comingout of your ears. (6:5)Speakers had their names on an order list, but no-one was given an approximate time, oreven a day, when they might be called. People had to attend the hearings day after day,prepared to speak at any time and stay until council adjourned for the evening.Adjournment times fluctuated daily. If the next speakers on the list were not physicallypresent, then the Mayor could call the hearings to a halt and declare that no furtherpersons wished to speak. In an attempt to force the hearings to a premature closurecouncil sat especially late one night. The Mayor noticed that relatively few speakerswere still present, and thought he saw an opportunity to finally end the hearings,although there were still speakers on the list who had not yet spoken. So the telephonecommittee sprang into action.What happened was that there was a long list and you signed up tospeak and you had a number. So when your number came up you had tobe there, or you'd missed your chance to speak. And then it became clearthat if you were number 87 and they were only at 33 you wouldn't get achance to speak that night, so you wouldn't go. But what the other sidedid, they signed up a bunch of people who had no intention of speaking,so when they came to the end of the speakers' list then that would be theend of the public hearing. So people watching (on television) realizedthat all these names were being called out, about 50 names and nobodywas showing up, so we all had to rush down there ... We had to get onthe phones again, and get people out there at midnight in their pyjamasand slippers! ... the hearing became huge, it destroyed everybody'ssummer in '89. Nobody had a summer because we were at publichearings every night or we were watching it on TV when we weren'tthere. It was taped live, a lot of hours. (2:5)78Before long people were heading towards City Hall, even if they were still in theirbedroom slippers. Another member of the phone committee who was present at the timerelated that night's happenings this way.It was really strange, we were coming to about 10.20, and at that timeusually they stopped to vote that it's going to go until 11p.m. 10.30 - nomention of extension, so we started scrambling for speakers, becausepeople knew it was going on to 11, and we had only two or threespeakers who were left that were registered. So what they were hoping toachieve was to keep it open through the night, and then there were nospeakers, even though there were registered speakers. So we sat on thephone and started calling people on the list that were registered tospeak, and we started bringing them in, and bringing in more peopleand more people - this is like 11 o'clock at night! So we got the people,and after midnight the Hall started filling. We got people out of bed,they got other people out of bed, and we said before you leave home,wake up another five! And we packed the Hall back at around 1 o'clockat night, and we started ordering pizzas and other food, and people werebringing coffee and you-name-it, and they saw that there was no waythat they were going to kill this grass roots movement. (6:4)In discussions with representatives from all three sections of the community, the coregroup members, the general public, and the media, it became evident that many peoplewere very actively involved in raising awareness both within the community andamongst the local politicians.Encouraging Participation People join organizations for many different reasons, for social contact, orbecause the cause is of paramount importance to them. Newcomers particularly wish toparticipate in community life.As a newcomer to the area, I received a letter from the TsawwassenHomeowners Association. They delivered simple bulletins to homesasking for people to become members. As a new person in the area I felt Ishould sign up and take an interest in what was going on. Shortlythereafter a member of the Board telephoned to let me know about ameeting that was coming up. When I arrived at that meeting the fellowwho greeted me shook hands and said 'how nice to have a volunteer'. Ihadn't volunteered for anything at that point! However, I heard duringthe meeting that flyers about the issue needed to be delivered, and I gotinvolved doing that. Before long I found I was on the Board myself!(14:1)79From the community action group members' point of viewAnybody who showed up at any public hearing or wrote in a letter, orwrote to the paper, we called them and asked them if they'd be on thephone list. Then we had lots and lots of public meetings and hearings,and we needed people out all the time. So these people were put on thephoning list, and they were called and asked to turn up at a councilmeeting, or write a letter to so-and-so, whatever. (2:4)Not only were people involved in the everyday, mundane matters ofdisseminating information, but there were many people in the area with professionalexpertise in a wide range of fields who presented briefs and submissions to the publichearings. At one point during the hearings the Mayor said he believed he was hearingfrom a radical minority who were against development, but that he had the backing ofthe 'silent majority'. There was a definite feeling in the community that the Mayor wasmistaken, and to prove their point an unofficial citizens' referendum was organized.There was a very high voter turn-out, culminating in a 94% vote against thedevelopment proposal. The idea of a plebiscite was a community one, not emanatingfrom any action group in particular. There was never a shortage of volunteers to helporganize it, as related by a BBCC member.Somebody decided to call a public meeting, and the place was jammed.So that's when they started to organize the plebiscite, the referendum,the first public referendum in Canadian history. People were asking`where do I sign', 'what do you want me to do? You name it, I'll do it.'It was organized by a group of people, they didn't belong to anythingparticularly. But it was run officially. We had lawyers and judges there,just like a municipal election. I think they did it voluntarily, just to seethat it was carried out in a professional manner, so that it was a genuineplebiscite. The ballot boxes were all sealed, and there was a team oflawyers who took affidavits from those not on the electoral roll, but thathad moved to the area and wanted to vote. So we had a team of lawyersthere and a judge who would sit there and take these affidavits frompeople. They had two polling booths and people lined up and waited tovote - it was incredible. I think about 6,000 people voted! (2:5)Another active member commented on the lesson learned by council after thereferendum:The plebiscite showed that the silent majority was not all development.Council had misjudged that one! (3:9)80As in an election, people went around from door to door on the day of the poll,encouraging everyone to go and vote. One member of the general public saidOh yes, we were involved in it. We went out, my wife and I, and we wentfrom door to door, encouraging people to get out and vote, whateverway they had to. (9:2)Almost everybody in the community was so angry and frustrated by this time that therewas no shortage of volunteers, or voters, on referendum day.People also became involved by means of the radio and television phone-inopportunities. The local television station ran programmes in which politicians fromFederal, Provincial and municipal levels appeared and afterwards were available to takequestions from anyone who wanted to call in. This inter-active television was watchedby many, and even if they did not have the opportunity to see it live, it was rebroadcastseveral times during the week at different hours. One member of the public whogradually became more and more actively involved commented of the television showsOccasionally I'll watch it while I'm ironing. I often watch the livequestion-and-answer programmes where they have the mayor or thealdermen and a phone-in show. That's very good, I find that veryinteresting. (4:12)Seeing a repeat precluded viewers from phoning in, but they could still benefit frominformation given by politicians and questions asked by callers. Radio talk shows gavemuch the same opportunity. In some cases callers were those who just wanted to speakon the spur of the moment, but from time to time these communication channels wouldbe used by members of the community action groups who had drafted in advance a fewpoints they wanted to make, taking advantage of free air time. Committee membersmentioned thatWe did phone in to phone-in shows. Some people did that, every nowand again there's an on-line thing with aldermen etc. on localtelevision. (3:2)81Factors Affecting the Education Process The amount of education that a community action group can do depends onmany factors. Because of the need for many things to be done at once, and as muchexpertise as possible to be available, the core group needs to reach a certain optimumnumber of constant members, with other equally knowledgeable people available whocan be contacted to contribute when needed. If a group is too small, the load placedupon each person is often heavy enough to cause rapid burn-out, and the group cannotbe maintained long enough to achieve its objectives. As one member said:Again, it was a matter of wanting to run a public education thing, andwe still do want to keep it going all the time, but all the time you've gotthese crises cropping up, and you've got the same pool of people. (3:4)To what extent this education process, both of the general public and thepoliticians, is successful depends greatly on the personal individual time core groupmembers have available for the cause. At first it takes a great deal of dedicated hardwork, and belief in what one is doing to get the group noticed and to establishcredibility in the community. ButSome of the people in Tsawwassen were very quick learners and cameonside very quickly, and were spurred into action over a very shortperiod of time. Certainly there was a very big snowballing after therezoning process got under way (to allow the use of agricultural landfor golf courses). And certainly with the creation of the Boundary BayConservation Committee the public consciousness just exploded on theissue, but it did take a lot of hard work putting pamphlets together andspeaking, and getting into the public eye. (1:8)People must also be prepared to speak out on the issue at whatever stage in theirlearning process, becauseThere have been some people who've known a lot less about an issue,but have made a lot of noise, and have had a greater immediate publiceducation impact. (1:8)It is therefore necessary to create as wide a base as possible of core-group members andsupporters, because a lot of hard work is constantly needed for a sustained period oftime. The cost to committed individuals is enormous, yet the whole success of fighting an82issue depends entirely on the strengths of such people. One very active member of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee, lamenting the lack of funds community groupshave to fight corporate powers, and expressing her personal feelings about the part sheplayed said:They (businesses and large corporations) have the resources of expenseaccounts, slick advertising, everything's going right for them. It'simpossible to keep pace with them on a level playing field. All you cando is hope that people's underlying wish to do the right thing by theenvironment will force them into action. You're fighting all the time, andI don't feel at all that we've won, or got anywhere particularly. I thinkall the time we're just staving off the next disaster, and we've been fairlysuccessful at staving off disasters over the past few years. But the toll, interms of our time and our energy and the stress involved is enormous,and it falls on quite a small core of people who did a lot, and though wecan rely on the support and good-will of a large amount of thecommunity, in terms of actual time or financial support, there's not anon-going level that's very sustainable from the point of view of fightingeverything that comes up. (3:7)Thus if the education process is to continue beyond the short-term and into the long-term it is essential to keep recruiting new, but well-informed members to the core groupto replace those who have to drop out, permanently or temporarily, for whatever reason.Telephone Committee One factor mentioned by many respondents as aiding the education process forboth members of the core group and the general public, was the efficacy of thetelephone committee set up to pass on information of upcoming meetings, remindingpeople to attend, and to find and co-ordinate volunteers for whatever work wasrequired. Anybody who put their name on a sign-in sheet at a meeting, or expressedverbal interest to a member of the Conservation Committee was immediately listed, to bephoned when needed, even if it was midnight and they were in their pyjamas, ratherthan in the council chambers awaiting their turn to speak. A new resident to the areavery much appreciated the networking which resulted from the phone committee:... there was a good phoning committee, there was a lot of phoning. 'Getout to the hearings' or 'get out to the referendum, don't forget today'sthe day we're voting', and this kind of thing. So there's a lot of thatcommunity effort, real networking. (9:2)83It was very effective in informing the community what was happening, where themeetings were being held, and where help was most urgently needed, serving threepurposes in one. Firstly it bound the community together and got strangers talking toone another because of a shared common interest; secondly it was a fast and efficientway of keeping people informed and up-to-date, and thirdly it motivated people toattend functions and support the cause in whatever way they could.Strategies to Create Learning Opportunities Strategies used by the core group to raise awareness fall into two sub-categories,planned activities and unplanned events. Planned activities have two main aims; toencourage immediate short-term action, and to achieve a lasting change in attitudes,values and beliefs in the long-term with regard to the environmental well-being of thearea. Unplanned events cannot be relied on to occur, or to have any value as learningopportunities, but any action group should be aware of other things happening in thecommunity at the same time which might be used to their advantage if at all possible.Short-term Planned ActivitiesNon-formal events. Planned activities were many and varied. They were aimed atincreasing awareness immediately, gaining membership for the community action groupto increase funds by way of subscription, which pays for some of the educationalprojects, and to increase availability of volunteers to spread the workload. Open Housepresentations gave the public an opportunity to become better informed throughreading display material or asking questions, and public 'town hall' meetings provided aplatform from which core group members and community opinion leaders may speak.Questions and comments from the floor also help to clarify the issue and providelearning opportunities for those attending to get the facts, as seen by the speakers. Thepublic usually attended these sessions with the intention of learning more, and perhapsexpressing their views, and thus were predisposed to listen and learn.At these events there was always a table of information, photocopies of magazine84and newspaper articles, or flyers and brochures produced by some of the many groupsfor which the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee was the umbrella organization.These handouts were eagerly taken by those attending, were usually well read and nottrashed in the nearest wastepaper basket. One member who attended many meetingssaid:We did a lot of photocopying to get information out, and people werealways looking for more information. It wasn't us trying to force it onthem, every time we had a public meeting we set up a table, and we'dphotocopy newspaper and magazine articles, we'd do research and putout factual information on the Bay, and they could help themselves.People were there saying 'I haven't seen this, or this', and they're verygrateful for the information we got out. They were very happy. (2:5)This information also spread widely beyond the bounds of the local area;it spread out all over B.C. and into other provinces. People would phonefor interviews or more information, because people have relatives in theeast. It was very much an issue, it still is. (2:9)One fairly formal method of presenting facts and information was through makingpublic any reports and studies pertaining to the issue and its possible impact on thecommunity. Bearing in mind that these documents were commissioned by one side orthe other, and occasionally by independent bodies, the public could then decide forthemselves what was really being said, and by whom. One almost endless source oflearning and information was the many briefs, both written and oral, presented to councilat the marathon public hearings which became famous locally for beingthe longest public hearing ever, anywhere in the Commonwealth. Therewere something like 180 hours of oral submissions, there were I-don't-know-how-many written submissions; they went well past midnight manytimes. (1:4)As another respondent who attended most of the hearings said:you go to the public hearings for one hundred hours, you learnsomething! (2:8)Informal events. As a contrast to the more formal approach to disseminatinginformation, there were many informal ways of getting the message out into the widercommunity, as described by the founding chairperson.85There were bikathons and birdathons, bird watching afternoons and theVancouver Natural History Society of course had regular birding tripsto Boundary Bay; auctions, art auctions, these sorts of things. DonLeLegere donates art from time to time, and there's art auctions andraffles and wine-and cheese parties, which are both fund raisers andeducators. There's Evelyn Roth, with the inflatable animals. She has aheron that inflates up to thirty feet, and so on. (1:4)There were 'mud walks' and other on-site activities, to encourage people who do notnormally venture out into their community backyard, for whatever reason, as recountedby an active member of public.Mud walks are basically for children and families, to get them aware ofwhat's on the beach when the tide's gone out; the crustaceans, andwhat's a dunlin? and a sandpiper? and what do they feed on? and howimportant it is to save the foreshore and not to have pollution? If youput a golf course right on the foreshore and all these pesticides andwhatever are leaching into the land and the water, and that's going toaffect everything that lives there - the crabs, everything in the foodchain. You'd be surprised how many people, young families will comeout. And that's a good way to get people involved. And we had an owlwatching night in the fall, there are lots of owls down here, so far...(4:10)This respondent did not actually take part in the mud walks but...we sell cookies and hot chocolate (there) just as a way to make money,and juice and things like that. We have to have these money-raisingthings because there's postage and printing to pay for, and money isneeded for rent for the office. (4:11)Community education is not confined solely to adults, it encompasses truelifelong learning, from the youngest children to the oldest adults. Children areparticularly important in the education process, for any learning opportunities enrichtheir knowledge and values, and children's environmental values can often change andinfluence those of their parents. And the children of the present are the environmentalcustodians of the future, so it is very important to encourage a respect for it at an earlyage. A local resident who helped with mud walks and other family events observed:With public awareness I think you have to start with the children,because they're much more environmentally aware than the adults. Thelittle six- and seven-year-olds. A lot of the teachers are getting involvedwith interpretive programmes, and we're trying to get this interpretivecentre mobile going so we can go to the parks and schools, and have it86available for the teachers so that we can get the children on our side. Ithink that's probably the answer. (4:10)Adults acknowledge that they do learn new values and attitudes that their childrenbring into the home, so teaching children to value their environment is a route to raisingawareness in adults also. Safeguarding the future of the area became important, so thecommunity's children became part of the awareness-raising process too. One youngmother who became very active in raising awareness recounted her story.I got involved through the daycare that my son goes to, because mothersdecided to stage a protest. There were hundreds of kids and mothers, instrollers etc., and in the daycare we signed a petition which was I-don't-know-how-many-feet long. It spanned the width of the gym in the rec.centre where the hearings were taking place, and so we did apresentation. One of the mums did a presentation at the public hearing.They were deciding not to let the kids and the petition in because, Iguess, it was too spectacular. You know, you have a hundred kids andmums and everything, and we had some problem getting in andunfolding this huge petition, which had kids' handprints and footprintsand signatures and names and everything, and we asked that it beentered in the record. What we wanted to say, that for the sake of ourchildren, we don't want to see that kind of traffic, this is why we livehere, because it's peaceful and we can bring our children up in a safeenvironment which is still safe, but not as safe as it used to be. So thekids brought in the petition and unrolled it in front of the council. It wasa real grass-roots movement, it was coming from everywhere. (6:3)Incidental opportunities for learning. Many events planned by the core groupwere aimed at catching people's attention in passing. Posters around town and placardsat traffic intersections may be noticed by the public, but whether or not the informationwas retained or they learned from what they saw depended very much on circumstance.The instruction was intentional, but any resulting learning was probably unintentionaland incidental to the accomplishment of the task at hand. "Incidental learning is neverintentional and seldom explicit. It is serendipitous or coincidental with some otheractivity and is always tacit, and takes place without much conscious reflection"Marsick & Watkins (1990, p. 6).Knowing this, but hoping nonetheless that their actions might make a difference,members of one of the action groups put posters all over the high-traffic areas,87Teaching the public, in some instances, is as subtle as hitting them overthe head with a two-by-four. It was difficult not to know what was goingon. We sat all night one night, and made big placards. We scrambled forall the cardboard we could find. We made, I don't know, a few hundredplacards, and there were crews for two nights going aroundTsawwassen, sticking them as high on the telephone poles as possible, sothat nobody could take them down. What was taken down the next night,we went out about 2a.m., and between 2 and 5 we hung everything back.We put the posters everywhere. I mean Tuesday they closed the hearings.Wednesday morning Tsawwassen woke up to hundreds of posters allover the place, inviting people to town meetings. And they thought we'dhad this planned before, but we didn't. (6:7)People were stationed at the major intersections and overpasses through whichcommuters had to travel twice daily, to inform people of the date and time of thatmeeting:And then Wednesday morning we organized people. We got them to getout on the exits in Tsawwassen with placards, for the overpass at theLadner exchange to come with placards, and then again on thecloverleaf of Highway 17 and 99. 'Town Meeting'; T.D.L. Hearing';7.30p.m.'. One said Town Meeting, the other one said the time, the otherone said the place. Come. So that was that, and of course the policecame before 9 o'clock to pick us up, but we still stayed there. (6:7)T.D.L. stood for Tsawwassen Development Ltd., the name of the development companywishing to build the houses on the Spetifore farmlands, which was one of the main landuse issues in the campaign. Passing motorists, and there are many who commute daily toand from Vancouver, must have seen the placards, because traffic does not move veryfast at those intersections in rush hour. They would probably have had plenty of time toread and absorb the message, but there is no certainty that any specific learning resulted.However, incidental learning does often result from repetition of the message many timesand in many ways.While the public hearings were in session, and were being televised in theirentirety, some of those who were not presenting briefs or speaking that evening usedthe high visibility of community television coverage to move in with huge banners andstand at the back of the hall, behind the speakers, so they would be in full view of thetelevision cameras. A member of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee who88presented one of the first environmentally-oriented briefs to Council, and attended asmuch of the hearings as possible described the type of dramatic, attention-getting actionwhich took place.By about the fourth day, people marched on with banners with 'Heronsdon't eat golf balls' and stood behind the public hearing which wasbeing held in the Rec. Centre. It was absolutely packed, and people justwalked in and stood around the walls holding these big banners, allabout birds. (3:3)Thus the many people attending at the hearings and watching on community televisionwould also absorb the visual background message almost subconsciously while listeningto the speakers who had carefully prepared their briefs and presentations. Pictures alsoappeared next day in one of the provincial newspapers, so that people who lived milesaway from the action in other areas of British Columbia would be able to read what wasgoing on.As with any other incidental learning, the message must be repeated frequently tobe noticed. This strategy was used by the core group to raise awareness amongst thepublic, and together they used the same tactic to educate the politicians.One hopes that by having 40 people all saying virtually the same thingat the public hearings, you'd hope that those 40 afterwards wouldconvince council that this was something they should investigate or lookat. (3:6)One member of the public who sat through hours and hours of hearings observed:It just went on and on. And you got people just repeating the same thing.But I guess the point was the more people that spoke, the more it madeeveryone aware of how the community as a whole felt. (9:3)Although the community had worked very hard to become well informed andreach a generally accepted opinion that council's proposed development plan was notwhat they wanted, council members failed to respond and all except one incumbent wasremoved from office at the next municipal election. The newly elected councillors hadnever been involved in politics to that extent before, and were entirely from a slatesupported by the pro-environment activists. The new officers probably would not havestood for election in less controversial circumstances, and thus it seems that the89educational strategies of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee may have played apart in altering the course of political history in the municipality in 1990.Use of the media. Media events were created, and flyers and pamphlets weredelivered to every home in the area on many occasions. These types of activities took anenormous amount of energy and planning to be successful, and yet the outcome wascompletely unpredictable, because whether learning takes place at a conscious or pre-conscious level depends on the receptivity of the individual at the time.Media reports and events were a favourite way of reaching the general publicwith information, since most people at least glance at the local newspapers which weredropped twice weekly on their doorstep, purchased one of the two main provincialnewspapers, the Vancouver Sun and The Province, or read the Globe & Mail. Most ofthe events staged by the action groups were usually reported in the local papers, and ifthey were of wider significance, they might have been given space in the twometropolitan papers. Reaching the Globe & Mail is more difficult, but a foundingmember of the Boundary Bay Conservation recalled that occasionally the matter didgain the attention of that publication.My mother, who lives in southern Ontario, although I've given herinformation, she's turned around and said `oh yes, I read something elseabout Boundary Bay in the Globe & Mail.' The Globe & Mail is a verydifficult nut to crack, they don't seem to have a strong Western office,but we did manage to get into there over something or another. Usuallyan event—it's got to be an event of some sort to get into the media. (1:4)The role played by the two Vancouver-based provincial newspapers was seen as quiteeffective by one respondent from the general public, who put it this way:Given the growth in the area in the last four to five years even, most ofthe people who live here probably don't know much about the history ofthe area, and all the little groups, and various issues, so yes, I can't seethat it wasn't the (Vancouver)Sun and The Province that didn't turnthem around, because they couldn't have known what was goingotherwise. (10:5)Getting air-time on the provincial and national television channels could be justas uncertain as getting attention from national newspapers. One of the main figures in90the community action group arranged for an on-site interview with the CanadianBroadcasting Corporation, and had this comment about the experience:We told them about the crisis. The public hearing is coming up, and ifthe council decides to pass these by-laws this area is going to bedestroyed, and it's important habitat. So there's a conflict story, andwe're a little group that's set up in the community to try and stop this.And they have stories like that all the time. One of the first people thatcame down and interviewed me on the dyke was a reporter from theCBC, and he says he does these all the time, don't hold out too muchhope, I've heard this story so many times - a small group of people whowant to stop something. They use them for fillers or late at night. (3:2)However, if you know how to approach them, the media can be prevailed uponeventually.We got coverage out of Vancouver on BCTV and CBC simply byphoning them and bugging them enough times. Right at the start, whenwe wanted to get coverage about the golf course we made dozens ofcalls, telling them that there was something really important happeningdown here in Delta, and these golf courses are coming up, and they'regoing on internationally important bird habitat. And just keep talkinglike that, and eventually, after being phoned by a few people and after aperiod of days, for instance, I was on Almanac (a mid-day CBC radioprogramme) - there is this woman down there in Delta or somewhere whodoesn't want a golf course. So I gave an interview for that, then otherpeople got on just by keeping phoning. People like BCTV and UTV, theysent reporters down in the end. (3:2)Committee members discovered that delivering flyers directly to mail boxes wasfound to be more successful in getting attention than a general delivery with the localnewspaper or other 'junk mail':We mailed out flyers to every house in South Delta and Ladner till weran out of money. Mail is better than including with newspapers,because with newspapers a flyer gets caught up in a wad and peoplepick it up and throw it in the garbage. But when it comes in the mailboxit's separate, and you see the colour or whatever. It's more expensive tomail, but it gets out. The other way it's likely to get thrown out. (2:3)Another respondent from the general public agreed:I found when I was commuting I was gone from home eleven hours, andyou really don't have time if you're working. And then you tend to pickup the flyers through the door and junk them without bothering to readthem. Information is coming at you from all sides. They come with all theflyers from the local grocery stores and you just ... you just don't even91look at it. People get fed up with all this junk landing on their doorsteps.It can get to be too much. (4:5)There was also a concerted effort to reach people further afield through flyerdistribution to many Lower Mainland nature parks and ecology centres, as well asprovincial, national and international conservation organizations. BBCC membersalso went to all the tourist information booths and put flyers there. Theywent through dozens. We even put some on the ferries... (3:1)and in this way it was hoped to reach visitors both from within province, from otherparts of Canada and even from overseas, since the Lower Mainland area of B.C. is avery popular tourist destination throughout the year.Social events. There is no formula that guarantees learning in any situation, butleast of all when chance and serendipity play a large part in the message being receivedin the first place. However, once a person has seen something casually, and dismissed itas one of the many things one sees in a day, it may, in Jarvis's term (1987b), become`pre-conscious' learning, or tacit knowledge. An obvious, but usually unstated fact ofawareness-raising was brought up by the Conservation Committee chairperson, whenshe said thatOnce you become aware of something, after that you can't becomeunaware of it, and you start noticing it more when it pops up again.(3:8)This aspect of incidental learning is relied upon heavily by those who want to raiseawareness, together with repetition, so that once something has been casually noticed, itis reinforced over and over again until it becomes meaningful.You've just got to get it out there again and again and again and again.You've got to use all angles, there's no one way. (2:5)Social events and fund-raisers were also part of the learning environment. Andhere again it was a matter of chance who attended, why they attended, and whether ornot they used the occasion to learn something new. Social functions were important asthey provided an opportunity to enjoy a break from the on-going demands ofcommunity education, a recognition for all the volunteer work being done, and at the92same time created another media opportunity, as well as a chance for the lurkers' or thenominally active to give their financial and personal support.One such event, held in the intervening period between the long and tiring publichearings and the handing down of the decision by council as to whether they wouldagree to the development proposal, was called the 'Last Straw Festival'. It had threeaims: continued incidental education, raising funds to cover costs incurred to date, andan opportunity for everybody to enjoy some fun after weeks of tension. Such morale-boosters were very important in sustaining people's commitment to the cause.Then we decided to have a celebration, and we called it The Last StrawFestival. We had all sorts of good performers, a singer was there withher group, and we had really well-known musicians. Again, a lot of itwas publicity gaining. It was a community event, but we wanted peopleout of Tsawwassen to know what we were doing. We had food, we hadentertainment, we had games for kids. It was one of the best festivals everheld, it was like a big community fair. Everybody came, we had three tofour thousand people. The developers didn't come, but the mayor did!People just basically wanted to pat themselves on the back for a goodjob done - and this was before the decision. The food was sold, and thedrinks were sold. They were donated, but they were sold as a fund raiser.We had all the (community action) groups there, groups came from theStates. They all had their displays in the cafeteria, it was a huge event,really huge. (6:11)This comment was made by an enthusiastic organizer of the Last Straw Festival,and some feel that her belief that 'three or four thousand people' attended mayhave been somewhat exaggerated, and a more correct estimation might be severalhundred. There was no doubt that it was well attended, but by how manydepends on who is telling the story. Of other social events which occurred fromtime to time a member of the general public said:Some of the community organized benefit dances, which they advertisedby posters in the shopping malls. We attended some of those, and theyalso had silent auctions during the dances of gifts given by localmerchants, or art work donated, in order to raise funds for the costsincurred in fighting the issues. (16:2)A great deal of individual effort and enthusiasm went into making these variousevents as effective as possible. The founding chairperson of the Boundary Bay93Conservation Committee is more conservative and low-key than radical, but was notafraid to let the community know that there was a problem to be solved. The foundingchairperson of the Committee, who is very aware of the value of publicity, said:There've been all kinds of different theatrics performed. We made avideo for Delta Cable and put it out, people carried placards at thepublic hearings, and there were certainly information booths in themalls, and everybody likes to stop by and read a petition. Just this springthere was a protest against the Brant shoot... Sure, we used every singlekind of advertising, attention-drawing tactic that we could, short ofguerrilla tactics! (1:4)Unplanned Learning Opportunities Taking advantage of the unexpected. Incidental education can occur anywhere,any time, one just has to be in a position to seize whatever opportunity is presented. Amember of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee recounted his experience whenvisiting a Vancouver tourist destination.I stepped off the tram at the top of Grouse Mountain, and lo and behold!there was a clown performing. For some reason or another I had aBoundary Bay pamphlet in my pocket. I don't really remember how itcame about, maybe it was in my hand, but anyway, the next thing I knewwas this clown was talking to me about Boundary Bay and how he knewall about it, it was really quite hilarious. (1:8)and in another illustration of seizing the opportune moment a second member of theCommittee said:Generally any comments I've had tend to be either positive, or if theystart an argument, it's a genuine argument. They have a different pointof view and they want to put forward their point of view, but they willlisten to mine, and quite often can be convinced. It's a very commonmisconception that we're against golf courses, full stop. Then they askwhy are you against golf courses - they're trees, they're fields, they'vegot birds - our golf course has a lot of nice birds. How can you beagainst that? And then you have to explain the uniqueness of thisposition and why you can't plonk another habitat on top of an existingone. But that, I think, is a genuine thing to argue with us. They'relooking for more information to make up their minds as to what is theright thing to do. I'm quite happy to discuss anything like that withpeople. (3:8)94There were two major issues up for consideration at the same time; a housingdevelopment proposal for a parcel of farmland, known as the Spetifore lands, andproposals for 18 new golf courses in the area on both farmland and deltaic wetlandaround Boundary Bay, so if the public heard about one, they almost invariably heardabout the other. The then-chairperson of the BBCC observed:Home owners had bumper stickers which were more towards theSpetifore thing, and they weren't particularly environmental, but raisingawareness of the Spetifore issue caused additional awareness of theother things going on around that issue. We used every angle, t-shirts,bumper stickers, posters on telephone poles... (2:4)and later added:Bumper stickers saying "No to TDL" were real attention-getters. Theywere soon all over the Province. (2:2:1)There were several smaller issues also linked with the golf course and housingdevelopment proposal. One of these concerned the fate of a large heronry in nearbyPoint Roberts, as the herons depend upon Boundary Bay for feeding and fishing.Therefore to be interested in the fate of the heronry was also to be interested in the fateof Boundary Bay and the surrounding dykes, ditches and uplands as well. A respondentwhose property lay on the Canada-United States border and abutted a large heronryjust in Washington State did some research,And then I found out that the property of the heron rookery is owned bythree Canadians, and if they decided to develop without concern for theherons we'd lose the herons. And also of course the herons feed inTsawwassen, in Boundary Bay. And in winter they feed on voles in thefields, the farmers' fields or whatever, so we virtually have to protect thewhole area for all the birds, not just the herons. (4:1)The fact that there were so many issues, large and small, arising at the same timemeant that a great number of people were concerned with the eventual outcome, sothere were many supporters who would rally against the potential development. Thesepeople were also interested in supporting the cause in whatever way they could, andwere rapidly enlisted as volunteers when the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee95was founded. This organization was a coalition of many of the smaller groups already inexistence, to make more efficient use of volunteers and resources.Newspaper editorial policy. In the same way that the actions of the incumbentmunicipal councillors raised the ire of many people and thus became an inadvertenteducational tool, the newspapers, or initially, the lack of newspapers, in the area alsobecame a forum for learning. At first there was only one local paper being delivered freeto all homes in the Tsawwassen and Ladner areas, and its editorial policy was so pro-development that many people became very angry when they could not get their pointof view printed, or they could not find any reports of the public hearings which hadbecome so contentious throughout the summer of 1989. Most of the briefs presented atthat hearing were anti-development, so the pro-development owner of the local paperrefrained from reporting them. This action then provoked some merchants to cancel theiradvertising in that paper, and the general feeling of hostility towards the developmentplans rose considerably.At this time there were already plans to start a second local newspaper for door-to-door delivery. It was obvious to people in the business that a second newspaperwould be in great demand because the pro-environment lobby maintained that theycould not express their point of view through the only other local newspaper whichpresently existed.The emergence of the South Delta Today is important as it was set up inTsawwassen just as the public hearings started. It finally gave the publica fair and equal say in the local newspaper. Mr. Siba, who set it up,eventually bought out the Delta Optimist much later. Mr. Siba's decisionto start the South Delta Today played a very important role. (2:2:1)Although that new newspaper did in fact become a reality, the two papers eventuallymerged, so the area is back to having only one voice again, but a member of theCommittee stated thatthe publisher changed, and it is a more reasonable paper now. (3:2:1)However, the emergence of this second paper did much to relieve the communitytension, because now pro-environmentalists could have their say, read about the public96hearings which were so controversial, and get a different perspective on things throughthe editorial pages, and provide the community with an opportunity to learn about theirpoint of view.Political problems.  One of the greatest learning opportunities in the community atthe time came from the way municipal council conducted business. Councillors weredevelopment oriented, and the community felt that their interests were not being wellrepresented over the issue of developing farm land for housing and golf courses.However, there are provisions between the third and fourth reading of a by-law forcommunity input through public hearings, where written and oral briefs are submittedfor consideration. It was at this point that the community action group encouraged asmany people as possible to come forward and register as speakers against approval ofthe proposed development. People not only crowded into City Hall until the roomoverflowed and hearings had to be transferred to the local recreation centre to providemore public space, but they watched nightly on community television, monitoring thepresentations and councillors' reactions.Consequently, there was a great deal of learning going on during the summer of1989. People not only learned about the issue as they listened to brief after brief beingpresented, but they also learned a great deal about the democratic process. Everybodyin the community was learning together; core group members and general public alike, asthe hearings progressed. Feelings became more heated as hearings were arbitrarily re-scheduled to start earlier, or finish later, than normal making it difficult for speakers tojudge when they should attend. As was observed by a founding member of theCommittee:I think that many of the residents and the voters of Delta had had it withthe established group who were running the show down there. Certainlysome of the most astonishing behaviour on the part of people, let alonepoliticians, had left some large impressions on much of the electorate.(1:6)The theme of anger appears in every interview, whether with members of thecommunity action group or the general public, creating a great deal of personal interest97in the way council was conducting business. Anger is a great motivating force—whenpeople get angry, they get active. A former founding member noted that:People got so angry at what was happening in council that they foundthemselves attending council meetings and standing up to say theirpiece. 'I had no intention of speaking, but ...' (5:3)This was an unexpected learning opportunity the community action group couldcapitalize on as there was such widespread coverage on radio, television and in thenewspaper that many more people were aware of the issue than might have been thecase had the hearings not been so contentious. The recurring theme of anger was re-iterated many times by members of the Committee and the general public alike:... the people were so angry! The whole question of democracy came up,and people began to realize that things were not that democratic inDelta, they hadn't been for a long time, but they finally realized it. (2:6)andPeople are going to have to stand up and be counted or it just won'twork, because the political will just isn't there. And the only way you'regoing to get the political will is for people to do a lot of yelling andscreaming. (2:10)and a good deal of that went on in and around Tsawwassen at that time. The aim of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee, and the other action groups, was to teachpeople how to "yell and scream" effectively. How much the council's controversialactions had unwittingly helped in the education process was noted by one BBCCmember when she said:I think anybody that got involved with any of the groups took themessage out into the community, because it is something that has beendiscussed in the community so much. Especially when it got to theSpetifore T.D.L. issue, everybody was talking about it, and that helped usso much. Otherwise we'd still have been back at square one, because allthis stuff is very admirable, but I don't think it would have got us furtheralong in public education, it would have burned out after a few it was the political things that happened that helped our publicity,because we got the tv coverage over the issue of golf courses inBoundary Bay. (3:2)Council's actions were becoming very unpopular. A member of the generalpublic voiced a common feeling in stating that:98We got the sense that the council at that time was going to ram the thingdown our throats whether we liked it or not, and that's what stirred a lotof ire, and it stirred my ire. I don't mind i f a majority wants a thing, g'estla vie, but it was so clear that the majority—a large majority—wereagainst it. (9:1)Because council still believed that the silent majority was in favour of development andthe community wanted to teach them that this was definitely not the case, there was aspontaneous suggestion to hold an unofficial plebiscite after one particularlyconfrontational meeting. Another member of the public reported thatThe whole thing just caught fire and took off because people got so madat the way they had been treated by those who were elected to representthem. (14:1)Reports of council meetings in the local papers kept the issue in the forefront. A readerobservedI think our newspapers did a good job of getting people worked up, andthe more people got worked up, the more they talked about it. We talkedto everybody on the street—there was a lot of talk on the street, and so themore the people were motivated to go out to the hearings. (9:2)Eventually many respondents voiced the same feelings of frustration over and overagain.They just got people so angry with their arrogance. I am not a politicalactivist really, but boy, we got riled up. Look what he's doing now. Hecan't get away with that! (9:3)One of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee's interim aims was to replacepresent councillors with a new slate of officers at the next election. The presentcouncil's actions had become such a focus of attention that many people learned a greatdeal, even if they did not participate in, or were aware of, any of the BBCC's organizedevents, but the fact that council had upset the community was obvious. This localresident reflected the views of many respondents in saying... the attitude of the Mayor infuriated me. He was so arrogant andundemocratic. Any increase in traffic, loss of farmland, and increase indevelopment is going to make life hell for the local residents, in spite ofwhat the developers say. The Mayor accused the local citizens of havinga 'drawbridge mentality' and that infuriated people even more. Theywere ready to explode with anger. The Mayor didn't consider the99general public, and suffered from illusions that the silent majority wason his side. Development has to happen, but slowly and in keeping withthe surroundings. But the council were not going to listen to what thecommunity had to say. (16:1)The situation was summed up by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee memberwho said sorrowfully:1 don't think we did a good job of educating the council at all. Youalways hope that you'll educate people, but one had the feeling thatthese people had made up their minds to follow a particular economicpath for the municipality, and they weren't convinced by our arguments.Although the public hearings are not legally a judicial thing, they'rejust allowed to hear from the public, but they don't have to listen to themin fact. There's nothing in law that says they have to take any notice ofus. But one hopes that by having 40 people speak at the public hearings,you'd hope that those 40 afterwards would convince council that thiswas something they should investigate...but they went ahead anyway.But that was another thing that gave us good publicity; the 4th hearingof that by-law. Because it was so rowdy and so noisy, and everybody wasso frustrated, because we saw that our education effort had totallyfailed. (3:6)But in spite of the publicity that the public hearing received, and the fact that the issuewas one of the main topics of conversation around town, there were still corners of thecommunity that remained unaware, and people who did not want to participate in thediscussion. No matter how hard the Committee tried to inform all members of thecommunity and encourage public participation in the action, the Chairpersonacknowledged that it is impossible to reach everybody.As for the general population, there are still an awful lot who probablydidn't know anything at all about the issue. 1 still find people that haveheard nothing about it, even though they're living in this area. (3:2)There is always a section of the population that cannot be drawn into the argument.Long-term Educational Plans and Objectives Although short-term educational measures are very important in dealing withimmediate crises, it is the long-term educational goal of the BBCC to educate thepopulation generally about environmental issues on one hand, and political process onthe other. Immediate action required to deal with urgent day-to-day matters can draw on100tacit or implicit knowledge and on-going learning which occurs as social prioritiesgradually shift over the years. The founding chairperson pointed out thatWhat shouldn't be neglected, too, was that there were various processesthat have gone on for many years around the Boundary Bay issue. Forinstance, naturalists have been lobbying for conservation measures forat least 20 years, if not much more, and various proposals for schemes tomanage the area have been put forward by many well informed andeminent conservationists. So many of the modern expressions of ourconcerns really had their roots way back, and the public educationprocess has been ongoing for quite a long time. (1:7)So long-term education has not only built a base of knowledge which can be calledupon immediately, it has also created a foundation for working towards changing orconsolidating values, attitudes and beliefs in the future. In contrast to the timeconstraints involved in dealing with immediate problems as they happen, long-termeducation is acknowledged to be a slow but incremental process. This respondentcontinued thatWe're never going to get anywhere in conservation without education,and people cannot learn quickly. Issues are one thing, but there's amuch longer agenda that has been set by naturalists, and that is long-term education of themselves and the public, so inasmuch as you haveshort-term memory things that you have to do around issues, there'smuch, much bigger concerns—long-term education of the world at large,and perhaps what we're seeing in the environmental movement today isthe fruits of those long-term efforts, because certainly the environmentalmovement has been around for a very long time in various forms andshapes. And all along we've been at the whim of fashion, and still somuch of it is concerned with data gathering and data dissemination.(1:14)The effects of long-term education can be seen to be working in this particularcommunity. People do not easily forget what has already happened, so when thedeveloper tries to resurrect the issue in a different form from time to time, long-standingresidents of the area hastily inform more recent arrivals of the past history of the issue. Amember of the public noted with a grin that:The minute he (the developer) proposes anything, you can feel theenergy level in Boundary Bay rising two feet. Everybody goes 'no way,there he goes again. If it comes from him it's got to be no good!' He can'tdo anything. They're going to have to wait for all of us to die1 01before he can do anything, and he's as old as we are, so it's not going towork. Maybe our kids will forget, but not the people that live here! (9:3)Before members of such a core group can create learning opportunities for thewider public, they themselves must be well informed on both the issue and the politicalprocess. The self-directed and peer learning which occurs in this initial stage has alreadybeen well documented (McCreary, 1984) and therefore is not included in this presentresearch. But having become informed of the issue from as broad a perspective aspossible, the core group members are then solely responsible for initiating a campaign inthe locality to widen the group membership and encourage participation by volunteersin all aspects of the work to be done when the goal is to inform and educate politicians,who are the ultimate decision makers. The educational process was planned, deliberate,and very important to the BBCC.We had a policy, right from the start, that when we realized thatBoundary Bay was worth saving, we then felt that to mobilize everybodyand get people interested, they've got to realize what was there. So wethought the first step was education, because they're not keen to savesomething unless they appreciate it. So we did make a conscious effort toplot out a route, way back in '88. We were going to start by educatingpeople as to what was there. We thought this should be our first step, aplanned education scheme. (3:1)The Media as a Source of Information The media, in this study, refers to radio, television, and printed channels throughwhich information is disseminated into the wider community. Although at first it appearsto be a one-way flow of information from the media to the public, there is considerableopportunity for active participation through Letters to the Editor, and live phone-inradio and television programmes hosting politicians who will talk with callers. Oftenlocal radio and television stations will offer community action group members theopportunity to participate in discussions or interviews either in the studio or on location,and to present their own videos. However, phone-in programmes sometimes generatesuch heat that people stop listening because, as one respondent remarked,I don't listen to the radio shows, I find that 1 have a low boiling pointand 1 get so worked up that I can only take a little! (4:7)102Like everyone else wanting media coverage, community action groups also use pressreleases and photo-opportunities whenever possible, which helps to keep their cause inthe news and in the minds of the community. Media information propagated bycommunity action groups is aimed in two directions at once; both at providinginformation for the general public, and also as a means of informing and applyingpressure to politicians to take notice of community wishes and feelings.Community television. Local community television played a large part in thedissemination of information throughout the area. Everyone interviewed said theywatched it avidly at the time of the controversial public hearings during the summer of1989, to learn, to monitor, or even to judge how long it might be before they had to getto Council chambers in persons to present their submissions. Everyone had been given anumber, but no idea of time or date when they might be called upon to speak. Becausethe length of the hearings varied daily, it was impossible to tell when you might berequired to speak, and since most people lived a reasonably short driving distance fromCity Hall, it became essential to watch the televised proceedings carefully.It became routine for many that summer to come home from work, grab supper,and either get to the hearings in person, or watch them on television at home for theremainder of the evening. Several respondents had indicated how much time this tookup, and how summer that year went by in a blur for many who were watching the dailydrama. The director of the community television station indicated that, unobtrusively, itwas possible to estimate a high daily viewership of the local channel since much of theconversation in and around Tsawwassen at that time was about they way council hadacted the night before at the hearings, and what had been learned from the most recentsubmissions. It was therefore assumed that people were indeed watching the communitychannel at that time rather than any of the many other channels available to them. Hesaid,We don't do surveys, but after a while you get a pretty good idea whowatches. We could have everybody watch the channel and nobody callsnext day, so you don't know they're even there. One of the most comicalthings the manager here said to me, he said he was driving home one103night through Tsawwassen when the hearings were on, and he said thateverybody was off the street. 'Nobody was shopping, no cars werearound, I couldn't figure it out. I looked around and hardly anybodywas out, and it was a time when most people would be driving home,seven o'clock (in the evening), and everybody was off the streets.' Andthen, he said, it finally dawned on him that everybody was homewatching community television, and that's when the hearings were on. Ithought that was funny, because that's when you've reached the ultimatein community tv, where everybody in the community was watching. (7:5)And the editor of the local newspaper, which has offices next door to the televisionstation said:Give cable tv full credit, they broadcast gavel-to-gavel municipalcouncil and the public hearings, and I think that was as big aneducation process as anything for anybody who wanted to sit there andwatch, because there were some terrific submissions made. People reallydid their homework. I think it (the hearings) started in May and ended inmaybe July—it was the longest hearings in Canadian history. So theywent on and on and on, and became very much an educationalprogramme, and very much the issue in town. (8:5)This, in turn, led to people doing their own research to verify what was being said, andto follow the hearings throughout the summer. Because of the intense interest in thematter people were even choosing to stay in and watch what was happening ontelevision rather than participate in the many outdoor activities which normally make upa west coast summer social life. As the newspaper editor said, televising the hearings wascertainly one of the most important means of education. Without the educational effectof local television the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee would have had a greatdeal more hard work to do.The controversial nature of the events did much to stir people into action. As thefounding chairperson of the BBCC noted:Certainly some of the most astonishing behaviour on the part of thepoliticians had left some large impressions on much of the electorate, Ithink. Things like cutting off debate, and some of the council meetings,certainly they were often well attended and they were disseminated onthe cable tv and were watched closely by people at home. And peoplewere getting transcripts and responding to the comments of thepoliticians, and some politicians were flip-flopping on issues and doingabout-turns and this sort of thing, so certainly they were very muchexposed to the community and were closely scrutinized by a portion ofthe community, and then those people would voice their opinions in104ways that would be again disseminated throughout the community. Lotsof letters to the editor, tons of them, talk show commentary, phone callsinto the talk shows ... (1:6)Of the many awareness-raising strategies used in the community generally, televisinghearings certainly became a major factors in informing and educating the population.Like the editorial policy of the newspaper, the television station does try tomaintain a balanced presentation on both sides of an issue, but unlike the newspaper, itdoes not edit or interpret events, it simply acts as a mirror reflecting back exactly what ishappening. The Director of the community television station explained thatWhat we do is facilitate awareness through the community channel tolook at issues from both sides. It often happens that the people who areagainst any particular thing get the most press, because they take themost interest in the particular subject. If you're for something, you'regenerally not as keen to get involved as if you're against something.(7:1)The fact that those in favour do not make themselves publicly visible was mentioned byseveral respondents, and is, perhaps, something of which people supporting an issueshould be more aware. If they do not make their opinions as well known to the public asthose against the issue their viewpoint does not become the focal point of conversation,few hear about it, and the majority view swings toward that aspect of the issue which isapparently held by 'everybody'. This is a manifestation of the phenomenon thatlearning is a function of the social milieu in which one lives and interacts. (Jarvis, 1986)Community television is widely watched and sees itself as an important method ofdisseminating information. Like most newspapers, it tries to remain fairly objective in itspresentation of matters of interest. The director said:We realize that people look at the community channel as a vehicle forthe community to use, and to disseminate the information the communityis looking for, so we try to keep that in mind, because the communityperceives us to be as unbiased as possible. We don't want people tothink that we are for or against something. And that, I think, is the casefor most broadcast facilities, they try even in the editorials, to do oneside and then the other, they try to balance. (7:1)105Dissemination of information by television is one of the multi-faceted ways of appealingto individual learning styles, and it is essential to use this medium to its best potential ifmaximum learning opportunities are to be created. The director is very aware of this andmentioned thatWe try to present programmes in a visual manner. Television is a visualmedium, and the worst type of television is to sit in the studios anddiscuss it. You constantly try to stay away from that so you are making asvisual a presentation as possible. Information is very beneficial, youcan't help but enlighten the voters, who perhaps may not know enoughabout an issue to vote intelligently. So that's where communitytelevision comes in, where we show the whole thing and we don'teditorialize and we don't edit, and viewers can make up their own minds.(7:2)However, representing all sides and presenting many points of view in an effort to be fairand unbiased can also be thoroughly confusing. Convincing arguments from both sidesof the issue are not always as helpful as they might appear at first.It's good to hear from the experts, but it seems that they're all experts inone area or another, and you don't know who to believe now! (7:7)Acknowledging the value of his community television station he addedIt wasn't just chit-chat. People aren't wasting their time if they watch.They're not hearing people who don't know what they're talking about.(7:9)The print media. Often a community action group will create media events, photo-opportunities, or give the press ready-prepared news releases with accurate information.However, these news releases almost always get edited, either to meet spacerequirements or editorial policy, and the usual comment to be heard from those whohave had experience with giving information to newspapers this way is that editing mayremove a vital word or sentence, or just slightly alter the punctuation, which can changemeaning of the whole message.An important action to be take when wishing to bring an issue to prominence isto convince reporters and journalists from all aspects of the media that there is somethingworth taking an interest in because it is newsworthy, and of interest to the community at106large. If they can be so persuaded they may be amenable to reporting issue-orientedevents, and announcing upcoming meetings and other events as they are planned.Without media help, it would be very difficult to generate the widespread publicitynecessary to create a groundswell of opinion. There are other effective ways of passingthe word around, but in this information age where mass markets can be reached veryeasily, efficient use of facilities offered by widespread broadcasting of information, isvery important.The effect of disseminating information in the newspaper can trigger almostinstant reactions. The community's response to a newspaper article was discussed by amember of the Conservation Committee.There were some very serious problems, it appeared, in the wholefinances of Delta that showed that we're not gaining anything by havingall this development, it's not making us better off, which is the line that'sbeen fed to us. The local newspaper did an article on that, because thefindings were presented to council and the newspaper had a reporterthere. And then you started to see the letters to the editor coming in.`What, the developers are not paying their way?'. That one rattled a fewbars! (3:14)Then the dialogue in the papers started as the letters to the editor came pouring in. Eventhough the pro-development and pro-environment factions sometimes found it difficultto talk face-to-face, communication between the two took place through the lettercolumns of the local newspapers, at times quite heatedly. This all fueled the discussionwhich was occurring throughout the community, as people consolidated their views orobtained new information to consider.Critical thinking. Because, in general, the people living in the area have beenused to searching out and receiving a great deal of information in the course of theircareers they tend to have developed sharp critical thinking abilities. Many people add towhat they have heard or seen in the various information arenas by doing their ownresearch to confirm or deny information already received from other sources, to add to it,or shed light on it. They are not prepared, for the most part, to take everything withoutquestion. Even the experts' briefs and submissions presented to council were not107beyond investigation since, knowing the way politics works in British Columbia, peoplewere cynical enough to suspect that not all was always what it seemed to be. A memberof the Committee who did a great deal of the research for their campaign felt that theywere hardly on a level playing field becauseThe people on the other side were getting paid to do so-calledenvironmental assessments, and we feel they were doing a very shabby,incomplete, nasty job of it, and they were getting paid a lot of money tocome up with wrong conclusions deliberately. And what we (the BBCC)had to do more than anything was get our experts to critique thesephony environmental assessments and prove them incorrect andincompetent. (2:7)However, proving the opposition wrong does not necessarily mean that you are righteither, so people got enveloped in an information jungle that needed a great deal ofcritical thinking to sort out. She continued that... the whole movement in our society is to start questioning the garbagethat we're given from the so-called government experts. So you'reraising people's critical awareness, it's part of the movement, definitely.(2:7)Although not overtly stated by all respondents that they went to some lengths to verifyfor themselves everything they heard or saw concerning the issue, it seemed to underlietheir passion for learning as much about the matter as possible in their own individualways. They took their duties as citizens very seriously, deeming it to be entirely in theirown interests to be as well informed as possible in order to make a reasonably unbiaseddecision based on their findings. One respondent from the general public did put it intowords, stating thatIn reading the newspapers and listening to what was being said, Ijudged everything on its merits and asked questions all the time,weighing the evidence as to whether or not what I was reading orhearing was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, anddoing my own research on the matter before deciding what I felt about itand what I believed or disbelieved about the presentation. (16:1)Casual conversation. One of the main channels of communication for bothteaching and learning is conversation in one form or another. Casual conversationbetween friends and neighbours conveys much valuable information, can create, affirm108or change opinions and viewpoints, can enlighten or confuse, begin, maintain or killrumours, and in a buzz-word of the '90s, is what 'networking' is all about.Conversation enables an individual to get to know facts, to try to sort out true fromfalse, and make contact with others who share similar thoughts and opinions. Talkingwith others about one's own point of view often acts to confirm and consolidate one'sbelief in that viewpoint, and thus is a very valuable tool by which the individual will notonly try to convince the person with whom they are conversing, but will be confirmingto themselves the correctness of their belief at the same time. In this way new beliefsbecome entrenched, and old beliefs become stronger. Casual conversation is one of themost common means by which learning takes place in daily life, and its place andimportance in the educational scheme of things cannot be ignored.People in Tsawwassen learned a great deal this way, through contact with friendsand neighbours, and through the rumour mill. In any community news travels fast alongthe unofficial network, the 'grapevine', and on the whole it has been found thatalthough things may get exaggerated along the way, basically the informationtransmitted along this route has a considerable degree of truth in it, rather than beingpure gossip or unsubstantiated rumour (Collins, 1982; Zaremba, 1988).Newcomers were welcomed to the neighbourhood, and almost immediatelyinitiated into the local controversial issues.We noticed how efficient the networks were from the very first day thatwe moved out here from Vancouver. We found in Vancouver peopledidn't get to know each other. But we'd barely moved in here but theneighbours were welcoming us one way and the other. We'd only beenhere a day when a neighbour came over to get us on side about a roadissue right here. (9:4)Because the development and golf course issues were, it seemed, almost the only topicof conversation in a large segment of the community at one time, recent arrivals saidOur attention was drawn to it, 1 guess, by the fact that we live rightbeside the point at issue, it's right in our back yard. And it's also anissue that's felt very strongly in this community, so that you can hardlyhelp but hear about it, in one format or another, from the neighbours.(9:1)109People did not have to know each other, or even be acquainted, to find themselvesembroiled in a conversation about the issue. A Committee member observed thatThe developer's intended actions have been a subject of discussion inthe community all the time. But nobody really knows what he's going todo, so rumours abound on that one. You could just bump into anyone inthe supermarket and discuss that, you didn't have to know anybody verywell. (3:9)Casual conversation may not always make a big impact on people, but may start theprocess of awareness-raising by what Jarvis (1987b) calls pre-conscious learning. Thismember of the general public admittedI'm very vocal, I can't be quiet when I believe in something. And everytime you had a chance you got on your soapbox. Even my family, whoare not that keen, they don't really want to get involved. I think you justmake small inroads, you plant the seed in their minds, and I think, maybenot major, but it gets them thinking. (4:9)The importance of conversation and contact with neighbours was stressed by amember of the general public who lived in a very close-knit area of Ladner, a small towna few miles away from Tsawwassen. Although it was not in the centre of the action, thepeople there 'kept tabs' on things, finding out through their own tight network all thatwas necessary to be well informed. When asked how he heard about what was going onthis respondent said:We look at the paper, but it's the sort of thing that people do talk aboutaround here. A lot of people, they grew up together, they know eachother. My wife grew up here, so she knows what's going on in thegeneral area. They tend to know what's going on, and they talk aboutthings. My sister-in-law is friends with the former Mayor's wife, see. It'squite a close-knit community, and they know about things even if it's notin the paper. They talk about stuff ... (10:1)In an attempt to draw out more information on this networking, which was verydifferent from the way things appeared to work in Tsawwassen, because the two areasare demographically quite different, the respondent was asked how the people in hisimmediate circles were keeping tabs on things.Hmm, he replied, Here it wasn't so much that you had people activelygetting out, but we just make a point of finding out what was going on,and then tell each other, and things like this. You'd phone somebody110who'd been to the council hearings, or knew someone who'd been tothem, or watch it on tv. Watching television beat trying to get into thehearings, because they were so overcrowded you needed a crowbar toget in! (10:6)Because the development issue got so much prominence in the local newspapers and oncommunity television for so long, and mattered so much to so many people, conversationwas mentioned by most respondents as one of the main conduits of informationdissemination and diffusion. The learning associated with such unplanned, unsystematicsharing of knowledge is entirely incidental and informal, but played a very large part inachieving the ultimate outcome, which was education of politicians as to the wishes ofthe community they were elected to represent.Evidence of Raised Awareness Amongst the General Public Several respondents remarked on the fact that they observed subtle changes inthe activities of the general public which indicated that perhaps awareness was beingraised, that people were taking a personal interest in the matter and wanted toexperience things first-hand for themselves, or were pro-active in reaching for furtherinformation. People were asking for transcripts of the public hearings, so they could re-read for themselves what was presented at the latest session. Others were walking alongthe dykes where they had never been before, even though they may have lived in thearea for years. This would enable them to see the vast numbers of wintering wildfowlwhich inhabit the area for almost six months of the year. They went on mud-walks andowling expeditions organized by some of the action groups. It was important to getpeople to care what happened to these irreplaceable habitats. One of the Boundary BayConservation Committee felt thatA lot of people didn't believe there were too many birds there. But on theother hand we've noticed an increase in the number of people using thedyke and walking along—we feel there has been an increase just overthis whole period of time that people are getting educated. There's a lotmore articles in the newspaper about it. (3:9)111Another way that the core group could tell that at least people had paid attentionto the media, whether or not they had actually learned anything, was the number oftimes they heard remarks such as "I saw your name in the newspaper again", or "I sawyou on the television last night." As one member of the BBCC said,many people sat up and took notice when they saw mention of a localname in the newspaper. (5:1)Another observed thatI quite often get comments just from people that I don't see regularly onthe conservation circuit — `noticed your name in the newspaper quite alot.' See, they know that things are going on, and they'll ask how it'sgoing, and they'll give us their support. (3:8)The director of the community television station commented on the number of callerswho would phone in during an open-line discussion with local, provincial or federalpoliticians—another form of evidence that people were watching. If they were watchingintently enough to cause them to call in, they were probably learning something.Education of the Politicians The ultimate goal of any community action group education and informationcampaign is to educate the community generally so they may in turn educate andpressure politicians to make decisions acceptable to the electorate. Community actiongroup members raise awareness within the general public in order that strength innumbers can be achieved, for it is this sort of strength to which politicians respond.Once more it is to some extent appealing to vested interests. Politicians have apersonal vested interest in staying in power, but they will only stay there if people votefor them, and people will only vote for them if they feel they are getting fairrepresentation. As happens with confrontational democracy, pressure has to be broughtto bear by lobbying, through various forms of media, and from individual letter-writingcampaigns, amongst other things. Education of politicians is a two-step process for thecommunity. Those wishing to inform and educate politicians need to learn both what it112is the politicians need to know, and how to deal successfully with the surroundingbureaucracy.There are the direct channels of access to politicians through radio and televisionphone-in shows in which they participate, or through personal meetings anddiscussions. But making appointments to meet can in itself be a learning process forthose trying to make the initial contact. There are many gatekeepers to go through andbarriers to overcome, and it takes persistence and patience to learn the rules. Thisexample was given by one of the founding members of the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee.We learned very quickly that if you submit something to the staff at CityHall many times, depending on their whim or opinion, it may or may notmake it to the Mayor, let alone to the council. And similarly, if youaddress a letter to the Mayor, more likely than not it won't make it intothe councillors' packages of information, you have to address it to theMayor and council, because that's in fact who you want to address.(1:9)Oftenthe only way you're going to get the political will is for people to do alot of yelling and screaming (2:11)so community action groups arrange for that to happen too, and is a strategy now usedto attract attention to many community causes. The referendum organized inTsawwassen was a very successful way of informing the politicians that the silentmajority which they had assumed must be out there somewhere, and would be on theirside, did not in fact exist. Sometimes messages are purveyed indirectly for one politically-astute former Committee member put in words what many activists know almost byinstinct, thatif an issue gets media attention, the bureaucracy start taking someaction towards solving the problem at hand. (5:3)That is, the yelling and screaming takes place consistently, but more quietly, throughnewspaper, radio and television messages which will reach politicians and public alike.113It is also important for the general public to learn such mundane things as how towrite the letters which will gain attention. As one former member of the committee foundout:It is good to know how to write and present things to ministers, theformat, style and so on, so they stop to read your presentation or giveyou access to talk with them. You have to learn of any stumbling blockswhich might prevent access to a particular minister. Prime their stafffirst, and then they will have the information you want them to get! ...Ministers often pay more attention to handwritten 'salt-of-the-earth'letters rather than sophisticated computer productions or mass-produced postcards which only need a signature. (5:4)Intervening Factors Several factors happened to exist at the time which may have had some impact onthe awareness raising process under discussion. None of them could be deliberately re-created, they were all circumstantial, but they nevertheless have been pointed outconsistently throughout data collection, overtly or covertly.Coalition with other groups.  Strength lies in numbers, and although BoundaryBay and surrounding townships had many people interested in preserving the localenvironment, they belonged initially to a variety of interest groups, each with their ownreasons why the development project should be stopped. It was soon acknowledgedthat linking all the groups together would have greater effect in order to pool expertiseand knowledge and work together towards the same goal. One member of the newly-formed Boundary Bay Conservation Committee suggested thatThe first thing was to bring all the groups together, and even thoughthey may have had some differences and a little bit of a different agenda,say let's work together, and do something about these threats whichwere coming to the Bay. So I tried to find out all the names of the groupsand tried to put out a Christmas card in Delta from all the groups. Therewere very great silences at the end of the phone, so I said I'd show themthe card and ask them if they'd like their name on it. Fine if you don't,there's no strings attached to this. It was very difficult for peoplebecause there'd been a history of different groups, and when electionscome, groups split and that kind of thing. So the end result was that wedid put out a card. We sent it out to all of Delta, the populationgenerally. It went out to a lot of people. It was from all the groups andthe big thing here was to get all these groups to agree to have theirnames together. (2:2)114Many local residents belonged to several groups, so it was important to pool resourcesby the formation of a coalition, instead of fragmenting them as each small group tried tosolve the common problem independently.Community cohesion. Geographically, Tsawwassen is separate from itsneighbouring towns and cities because of its location on a peninsula. It seems that itsrural atmosphere, self-contained nature, and a slower pace of life than is found in nearbyVancouver, add up to community cohesion and neighbourliness which the residents findnot only attractive, but essential in times of conflict. The newspaper editor thought thatas much as anything it was a coalition of a variety of interests, and verybright and articulate people who were opposed to this who weren'tafraid to do their homework and get the issues on the table and preventthe development from going through as it was constituted, so it wasactually quite an amazing coming together of the community. Probablythat was the catalytic factor which you don't normally see unless you'vegot a really big issue. (8:6)One of the newer residents observed:It's very much a friendly community. We've been here four years, andjust about everybody knows each other. It's not that they're nosing in oneach other, but it's just that it's a small community, and you hear what'sgoing on. You certainly hear it from the neighbours... Even when thecity fathers tried to tell us what was good for us they didn't take intoaccount that it's a small community, and it makes a heck of a differencethat they sure didn't reckon with! (9:3)Another respondent, who moved to the area from Europe over 20 years ago, wasprompted to remark thatBecause the area is still small and self-contained there is the nearestthing to a European village feel to it, and in adversity everybody closesranks and pulls together, while if everything's going well, the placeremains a bunch of individuals going about their everyday business.(15:1)Several other people also commented on the European-like atmosphere of thecommunity, which added to its appeal.The time is right. Steady growth of the environmental movement in recent yearshas brought out the need to consider the good of the commons as well as the good of115the individual in situations like the one at Boundary Bay. If people feel their commonenvironment is under assault, even if their personal surroundings are not in immediatedanger, a vested interest in the future will encourage participation in action to removethe perceived threat. Once a social trend has gained momentum, individuals tend tosubscribe to the new attitude because 'everyone else does'. We are presently movingout of the industrial age, where nature was to be tamed and exploited for the benefit ofmankind, into the post-modern technological era, where an interest in environmentalethics, ecological economics, and sustainable development are coming to the fore,bringing with them a less anthropocentric attitude towards the world in which we live.At first the development issue and the request for 18 new golf courses in the areato be built on wetland "which was no good to anyone until you drain it and dosomething with it" was only seen in terms of an increase in population density, the lossof valuable farmland, the probable social problems caused by a rapid influx ofnewcomers and the inconvenience of an over-burdened infrastructure. But then onespeaker presented a brief to council putting forward the environmental argument,followed by another the next day.When the hearings began they started with the main points that hadbeen trotted out before, traffic, housing, too large a population, but theenvironment hadn't really been mentioned as a consideration. 1 putforward the whole environmental question on behalf of our committee,and one of the radio reporters there called me out afterwards and said`this is a new viewpoint, this isn't an angle we've had on this issuebefore'. (3:3)and with that a whole new approach was taken to the matter, which proved to be verysuccessful. The newspaper editor observed thatRather than being environmental on the fringe, it became the forefront,with everybody saying it was very important, and that was alwaysrepeated. Do we need another 10,000 or whatever homes, and what doesit do in terms of water quality, and what does it do in terms of thewaterfowl going through Boundary Bay every winter, and what does itmean for the lost habitat in the Fraser River. So these all became majorissues. (8:6)116Once these concerns came to light many people realized that, deep down, they knewthese things mattered, but as is often the case with tacit knowledge, you do not knowthat you know it until someone brings it to the surface. This concern for theenvironment became the theme of a Christmas card sent out by the Boundary BayConservation Committee on behalf of its member groups which depicted a sunset shotof Boundary Bay and Tsawwassen, "Home of 18,000 people and 1,250,000 birds."SummaryThe raw data obtained through interviews with members of the core group of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee, their supporters, and interested people from thegeneral public set the scene in which the action occurred. It shows that there was asignificant amount of self-learning taking place, encouraged by the efforts of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee which, as part of its mandate, attempted notonly to inform the community about the contentious issues, but to educate at the sametime in order to increase individual knowledge and awareness of the holistic nature ofthe problem. This desire on the part of the action group to stimulate self-learning wasalso aimed at generating ongoing individual lifelong interest in the environment and itsmany components, with the ultimate aim of creating a more caring society in the future.The data illustrate how individual awareness is first aroused, and is built upon bythe many learning opportunities which were, and still are, available within thatcommunity. It is also shown how informal learning takes place by appealing tocognitive, affective and skills learning domains, and how important emotions and vestedinterests can be as motivators. Much is learned informally and incidentally, some ofwhich may be self-generated personal enrichment. This may then create vested interests,motivating people to become active to achieve the eventual outcome consistent withpreserving that interest.Not every educational strategy planned and carried out by the Boundary BayConservation Committee was equally effective. Some specific activities appealed more117to one segment of the community than another, so learning opportunities were createdin a wide variety of formats, times and places in order to reach the widest possibleaudience. Whether or not the audience responded depended on many variables, whichthe data tried to elicit by interviewing those who partook of different learningopportunities as well as those who planned and promoted them.The data also show the importance of the media and the effect they have inpromoting awareness. If something is always headline news, or a considerable part ofmedia output it will almost automatically gain prominence in the minds of thecommunity, whereas if the media decide not to include the matter in their particularforum it may not ever reach high community profile. It can be seen from talking withmembers of the community that the media play a very important part in informing andeducating, but at the same time the reader, viewer or listener must exercise judgment asto the validity of what is being read, seen or heard.Lifestyles also dictate how information is received and remembered. When manypeople are involved in an ever-increasing pace of life, community action groups must bevery aware of how to reach people with a message that will be retained. For this reason,too, learning opportunities must be multi-faceted and repeated many times in manyplaces.The literature suggests that persuasive communication and social marketing areimportant agents in raising awareness, and although these aspects are notacknowledged by those names, it appears from the data that community group activistsare in fact aware of them and using them, albeit sometimes unknowingly. These are alsomatters that are learned experientially, through being an active member of a core group,since a great deal of peripheral learning takes place in order to get the job donesuccessfully.It can thus be seen that informal learning takes place in many ways and in manyareas, not only regarding the issue in debate, but how to reach the public, how to reachpoliticians, and how the system works in order to be able to put the planned educational118strategies into action. The fact that the development issue became a major topic ofconversation and discussion in the area for a considerable time indicates the extent towhich learning did in fact occur.119CHAPTER 5DISCUSSIONRaising public awareness of an issue requires a deliberate attempt to educate thepublic by a core group, whether it be a community action group concerned with a socialissue, or a government concerned with a constitutional one. The problem is still thesame—how to ensure that carefully planned learning opportunities, created to encouragean amorphous public to become better informed, successfully reach their target. Theinstructional process is intentional, but the learning resulting from it is oftenunintentional and unpredictable.This unpredictability of outcome separates learning from education, in thateducational outcomes are usually reasonably predictable as the target audience, thestudents, are present in educational situations primarily for the purposes of gainingknowledge. In community settings, however, learning opportunities may be created andpresented, but the potential learners may not participate, and if they do, the intention togain information may not be their prime purpose for attending. Some knowledgeacquired through being part of a community is what Fensham (1992) classifies as`commonsense knowledge'—knowledge which is taken for granted, seemingly obvious,and assumed that everyone else must surely know it too.To ascertain what it was that people learned, and how they learned it, interviewswere conducted firstly with members of the community action core group who createdthe learning opportunities, in order to find out what sources of information wereavailable to the general public, and then members of that public were interviewed todiscover which of the learning opportunities had impacted them, and why.Non-formal events such as Open House presentations, town hall meetings, forumsand debates, provided situations where both learning and teaching were intentional.Presenters and public alike attend to exchange ideas and information and to learn fromone another, and are usually there more for the business aspect of the meeting than tosocialize. By contrast, many types of informal learning opportunities were arranged to120encourage participation by a wide variety of people, interested not only in finding outabout their surroundings and having fun while doing so, but perhaps participating morefor the social aspect of being with friends in pleasant surroundings than for the primarypurpose of learning. A third type of learning to be found in such community settings isincidental learning, described by Rossing (1991, p. 47) as "resulting from transactions innatural settings where the primary intent of the transaction is to accomplish the task, notto learn. Such learning may be intentional, but often is not." Pre-conscious learning mayalso result, which is a term Jarvis (1987, p. 31) uses to describe "a form of learning thatoccurs to every person as a result of having experiences in daily living that are not reallythought about, but merely experienced." This is what Fensham (1992, p. 17) calls"common sense knowledge," that is, "knowledge to be experienced, not described inwords." These forms of knowledge may have a particularly profound effect on creatingvested interests, and Finger, (1989b) speaks of the importance of sensory perceptions ofchildhood and the desire to be able to return to or recreate those situations in later life.Although not overtly stated by members of the community action group whendiscussing educational strategies planned to raise the profile of the problem, these manyaspects of learning underlay events and opportunities presented to the public at thetime. Table 2 summarizes settings, learning opportunities, and possible outcomes of thevarious types of projects undertaken by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committeeduring the period covered by this research.Profile of the Community as Participants in the Action The community studied appeared to divide into four sections which are similar to,but not the same as, those described by Houle (in Selman, 1990b) and Martin (1988)(Fig. 4). In this instance those four sections were firstly the core members of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee who first saw the need to raise awarenesswithin the community of a possible loss of natural environment in the face ofdevelopment. This core group was supported in their efforts by the second segment,121consisting of active members, volunteers and other participants, who gave of their time,expertise and money to help spread the message throughout the community that therewas a possible threat to be averted. A third section of the population was interested inwhat was going on, concerned, and involved in self-learning in order to reach aninformed opinion, but was not actively engaged in creating learning opportunities orparticipating in the action directly. These people make up quite a large proportion of thecommunity, but it is difficult to ascertain how much since they are the readers ofnewspapers and viewers of community television who do not write letters to the editoror call in to the television station. They may attend community events and meetings, butdo not leave their names on mailing lists, or make themselves known in any way. Thus inthis study they are referred to as `lurkers', a term used in computing referring to thosewho read newsgroups but do not participate actively or identifiably. The last segment ofthe studied community are referred to as 'non-participants,' those people who for somereason do not hear about the issue, or do not have an opinion one way or the other.Again it is difficult to tell just how large a group this might be, for like the lurkers, theydo not identify themselves in any way.Outside the four main community groups are the politicians, who are the ultimatetarget audience for the community information, learning and education that occurs. Thecore group and supporters try to educate and inform the politicians directly throughmeetings, submissions and presentations, and indirectly through the media, and pressurefrom the general public. The dynamics of these communication patterns are shown inFig. 2.Role of Unplanned Events At the same time as many planned learning opportunities and events were beingorganized by the core group, there were, as has been discussed in the previous chapteron Research Findings, other occurrences within the community which also becameeducational and from which much was learned, causing the issue to become very highprofile through means over which the community had no control. In this instance it was122the long public hearings and actions of the municipal council which drew muchattention to the matter, causing it to become a major topic of conversation for many inthe community.Although the core group could capitalize on the way things happened, it was themedia which disseminated this information and made it accessible to the community atlarge, thus playing as large a part in the educational process as the organized efforts ofthe Boundary Bay Conservation Committee. The core group, the general public and thepoliticians were all learning the same thing at the same time, mainly from media sources,the dynamics of which are illustrated in Fig. 3. This shows that the patterns ofinformation flow through the community are very different as a result of the two distinctsources of learning. In the planned events sources of learning emanate from core groupactivities, whereas in unplanned events the main source of information is the media.Factors Affecting Communication FlowFrom the Community Action GroupThere are a great many uncontrollable factors impinging on the ability of a coregroup to communicate successfully and consistently with the media and the public atlarge (see Table 4). The size of the core group of activists is important, since too fewmembers will result in an overload of work to be done by each, leaving little time to doall that may be necessary to ensure wide and constant dissemination of information.Some social issues may be very specific, attracting only a small group of workers whoare prepared to put the necessary time and energy into the matter. In other communitiesthere is a limited population from which to draw, probably resulting in the same peoplebeing involved in many roles. Few people can give unlimited time and energy to anyone cause, and thus it becomes essential for success to spread the load between as largea number of committed workers as possible, constantly recruiting new members to thecore group who will replace those who have to drop out for one reason or another.123Another necessity for success is the availability of resources which can beconsulted when necessary. Initially core group members must familiarize themselves withsuch resources, knowing who, what or where they are, how they can be accessed, andhow they can best be used as educational tools in the campaign. This knowledge mustalso be kept current, and becomes part of the self-directed learning or peer-learning inwhich core group members must constantly engage in order to keep on top of thesituation and be in the best position to help others learn.In the case of the proposed housing development and golf courses at BoundaryBay, there were many small, independent action groups which sprang up to defendparticular interests, such as the Homeowners Association, the Great Blue Heron Society,the Fraser Wetlands Habitat Committee and others. These groups were all drawing onthe same small population for members, were all concerned in their own way for thehealth and welfare of the same area, and in many cases were duplicating their effortswithout being aware of it. Forming a coalition, which became the Boundary BayConservation Committee, gave all these small groups a forum for sharing concerns,knowledge, resources and members, creating a strong working group which could drawattention to itself, and to the issues it was trying to promote, gaining credibility throughits actions. Situations conducive to forming such coalitions do not always exist. Somecommunity action groups spring up to defend one particular concern, and there are few,if any, other groups forming around the same nucleus, and thus the work which must bedone both to attain the goal and to achieve credibility is much greater in terms ofdemands on the core group involved.In order for communications to be successful, a community action group must beable to 'read the mood' or the feelings, of the community in which they are working.This is important if messages are to be meaningful to listeners, gaining their attention andsupport. It is very much an uphill battle if the community as a whole is not particularlyupset about a problem around which the action group is working, and the effort maysoon fade for lack of support. Not only must the community share the action group's124concern, but the general social climate must also be conducive to whatever action isplanned. Some groups fail initially because the time is just not 'right', those who areahead of their time must give the rest of the community time to catch up before trying toraise the issue again. Much depends on the critical mass of support available in the firstinstance.Finally, any action group must be credible in the eyes of the community it istrying to reach. It must not be so radical that it fails to attract mainstream members, and itmust work within the currently acceptable limits of the society of which it is a part. Oncethe general public feel they can trust an action group to act in their best interests theywill provide support in many ways, and the action group in turn has the benefit of beingable to make whatever moves are necessary within those limitations. Eventually, peoplewill begin turning to such action groups to seek help for similar concerns, since groupswith experience of working on an issue over a period of time have themselves become aresource for others. One member of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee recalledthatI had a phone call from somebody I know who was phoning on behalf ofhis brother-in-law who was trying to fight Barnston Island golf course,and wanted to know how to set about it. So I told him to start with publiceducation, get people wanting to save it, and then just hope that that'llmultiply to have the effect, plus, at the same time you've got to do yourpolitical lobbying, and write your letters, and get your facts. (3:4)From the MediaWith regard to media dissemination of information on events planned by thecommunity action group, there are many variables which affect whether or not aparticular event gets column space or air time. A few of these can be controlled to someextent by those who initiate the information, but many cannot. Some cannot even becontrolled by the media themselves, as plans may be pre-empted by unforeseencircumstances.125One of the main concerns of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, and itseems to be a concern shared by others who generate press releases, is the way in whichthe media edit material they are given, or take extracts out of context, reducing theeffectiveness of the message. As well as trying to educate the community by using pressreleases as a channel of communication, members of the core group were equallyconcerned with educating media personnel individually, trying to determine how towrite press releases which would not get edited. If editing was necessary, then coregroup members were concerned that the media should know enough about the issue toedit without rendering messages ineffective before being published or aired. At the sametime, members of the media are concerned with column or air space available, politicalcorrectness, and providing a balanced viewpoint, and are thus reluctant to publish,verbatim, any press release they receive. According to the present publisher of the localnewspaperNews releases are good to have. Sometimes they are a little self-serving.We edit them—we might get news releases from businesses orenvironmentalist groups which you wouldn't run verbatim. If they're inthe news pages they're supposed to be balanced. (8:3)Editorial policy also dictates what is published and what is not. As was seen inthis case study, the original local paper in the area was at that time owned and run by adeveloper who would not report on the public hearings and did not accept pressreleases or letters from those who opposed his stance. That was one of the factors whichangered the community and became a motivator for developing pro-environmentsentiments. The other newspaper which started operations during that period adoptedmore of an environmental editorial policy, although they tried to maintain balance intheir reporting and in their Letters to the Editor column.Initially, when the hearings were going, and the vast majority (of thecommunity) were opposed to the development, the bulk of the letters wegot were in opposition to the development. So we didn't run all ofthem—some of them were submissions which had been made to the publichearing, c.c. to the newspaper, and they went on and on and on—so wedidn't run those. But we made a point of running any letter that we evergot in support of the project. The vast preponderance of those that camein were opposed, so those were edited down or not run. Anything that126came in supporting the project we ran. There weren't that many, but itwas fair to put the other viewpoint. (8:5)There were other instances where availability of staff played a role in whether ornot some important piece of information was reported. Local media are quite limited intheir personnel, and may not be able to provide coverage of events which thecommunity action group was staging. Not only were planned events sometimes notreported as hoped, but serendipity also played a part on what was reported at the publichearings which were such a large part of local life at the time. A member of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee reported thatThe environment hadn't really been mentioned (at the hearings) as aconsideration. People weren't thinking of it in terms of the environmentand Boundary Bay, they were thinking of it in terms of houses. ... Thefirst person to speak on the environment was something like the lastspeaker on the second night, and he was the first one to start listing outthat this was a good area for birds, and part of the Boundary Bayecosystem. But 1 spoke earlier on in the evening on the third day, andeven things like that are crucial in terms of media coverage. The firstspeaker (on the environment) was giving a really important speech, butit was late at night, 10.30 or whatever, so it wasn't covered in the mediabecause they'd all gone home. But I was lucky enough to be on at justafter 7p.m., so you had tv. coverage, and the reporters were there ... Infact one of the reporters called me out afterwards and said this is a newviewpoint, this isn't an angle we've had on this issue before. (3:3)For the media to have covered an event, received a letter to the editor, or beengiven a press release was still no guarantee that the information will be published oraired. As with the letters referred to earlier, those which were repetitious of others orunduly long were not considered for publication in view of space limitations. Anothercriterion by which articles and information are judged is their newsworthiness, appeal tothe target audience, and whether or not items will be obsolete by the date of publication.Local newspapers and community television are more likely to find space for matters oflimited interest to a wider audience, but provincial or national media have to be muchmore selective. Television stations may relegate local news to the late night edition, andowing to early printing deadlines, articles published in large-circulation magazines may127not appear for several months, by which time their immediate motivating effect is lost,and they become more a matter of benign general interest.From the General PublicMuch information is diffused through the community by way of socialconversation. When a matter becomes a common talking point it is discussed by manypeople in many places, even strangers engage in exchanges at bus stops, supermarkets,or anywhere else where casual contact occurs. It becomes the focal point of discussionaround the dinner table, at coffee break, whenever people gather at home or at work. Inthis way those who had not been previously drawn into the issue become cognizant ofit and aware of the feelings of those around them, until before long it is assumed that`everybody' knows about it, and is discussing it.Among the ways in which the general public shares knowledge is to initiatenewcomers to the district in matters of local importance. This occurred readily inTsawwassen, which was felt by residents to be a friendly neighbourhood, where peoplecared deeply about their personal and general environment. It seems in this instance thatalerting newcomers to a potential problem provided motivation to conduct personalresearch into the matter, initiating self-directed learning through enquiry andobservation. Having become more knowledgeable, people then converse with others onthe subject, confirming their own internal viewpoint in so doing while perhaps changingor strengthening the beliefs of their conversational partner at the same time.In any community there is also a conversational undercurrent flowing in the formof rumours via the 'grapevine'. Information diffused in this way is usuallyunsubstantiated, from sources which may or may not be acknowledged and probablycannot be verified. Nevertheless, knowledge shared this way is more often right thanwrong, and the efficiency of the grapevine should never be overlooked as a source ofinformation. "It is particularly important to understand the nuances of the informal128network because so much information travels along these non-prescribed channels"(Zaremba, 1988, p. 10).As knowledge of a subject grows, so attitudes, values and beliefs becomeadjusted in light of new information received. Many people in the area started withvalues favouring enhancement of the natural environment as it was at present ratherthan developing productive farm land and bird habitat for housing while there were stillareas elsewhere in the Lower Mainland which, if similarly developed, would involve lessdrastic impact on present conditions. The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee wastherefore promoting a message congruent with their beliefs, and found little, if anyopposition, as was evidenced by the result of the citizens' referendum, which resulted ina 94% poll against rapid development of the area.How Awareness was RaisedThere were six main findings, about how awareness was raised in this particularcase study, each of which will be discussed in turn.Getting People InvolvedThere is more than can be done by any one small group of people, no matter howenergetic or dedicated, when trying to persuade politicians or bureaucrats to alterunpopular decisions or adopt new ways of thinking. Decision-makers are no longer seenas paternalistic benefactors of community welfare, or even as putting the concerns andinterests of their constituents first when deciding on a course of action. For this reasoncitizens challenge unpopular decisions, or lobby for change which may be slow toarrive. Consequently hostility in the population today often replaces docility, and thuswe have seen the growth of citizens' action groups over the last thirty years.Politicians respond to pressure, and pressure comes from several sources. Onesource is numbers of constituents voicing dissatisfaction, and another is wide mediacoverage of unpopular decisions that have been made and the actions being taken bythe community to overturn them. Thus community action groups have learned that129gaining wide support throughout the population is essential to getting their messageheard and acted upon. The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee is no exception,educating and informing members of the community to become knowledgeable firstlyfor their own sakes, to encourage adopting or strengthening shared attitudes, values andbeliefs by which decisions should be guided, and secondly so those common attitudesand values could be transmitted en masse to the decision makers. Volume and numbersare important in making such appeals, and therefore actions which produce volumes ofnoise or numbers of letters are those which attract the attention of both the media andthe people in power. For each voice heard, or letter received, politicians assume thatthere are ten others who feel the same way but remain silent, and these numbersrepresent votes at the next election. If enough people represent a single point of viewtheir appeals have a greater chance of being heard by those who make decisions than ifonly a few people speak up.Thus getting the community involved is very important for the success of anygrass-roots movement. People in Boundary Bay were encouraged to become volunteersfor one of the many community groups which abounded in the area. They were asked tohelp with distribution of flyers, with participation in letter-writing campaigns, and withpublic speaking anywhere from town halls to shopping malls. Because the community inTsawwassen is fairly homogeneous and share many of the same values, it was notdifficult to enlist volunteers, who in turn persuaded their friends and neighbours tobecome involved also. As one respondent pointed out, in good times the communitygoes about its own business, each person an individual, while in times of need they closeranks and pull together towards a common aim. So when one person asks another tovolunteer help they are likely to get a positive response.Involving people not only serves the purpose of sharing the work load, but it alsomeans that the community issue is the centre of their attention and therefore importantto them, often leading them to self-directed or peer learning to find out more. It may also130lead to the creation of personal, or vested, interests in the final outcome if one does notalready exist. Martin, (1988, p. 210) states thatIt is generally thought that knowledge by itself would lead to changes inattitude and behaviour. Actually, it was knowledge in conjunction withsome sort of active involvement with the issues, discussions, personalcontact, participation in rallies, that swung many to believe in the cause.Armstrong & Davies (1977, p. 150) agree that helping to teach others is not necessarilythe only, or even the prime educational element of community action. They believe thatWhat is more important is participation, where the groups are actuallylearning through doing, picking up practical skills and knowledge intheir efforts to solve some of their more pressing problems. ... butsignificant changes are the ones that occur more profoundly in theminds of people. There is, then, a further educational process at work inthe idea of participation and this lies in the field of attitude change. ...Attitude changing, through a praxis based on felt needs and self-help, isthe bedrock of community development theory and certainly lies at theheart of community action.Maximize/Create Vested Interests Before people, as individuals, are prepared to put a great deal of time and energyinto a project, they must envisage some personal benefit accruing to them as a result.That is, there must be some intrinsic motivation to participate in any action. Extrinsicreasons for supporting a cause are not sufficient to maintain momentum over any lengthof time.The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee was formed, originally, by peoplewho were already concerned about either their own personal environment, or thegeneral environmental well-being of the area. They were already motivated to work forpreservation of wetland habitat, and the whole eco-system of which wetlands are only apart. Vested interests of other community groups lay in the prospect of increased traffic,slowing the daily commute to Vancouver even more than at present, the assumedincrease in crime and social problems which a rapid population explosion might bring, orthe need for more infrastructure to support any housing development, and the effect thatwould have not only on the land base but also on the tax base.131However, those who already held acknowledged personal concerns were only asmall segment of the population in the first instance, as the majority of the communitywent about their daily lives either unaware of the changes which were about to bewrought, or unconcerned as to the effect it might have on them personally. Once wordabout council's plans started to get around through the various channels ofcommunication used to raise awareness—leaflets, flyers, media events and conversation,people began to make enquiries about the plans and what the results might mean tothem and their community.The educational campaign carried out by The Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee was aimed at raising to the surface the latent knowledge already within manyindividuals, who had presumably chosen to live in that area for the very attributes thatwould soon be lost if council went ahead with their plans. As was stated by one core-group member, "people are not keen to save something unless they appreciate it," soevery educational effort was made to encourage and develop an appreciation for thearea and what could be found there. The fact that people did begin to value andappreciate their surroundings more was evidenced by the noted increase in peoplewalking the dykes, attending outdoor on-site workshops, and learning more of theirown accord about the birds and animals they had seen.One respondent, finding she had a heron rookery at the bottom of her gardenwhen she moved to the area, immediately felt a responsibility to save the marshes anduplands which were heron feeding grounds. Other people noted that Boundary Baywas the only unprotected part of an extensive Pacific Flyway, which stretches fromSouth America to Russia, and felt that this particular link in the chain was vital to thewellbeing of a huge population of waterfowl and shorebirds. If they enjoy seeing thesky filled with snow geese as they fly in from Wrangle Island, then they personally haveto act to ensure the appropriate habitat is available to attract those geese every winter.Vested interests, then, can range from the esoteric to the mundane, but if they arepersonally meaningful they are powerful motivators to act.132Saturate Key Areas with Information Saturation of key areas with information is one way to ensure that everybodyknows about, or is aware of, an issue. It does not mean that people will necessarilybecome more knowledgeable, or more informed about the matter, but it does mean thatthey will have heard of it, seen it advertised, discussed with with friends, or at the veryleast noticed it somewhere. Once saturation of the environment occurs, it is very difficultnot to know about the issue. Since the means of purveying this information may or maynot catch the attention of the target audience, it is very much an incidental method ofgetting information into the community, and depends on people noticing what they areseeing, or listening to what they are hearing, giving it at least some part of their attentionif information is to be retained. Jarvis, however, does maintain that 'pre-consciouslearning' will take place from just having seen the same message repeated in so manyways in so many places. That learning will be unintentional and tacit, but it will occur,nevertheless.In this case study, information about meetings, social events, and educationalactivities of all sorts was posted on telegraph poles, sent round door-to-door, passed byword of mouth, and advertised in the local newspaper and on community television. Thetelephone network was another means of ensuring that as many people as possible wereat least aware of the events, even if they were not fully familiar with the topic to bediscussed. Once people became interested in learning more about the issue, or moreabout the local environment, they would actively seek out dates, times and places wherefurther information would be available, so once personal or community momentum hasbeen established the desire to know more, and perhaps become more involved, becomesself-perpetuating. Making sure that everybody is aware that there is a communityproblem is the start of the education process, which then goes on to inform and educatethrough the various planned events advertised on the posters and flyers.133Use Multi-faceted Educational Strategies Although community action group members do not generally have time to thinkthrough their educational strategies in detail, most groups think of a variety of actionswhich will draw attention to the issue and encourage people to learn more, at anindividual level. It is important in community circumstances to appeal to sensory as wellas cognitive learning, and to provide forms of education that will attract all age groupsand interest levels.Any community activity will involve the more usual, relatively formal educationalopportunities which people attend with the intention of providing knowledge for theaudience, or acquiring knowledge from the providers. These events are usuallyinteractive, involving debate, question periods, chances to state a point of view, orpresent an argument from the floor, and usually attract those whose main intent is tobecome more informed. These types of serious functions probably mainly appeal to themore dedicated and involved members of the community, either from the core group ortheir active supporters.In the areas of informal, and incidental learning, there must be some fun orenjoyment in the learning process. With informal learning the fun element may resultfrom participation in the activity, whereas with incidental learning the fun activity itselfis the attraction, with any resultant learning being coincidental to participation.Events encouraging informal and incidental learning offered in this instance weremany on-site workshops to explore the Bay, the dykes, watch and identify birds, walkthe area generally to familiarize people with places they may not normally visit, getpeople out on their bicycles and bring their families with them. Social events provide abreak in all the hard and demanding work which goes on in community action,encouraging people to support the cause with money paid by way of tickets to festivals,dances, auctions and other organized activities. These events also give an opportunityfor the core-group to look back on what has been achieved, even if the battles are stillongoing. Such breaks in routine are very necessary to keep momentum alive and to134recognize the effort of many people while also providing media opportunities and thuskeeping the issue high profile in the community at large.All learning may help to create vested interests, but sensory learning in particularhas an important role to play in creating memories upon which such interests aresometimes based. One may recall the sound of thousands of geese honking as they comein to land, or the visual impact of a blue sky crowded with white wings flying over thenearby shore. There are many such instances that are very meaningful to the individual,and become the base for taking a personal interest in preservation or re-creation of thatparticular environment. Using strategies which will incorporate the chance to learnthrough seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting something firsthand is creating areason to care whether such experiences can be repeated again another time.Informal learning is one of the most common ways of accumulating knowledge,and that accumulation of knowledge need not remain just a random collection of trivia,but may through some incidental catalyst eventually link together and becomeeducational. Because it is never known what may act as a catalyst for whom, the morelearning opportunities with which an individual is presented the more chance there isthat many small pieces of information may coalesce into some larger piece of usefulknowledge.Whatever the form of learning opportunity presented, members of the communityshould be encouraged to question, critique, and compare the various pieces ofinformation they receive. Learning resulting from reflection in action does not cause aclosed circle as suggested by Kolb (1984) but more of a spiral, in accordance with themodel suggested by Burnard (1988), thus critical reflection and practical experienceencourages further learning, which in turn inspires the learning process to continue.Members of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee were certainly aware of thevalue of encouraging critical reflection throughout the community, as they deliberatelytried to ask provocative questions at the appropriate time to cause people to think andto question. They did not want to tell people what to think. Their aim was to present the135facts, admit their environmental bias, and then ask people to consider the informationthey had and make their own decisions.Take Advantage of the UnexpectedIn this particular case study unexpected incidents were equally important as theplanned strategies in providing learning opportunities about the issue. Action groupscan gain considerable advantage from taking note of other high-profile events occurringin the community at the same time and using them as teaching tools if the opportunityallows. In this instance the public hearings before council during the summer of 1989took up so much of people's time, either by being present or watching live communitytelevision transmission of proceedings, were reported so widely in the media, once thesecond newspaper became established, and were a primary topic of conversation formany that they doubled the effectiveness of the BBCC's educational campaign. Theenormity of community involvement at the time meant that the public hearings were onereason why the area became saturated with information. The pro-environmentcommunity newspaper which was delivered to the doorstep twice weekly carriedreports of submissions presented to council since the last edition, and ran Letters to theEditor which gave vent to people's feelings. Through radio and television phone-inshows members of the public had unfettered access to Federal, Provincial and municipalpoliticians, so they could present their opinions directly and unedited. This also gavepeople the chance to speak to the community as a whole while ostensibly addressingthe politician taking the calls.The depth of community anger was another unexpected side-effect of the waycouncil was conducting business. Anger is a great motivator, and sharpens people'scritical faculties. It caused close attention to be paid to the way things were being done,what was being said, to whom and by whom. There was not only anger towards councilitself, but towards the developers for the way they had acted. The housing developmentplan aroused considerable ire in its enormity, and the golf course development was an136irritant for two reasons. Firstly, land was being removed from the Agricultural LandReserve with little regard for due process. Secondly the number of courses planned for asmall area was overwhelming, and the value of the land to be used had not beenassessed in other than economic terms. This very palpable anger was so much on thesurface of the community that direct and concerted action by residents of the area wasinevitable, resulting firstly in the citizens' referendum, and secondly in the replacementof all but one of the incumbent councillors at the next municipal election.Discussions arising on the street, or events completely unrelated to the issue, mayalso present opportunities for providing information, answering concerns, or settingmistaken records straight if activists are able to make use of situations which presentthemselves unexpectedly or out of context. For example, one evening the then-Chairperson of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee was attending a socialgathering and was looking forward to a pleasant time with like-minded people.I was at a World Wildlife dinner and I thought 1 don't need to talk aboutBoundary Bay or anything. I'm going to have a nice meal with peoplethat are all bird or wildlife people. The husband of the woman I wassitting next to started when I let out that I was with the Boundary Baygroup, he started in at me—why are you trying to stop golf courses? Andwe had to have a full-scale argument on golf courses. He was from out oftown completely, somewhere other than B.C., but he'd heard somethingabout it. He knew enough about the group to know what the vague issuewas, he was totally misinformed on a lot of points, which I was happy toput him right on, but by this stage, four years on, it had got to quite a lotof people. (3:3)To be able to benefit from situations which seem disadvantageous at first mayalso help the cause. When Delta municipal council unexpectedly scheduled hearings tostart earlier in the evening than normal, meaning that commuters returning home fromVancouver would hardly have time for supper before having to appear to present theirbriefs, the community responded by setting up pot-luck suppers at City Hall so peoplecould go directly to the hearings and get something to eat on arrival. This in turn becamea publicity-seeking occasion, which further helped to raise the problem's profile. In137order to take advantage of the unexpected, individuals must be quick-thinking, flexible,and able to organize events very rapidly.Take Advantage of Socio-cultural Trends (The time is right)Unless there is already a certain amount of latent, or tacit, knowledge of an issuewhich can generate empathy for its promoters it is very likely that what appears as aradical idea to the community will gain little or no support. Even the United NationsCharter of Rights failed to receive attention the first time it was presented because, itsauthor stated, the time was not right. Some groundwork must already have been laid inorder that radical ideas become acceptable to mainstream communities, and very oftenthis groundwork has been provided by earlier new social movements which may haveremained on the fringes of society for several decades. Attitudes, values and beliefspromoted by new social movements are not adopted easily by society as a whole, butafter twenty, thirty or more years, when enough time has passed to allow for a gradualdiffusion of new ideas and a certain percentage of the population avows the valuesopenly or subconsciously, movements gain their own momentum and becomeunstoppable (Senge, 1990).The Boundary Bay issue is a beneficiary of the environmental movement, whichbegan as a radical, hippie idea in the 1960s, became evident in the 'flower children' ofthe '70s and the 'back-to-the-earth' movement in the early '80s, and then, following thepublication of the Brundtland report, moved into mainstream, conservative society in themid '80s and early '90s, when environmental awareness and sustainable developmentbecame the buzz-words of the era.Consequently values have been shifting, to some small degree, from materialismand anthropocentrism, to environmental sustainability and concern for preservation ofnatural resources. A few decades ago marsh land which had not been 'improved' ormade useful to man was considered worthless, with little consideration for the wildlife itsupported or the aesthetic value it could offer. Now the change in values has moved138beyond the fringes of society, and there is opposition to many development proposalswhich are seen as a retrograde step, when previously there would have been no conflictof opinion. Being able to take advantage of the fact that the time is right is a major factorwhen trying to create a change in attitudes and values, which is what the Boundary BayConservation Committee was hoping to achieve in the councillors who were, until thattime, enured in their old ways.SummaryIn analyzing the research data many factors were found to impact the success of acommunity action group's campaign to inform, educate, and eventually encourage achange of attitude in the target audience. In the first instance that target audience is thecommunity at large, but ultimately it is the politicians and decision-makers whoseattitudes and values apparently conflict with those of the electorate they serve.The data serve to show factors affecting communication between varioussegments of the community—the core group, the media, the general public, and thepoliticians. Much of the success or failure of educational campaigns such as the onecarried out by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee depends on an ability tocommunicate well with all sectors in order to get their support. By saturating the areawith information, word got around that there was a problem of concern to most peoplein the area, and that action would be required from all who shared a value which differedfrom that held by the decision-makers who were about to cause radical change.Getting people involved in helping to promote the issue has more value than justthe obvious. Involvement and education are closely linked, both the education of selfand the education of others. Thus one way of helping to achieve the goal is for the coregroup to avail itself of all the help it can get, creating a greater pool of people to diffusethe message through the community. Although the educational strategies were plannedand organized, the informal and incidental learning they aimed to create is by definitionunsystematic and unorganized as learners are free to avail themselves of it or not, as they139choose. But in spite of unpredictability of outcome, these two types of learningconstitute much of the everyday learning taking place outside the formal educationsystem, and do seem to be effective in promoting the diffusion of information.Once a modicum of knowledge reached the community in the Tsawwassen areathere was a concerted effort on the part of many individuals to learn more through theirown research and discussion with friends and neighbours. This self-directed learningmay, in some cases, have led to the presentation of briefs and submissions at the publichearings, as people became more informed and willing to state their views. As wide avariety of learning opportunities as possible were presented to the community in orderthat a very diverse target group, consisting of young and old, newcomers and long-timeresidents, could be reached successfully.As anger mounted in the community the education process intensified. Peoplewanted more than anything to see the development plans quashed and council replaced.Everyone had their own reasons for not wanting the plans to go through, and organizeddirect action was seen as a means of educating the politicians, who seemed imperviousto all other forms of approach. The community action group took advantage of theunexpected, using both the anger stirred up by council procedures and the councilprocess itself to further educate and inform the public, although without the incidentalhelp of community television, whose regular mandate it is to transmit live broadcasts ofcouncil meetings, the task would have been much more difficult.A final factor which may have helped the cause of raising environmentalawareness was the ability to ride on the wave of growing acceptance of attitudes andvalues which were not prevalent in earlier decades. Social needs and demands arechanging, and years of foundation-laying by radicals have paved the way for society asa whole to adopt new ways of looking at individual and collective lifestyles, with moreemphasis being placed on quality of life in general rather than quantity of material goodsaccumulated in particular. Not every community action group can find a socio-culturaltrend to fit their cause, but where one is evident, it should be used to advantage.140CHAPTER 6SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONSPurpose of the StudyThis study set out to determine how a community action group raises publicawareness for its cause, through studying how planned educational strategies of acommunity action group lead to informal and incidental learning amongst the generalpublic. Often such learning is not just for informational purposes, its aim is to changeindividual attitudes which results, in time, in a societal change of attitude.The main problem around which the study centred was the question of howlearning takes place where the instruction is intentional but the learning is generallyunintentional. Instructional exhibits and displays can be very carefully structured,planned and carried out to purvey a message to the public, but the public might notrespond as desired, taking only a passing interest in what has been so carefully preparedto attract their attention, rapidly dismissing the matter as unimportant or of little priorityto them personally.In order to find an instance where deliberate educational plans were targetedtowards an undefinable audience who were learners 'in passing' (Reischmann, 1986)rather than students in the usually accepted meaning of the word, the educationalactivities of a community action group was chosen for study. There was a social issue ofconcern, in the first instance, to a few people who were aware of what was happening,and who thought the whole community should be alerted as they too would be affectedby the eventual outcome. The job of this initial core group was to inform theirneighbours of the potential problem, and create an awareness of what it would mean tothem and how it could be dealt with satisfactorily. The ultimate aim was to educate andinform local politicians that their present attitudes and values as shown in their decision-making were not acceptable to the electorate.Since most people are busy living their everyday lives, going to work, lookingafter the family, and being involved in leisure activities and pursuits, there is little time or141interest for finding out about the many municipal decisions which may affect one's lifeadversely. Once people have cast their vote at the ballot box, they feel they should beable to relax and leave government of their area to their elected officials who, it istrusted, will make decisions for the good of many rather than for the benefit of a few.However, politics is not like that any more, either nationally, provincially or municipally,and consequently there are many 'watchdogs' who monitor bureaucratic decisions andevents which take place behind the scenes.In the case of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, their problem was toalert the people of Tsawwassen and Boundary Bay that plans were being made betweendevelopers and the municipal council, which were not well publicized, to build high-density housing on what was thought to be good arable land, and to create 18 new golfcourses in and around Boundary Bay, on wetland habitat and supporting upland usedby millions of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl as a stopover and wintering groundon their migration up and down the west coasts of North and South America.Having alerted the community that there was a problem, the next stage in theeducational process planned by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee change the general community attitude from one of passiveacceptance by the public of so-called 'progress' which was actuallydestroying the landscape to a watch-dog role, which sought to guard,educate, change attitudes, and lobby politically. (3:2:2)The final step, in the short-term, was to then try and change the attitude of politicianswho were making decisions with which many of the electorate did not agree. In thelong-term, the educational process is ongoing both within the community at large, and inthe political arena, with the aim of negotiating long-term land use plans which willreduce the conflicts existing between developers and environmentalists.Methods Used In order to discover how learning diffused through the community it wasnecessary to know what educational or instructional strategies were being used by thecommunity action group to attract the attention of the general public. Members of the142Boundary Bay Conservation Committee were interviewed using semi-structuredinformal discussion to elicit information about their planned tactics and how they carriedthem out. But the fact is that something deemed interesting by one party will notnecessarily be seen as interesting by the intended target audience, and whether learningtakes place depends entirely on how the message is received and perceived.These learners do not fall into the usual category of learners in that they are not`students', they are people going about their everyday lives. Any learning taking placeis usually unintentional or incidental as they go about their daily tasks. They may, as aresult of casually absorbing some information, then become involved in self-directedlearning in order to find out more and become more knowledgeable, but they may,equally, absorb that information and almost immediately forget about it as somethingmore important takes precedence. The work of a community action group is successful ifthat information is absorbed, reflected on, added to an individual's store of knowledge,and finally acted upon. Knowledge, without action, in the context of a communityproblem, is not enough. Knowledge on its own will not necessarily cause a change ofattitude or change of behaviour. It has been shown (Martin, 1988) that knowledge,combined with action, is more likely to stimulate such changes.Data Collected Open-ended interviews were conducted with members of the Boundary BayConservation Committee to determine how they carried out their educational planningand campaign, followed by similar interviews with members of the actively interestedgeneral public, in order to enquire about the ways in which they first became aware ofthe matter, what further learning took place, and from what sources that learning came.In the course of enquiries it became evident that the two main media outlets in thecommunity, the local newspaper and community television, played a very large part indisseminating information and even in the unwitting creation of attitudes in the area, and143therefore key members of each of those entities were also interviewed, to gain theirimpressions of how they saw the educational aspect of their particular medium.Interview questions were altered and adapted as constant comparative methodsof analysis were used to assess whether previous interviews were producing the type ofinformation required. This method of adding or subtracting questions as was deemednecessary also enabled facts and events mentioned by one person to be included indiscussions with subsequent respondents in order to verify events or to get a differentpoint of view on the same matter. People rarely see the same event in the same light, andthus a range of interpretations gave a more holistic picture as seen from a variety ofangles.Since there is acknowledged bias in all questions asked, and answers given, thisbias is admitted and no attempt is made to remove it. It is intrinsic to qualitative researchand all analysis was done bearing this in mind. However, this study was not concernedwith the substance of the action, the particular issue over which there was concern. Thisresearch looked at ways in which public awareness was raised under these particularcircumstances, and the actual substance of the issue could have been any of a similarnature, forming the background matrix upon which the web of educational strategy iswoven.The Battle of Whiskey Run (Linton, 1977) depicts a similar situation inPennsylvania where a community lobbied their council to rescind a decision madebehind closed doors to fill in a popular ravine and turn it into a playing field whichalmost no-one wanted. This is, however, simply a short article reporting what happened,but the issue is exactly similar to that pertaining to Boundary Bay. The matter beganwhen local housewives queried a large proposed expenditure in the council budget, anddiscovered what it was for. Linton (p. 65) reports:Ten years before, a project like this would probably have been greetedby many suburbanites as an enlightened, if somewhat extravagant,improvement. In 1971, however, there was an outpouring of indignationwhen the facts came out. It was greatest among two groups: people wholived near the park, and young people. One young man said that hiswhole life had been molded by having the wild park to play in as a child.144That community also became aware of the power of education, forThe Whiskey Run Rebellion has become a respectable conservationorganization, conducting weekly nature walks and sponsoring anannual cleanup of Woodland Park and other environmental projects(p. 94).and, like the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee,... Rebellion volunteers found the public and press very much aware ofthe need to protect environmental values. They found that governmentagencies will listen to ordinary people. They found that sparklingstreams and unspoiled woodlands touch a deep responsive chord inpeople—even people who have had little opportunity to experience them.And they found you can fight city hall, and sometimes even win (p. 94).These excerpts are used to illustrate the fact that, as community concern evolvesinto community action, there are certain factors which are shared and can be generalized,bearing in mind the fact that "the cast and setting will be different" (Linton, 1977,P. 94).Findings Interviews were all tape-recorded, with permission, and following transcriptionand analysis, certain themes appeared which could be categorized. As these categoriesbecame apparent, careful coding of the data continued until most of each transcriptionhad been coded into one of the six main categories which emerged. Althoughmethodological literature suggests that categories should be discreet, so that no item ofinformation can logically be put under more than one heading, it was found in thisinstance that some excerpts from interviews did, in fact, illustrate more than one finding.The six categories chosen to represent the findings are inter-linked, if notinterdependent.Once the data had been surveyed carefully or mined (Merriam, 1988), and directextracts used to illustrate points made, it was discovered that there were still someinformational gems which had been overlooked the first or second time of reading,resulting in a thorough mining of the tailings which were left after the original analysis145had removed most of the larger nuggets appearing on first perusal. This certainlyillustrates the point that any qualitative researcher must become totally immersed in thedata and become exceedingly familiar with them in order to extract the most from them(Merriam, 1988).Persuasive Communications and Social MarketingThere were, in this instance, findings within findings. A review of communicationsliterature had suggested that persuasive communications and social marketing were veryimportant in getting messages out to the general public where the aim was to sell achange of lifestyle or change of attitude, rather than a material product. These conceptsare borrowed by social movements from advertising, which in turn sprang from researchin psychology, anthropology and the social sciences. Persuasive communications isconcerned with the way messages are worded, illustrated or otherwise conveyed, whilesocial marketing is concerned with how these communications are transmitted to thetarget audience.Although these did not appear as major findings categories, there was evidence intranscript texts that community action group members were certainly well aware of theimportance of paying attention to how, by whom, and through which channels theirmessages were diffused or disseminated into the community, even if acknowledgedtacitly rather than explicitly. The founding chairperson of the Boundary BayConservation Committee illustrated this clearly when he saidIt depends a lot on the receptivity of the person. If you don't agree withthe BBCC's approach, then everything we write is junk. (1:14)and:I know certainly we have spent enormous amounts of time writingpamphlets and trying to get them right, doing draft upon draft of visualsand using inside and outside help, and professional and non-professional people, all combining and agonizing over how to get thingsright. (1:13)When it came to presentation of information to the public he acknowledged that... everything has a built-in bias. The naturalists in the group naturally146wanted to put the information forward in the best light, and so thatwould be done, and then sometimes for the purpose of impact you wantto state the most negative case or the most positive case or whatever...(1:10)but the use of persuasive communications is very evident. The power of pictures wasalso acknowledged by another former chairperson, who is also an artist and did many ofthe drawings used in pamphlets and posters published by the Committee.A pamphlet came out with pictures asking "Do you want Delta to looklike this?" and it's all green and pretty, with birds and things, "insteadof this?" a black and white picture hand drawn by an artist withaeroplanes and cars and freeways and high rises and golf courses—atotal exaggeration with this beautiful landscape ... Very, very vividimage just to create awareness. (3:12)Social marketing, according to Kotler (1982, p. 490) "is the design,implementation and control of programs seeking to increase the acceptability of a socialidea, cause, or practice in a target group." Having carefully crafted messages, they thenshould be delivered in such a way that there is maximum comprehension by the targetaudience (Manoff, 1985). That members of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committeewere aware of this, although they probably did not call it social marketing, is shown inseveral ways. In one instance it was agreed to mail out flyers and brochures to localhouseholds rather than have them delivered with the newspaper because, it wassuspected, something in the mailbox would get slightly more attention than yet anotherpiece of paper inserted with all the commercial flyers that have to be picked up from thedoorstep daily (2:4).In order to increase the acceptability of a social cause by the target audience amessage must be congruent with the audience's values and beliefs, or must be sopersuasive that their present views, if conflicting, are seen to be no longer viable. Someknowledge of audience background is necessary if messages are to be appropriatelymolded for presentation. A hard-working member of the core group who attended manypublic meetings in order to talk with people and hand out information saidEvery time we go to a public hearing or meeting, the whole bent isdifferent so we have to do a whole new set of research and collation of147information in another way. (2:7)However, while being aware that the way the information is delivered needs to betailored to each specific occasion, community action group members stressed continuallythat:We go again and again and again to meetings all over the place, andeach time we have to present material. We always take the angle witheverybody that these are the facts on Boundary Bay, and this is why itneeds to be protected. We always go from that angle, and then we willfocus in on what that particular meeting is there for. (2:7)All the time community action groups, which traditionally have little money to mountexpensive educational campaigns, are vying for attention with professionals of financialmeans. A member of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee admitted thatYou're countering paid lobbyists, and that's very difficult. There aresome good salesmen out there, good people, they wine and dine them(the politicians), they threaten them. If they can't do it the nice way thenthey do it the nasty way, which is what is happening in Delta now. (2:10)That makes the task all the more difficult for those who are working so hard on avoluntary basis to make their voices heard by the politicians. The community readilylistened to appeals from community action groups and made up their own minds aboutthe preferred outcome of a contentious issue, but impressing the will of the communityon politicians and decision-makers can be tremendously hard work, when someknowledge of social marketing and persuasive communication, whether tacit orrecognized, is almost essential for, as was stated on a bumper sticker "The majority is notsilent, the government is deaf." That particular message was forcefully brought home toDelta Municipal government by means of the citizens' referendum, referred to earlier.`Just knowing' that these are some of the obvious ways to approach dissemination ofinformation is the type of knowledge Fensham (1992) would call "commonsenseknowledge." It does not have to be taught, it seems to those who are involved in theaction that this is the most effective way of achieving that particular goal.148How Public Awareness Was RaisedThe six main findings emerging from this study are summarized in Table 2. Theseshow that encouraging people to become involved in the action in one way or anothernot only encourages self-learning on the part of the involved individuals, but may createa vested, or personal, interest in the desired outcome if one does not already exist.Saturating key areas with information means that the average citizen can hardly fail tonotice or hear about the action, either by reading about it in the local newspaperfrequently, seeing posters, bumper stickers or t-shirts around town, or hearing theirfriends and neighbours talk about an issue which becomes a major topic ofconversation. Through a variety of activities which were planned throughout the year,both indoors and outdoors, serious or entertaining and informative, as many members ofthe community as possible were reached to raise awareness of different aspects of theproblem. Fund-raising activities encouraged people to socialize, enjoy an activity suchas bike riding, bird identification, or buying art at an auction, while at the same timecausing those who attended to become curious about where the money was going andwhat it would pay for. Such events were attended by the community at large, includingthose who were deeply involved and those who may know little or nothing about theissue, where chance conversation becomes the channel for communication.Other learning opportunities attracted different segments of the local population,from the very young to the elderly, and from the newcomer to the long-time resident.The target audience, in this particular instance, was everybody, and therefore a widerange of events was needed in order to appeal to as many participants as possible.Sometimes unexpected opportunities occurred, either locally, or far outside the contextof Boundary Bay and its surrounding area, which could provide a forum for discussionof the issue, and instances of such situations are illustrated in Chapter 4.It was also discovered, on analysis of the data, that because of the environmentalnature of the issue under discussion in Boundary Bay, the community action group was149able to ride the crest of a wave of rising environmental awareness over the last threedecades. Changing attitudes and values is a very long-term project, and the fact thatnew social movements have been embracing the concept of protecting the globalenvironment, as well as showing concern for one's personal surroundings, for quitesome time was beneficial to the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee's cause. To beable to take advantage of the time being 'right', sometimes referred to as 'jumping onthe bandwagon' is tremendously helpful as, by this stage in a societal attitude changethere is often tacit, if not yet open acceptance of the new ideas, and it is therefore a littleeasier to persuade people that, since the majority now thinks this way, it is time they tooshifted their attitudes or acknowledged that, deep down, they had already partlyaccepted the changing trend.Conclusions Reached Through This StudyOn the Importance and Place of Informal and Incidental LearningOne of the main conclusions coming out of this research is that adult educationand lifelong learning are all alive and well and to be found in community settings such asthe one upon which this study is based. That they are not organized, in the professionalsense of adhering to a carefully constructed curriculum, or necessarily systematic orsequential in the way learning opportunities are presented, does not reduce theirefficacy or popularity. In situations such as the Boundary Bay case study, it is notnecessary for professional adult educators to intervene, as some authorities suggest isadvisable (Boggs, 1986; Dean & Dowling, 1987).The people who participate in or actively support community action groups learna very great deal as they go about the business of informing themselves in order to beable to pass that information on to others. This learning is not restricted to the issue athand, but incorporates the political process involved in dealing with it, and many otherperipheral matters, depending on the particular problem. A respondent who is afounding member of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee made the followingobservation, which is quite enlightening on the issue of spin-off learning which tookplace:One important issue is how the local people became educated aboutfarmland through the TDL hearings and the golf course issue. Welearned about the ALR (the Agricultural Land Reserve), the ALC (theAgricultural Land Commission), the Order in Council 1141 (whichpermitted using agricultural land for golf courses without removing itfrom the ALR) and about the role of farming in Delta—how importantfarming is to Delta's economy—a $40 million per year business at thattime. We learned about soil classification, nuisance birds, problems withfarm machinery, farm roads and urbanization. We learned how littlegood farmland Canada has and how Delta and the Fraser Valley are soimportant because of the deltaic soils and climate. We learned aboutproblems in California and concerns for future food supplies. As a resultthe people have more respect for farming, farmers and the ALR. Inaddition, people learned about the Pacific Flyway; the term Ramsar site;they learned about voles, and we learned that this area hadinternational significance—the largest number of wintering raptors inCanada.(2:2:3)These comments bear out Armstrong's statement (1972, p. 26) that those involved incommunity action "will want to know about social processes, and public administrationand planning and local government. Their groups will also be in the business of learningand teaching." These are all aspects of community action that are learned experientially,on the job. It would be difficult to plan in advance any self-directed learning or officiallyorganized course covering topics which might be needed by activists, because suchknowledge depends entirely on what happens as the action progresses.However, when speaking with people who have been involved in communityaction for several years one discovers how much those individuals have learned, often totheir own surprise. Comments are frequently made to the effect that 'I didn't know whatI was letting myself in for' when looking back on an experience which has includedlearning how to make public presentations, how to understand the formalities of local,provincial or national government, how to gain access to bureaucrats, and the 'nifty-gritty' of what matters to all parties involved. None of what was learned could everhave been formally taught—even with the most carefully prepared curriculum. There are150151still many aspects of life which seem to be most effectively learned experientially,informally and incidentally, and that this type of learning is pervasive and profoundlysuccessful cannot be denied.People not only learn informally and incidentally, they can in some caseseventually become experts as a result, with knowledge that can challenge any academiclearning, and even surpass it in applicability, since it is knowledge emanating from thepractical world of everyday life. Cann & Mannings (1987, p. 129) substantiate this,saying that "learning incidentally from equals is our normal way of learning and formaleducation relates to only a fraction of each individual's learning needs."Another aspect of informal and incidental learning is the importance placed bymany on learning through the senses; the role that sight, sound, feel, smell and taste canplay in creating vested interests, bringing back memories, and making affective learningmore effective because of its sensory character. This is what Fensham (1992, p. 17)describes as common sense knowledge, that is "knowledge to be experienced, notdescribed in words," as opposed to commonsense knowledge (p. 5), which he describesas knowledge which is "taken for granted, obvious and not worth stating to another."No amount of discussion, use of photographs or slides, or playing of audio tapes canreplace the actual experience of seeing or hearing something first-hand, and feeling theemotions associated with that experience. Photographs and other means of recallingmemories can then help to recreate the associated feelings, but cannot by themselvesengender those sensations in the first instance.Common sense learning is a very powerful tool, as memories can be recalled aftermany years, sometimes by trigger factors which are so small as to be almost insignificant.Yet as memories return, and sensory learning is recalled, there is often an associateddesire to protect whatever environment happened to produce those feelings. Forexample, people are now growing old fashioned roses again because they like thesmell—such fragrance having been bred out of modern hybrids. Real estate agents areknown to put bread in a warm oven during Open House in order to kindle the right152emotions in prospective buyers—that is persuasive communication, but not by usingwords. Many of the learning opportunities created by the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee included on-site workshops, where there was ample opportunity for informallearning through experiencing and discussing, while surrounded by sensory learning asparticipants saw and heard, watched and listened, to the very environment they hadcome there to learn about.Informal and incidental learning must have an element of fun attached to it(Finger, 1989b). This is stated many times by those involved in community action. Theremust occasionally be some immediate reward other than the acquisition of knowledge.Workshops, social events and fund-raisers all become opportunities for enjoyment of themoment as well as a time for learning, and because of the informality of the situation itmay be the enjoyment which takes precedence as the main reason for attending. Thisdoes not preclude learning, the two often go hand-in-hand. This is not to say that everyinformal learning opportunity should be fun-filled and frivolous, there are times whenthe tenor is more serious in intent and content, appealing to people in their reflectivemoments.Summing up the conclusions reached from this study with regard to theimportance of informal and incidental learning in a community setting, the words ofCann & Mannings (1987, p. 132) are still cogent in that "there is valid learning outsidethe formal educational setting and it needs to be brought in from the cold because themajority of people get their learning from it. This is where the current debate ought tobe."On the Effectiveness of Saturating an Area with Information When an issue is of prime importance to a group, whether it is a community actiongroup or a national government, one of the key factors in raising discussion and debateamongst the general public is the fact that everybody knows about it because thesubject matter appears on posters, in newspapers, as advertisements in every aspect of153the media, on lapel buttons, t-shirts, bumper stickers and anywhere else where thegeneral public might casually read an article, listen to the radio or television, or see afamiliar logo. Logos, in their way, are also non-verbal means of using persuasivecommunications, being associated with a particular cause, product or action. In factover-saturation may be a problem, since people are often heard to remark that they are`sick and tired of hearing about it', whatever 'it' might be, but at least they cannot saythey remain uninformed of the issue. Finger (1989b, p. 28) notes that "the awarenessthat there is a problem in our relation with nature is drummed into personal or sometimeseven professional surroundings, where environmental problems are discussed almostdaily. It is therefore impossible for me to escape from this awareness."Such saturation of the environment stimulates debate and conversation at home,at work, at the bus stop, in the supermarket, and anywhere else that people gather, andas has been discussed earlier, conversation is a very effective channel of communication,persuasion, and confirmation for sharing attitudes, values and beliefs. Sometimes informalstudy groups may be created around more serious and wide-ranging issues, such as thenational constitutional debate, or city planning, but debate at home around the dining-room table may be less organized but nonetheless informative and stimulating to thosewho participate.Regarding Creation of Vested Interests Saturation of areas with information has a lot to do with creation of vestedinterests. Controversial topics can cause people to become 'hot under the collar' abouttheir feelings one way or the other, motivating people to persuade others to think, feel,and believe the same as they do because they have a vested interest in the outcome.Passions rise, tempers may even flare, as individuals have their own special reason forobtaining results they see as essential to restoring harmony to their world. Having avested interest in an outcome is a great motivator, and even people who are usuallypassive and reluctant to become involved in controversy can be aroused to take a stand,154participate in non-violent confrontation, or even on occasions when feelings run strong,to break the law for what they see as a just cause. Saturation of the area withinformation and creation of vested interests are, in turn, linked with persuasivecommunication and social marketing. One does not necessarily create or cause the other,but there is considerable overlap and influence between them.Getting People InvolvedPeople will become involved in working for a cause if they have a vested interestin the results, and therefore they are willing to give time, expertise, help and moneytowards that end. Most people become involved in volunteer work such as is requiredby community action groups if they can anticipate a reward, either intrinsically inrestoring equilibrium to one's personal world and removing the cause of controversy orstress, or extrinsically in achieving the goal of the organization for which the work isbeing carried out. Involving people, especially newcomers to the area, in helping tosolve a community problem may also help to create vested interests, if the individual hasnot had an opportunity to decide which side of the debate to support. Involvementtherefore works to strengthen one's dedication to the cause, or to help people makedecisions based on experiential, informal and incidental learning through participation. Itis knowledge, combined with action, that seems to create or confirm a change in attitude.It is therefore felt that the conclusions drawn from this community action groupcase study show that informal and incidental learning occurring in everyday life canhave long-term social consequences in terms of changed attitudes, values, beliefs, and,consequently, behaviours. Armstrong & Davies (1977) maintain that any change inattitude is a major by-product of participation in action group activities. However, theeducational strategies used by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee weredeliberately aimed at informing the public in order to create a change in attitude, so inthis instance it was not just through participation in the group's activities or experiential155learning that attitudes were changed, it was also through informal and incidentallearning taking place in the community as a result of the many learning opportunitieswhich were carefully planned and carried out. Finger (1989a, p. 16) points out that"social movements must be considered as one of the best expressions of underlyingsocial and cultural transformations. Such movements are often just the tip of an iceberg,introducing new values which will sooner or later affect entire societies." But it mustnot be forgotten that, as was shown in this study of the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee and its related action groups, including children in the learning process iscrucial to achieving a long-term and lasting attitude change, and therefore we arediscussing not only adult education, but also lifelong learning.Relevance of Research Findings to Other Educational Dimensions We are, at the end of the twentieth century, living in an era of profound socialand industrial change. Ways of life with which we have become comfortable and familiarare being challenged by new social mores, and a move from an industrial economy toone based on science and technology. Learning is having to occur across all levels ofsociety, and throughout many different societies in the world, as we now have toacknowledge that we can no longer afford to live in national isolation. Old attitudes,values and beliefs are being replaced by new ones. New, that is, to this generation,although some, such as the recent trend to see things holistically, is really a re-awakening of truths which were known to the Ancients.At one time it was assumed that all the learning one needed to last a lifetime wasobtained in school, but now this idea is visualized in terms of eating enough at breakfastto sustain one for the next twenty-four hours. School systems themselves are changing,to create learning conditions which encourage enquiring minds and problem solvingrather than rote learning and concentration on static syllabi. Beyond the school system,whether or not one continues to tertiary education, there is still going to be atremendous need for lifelong learning either of a professional or vocational nature, or156just to keep up with the everyday skills needed to competently negotiate daily life.Thoughts are beginning to turn to re-introducing informal learning to theworkplace (Marsick & Watkins, 1990), where value is now being placed on learning insitu, as it was in the days of long apprenticeships to master craftsmen, where bothcommonsense and common sense learning play a valuable part. More responsibility foreducational upgrading is being placed on employers rather than vocational schools ororganized continuing education classes for professionals, and thus there is a need notonly to acknowledge the value of informal and incidental learning in these areas, but topromote their use without organizing them to such an extent that they become anothervariation of formal training. Informal learning has always existed in the workplace, butits value, until recently, has tended to be overlooked.Questions are even being raised about the validity of allowing potentialhighschool 'dropouts' to finish their formal education in workplace settings, combiningeducational efforts with experiential learning on the job. Even some university degreescombine formal, non-formal and informal learning in co-operative programmes, wherestudents are placed in work settings relevant to their studies, not only being paid a smallamount for their labours, but gaining university credits for doing so.Lifelong and informal learning is also needed to enable whole communities tocope with change from a modern industrial economic base to a post-moderntechnological base. In our own immediate environment in British Columbia someresource-based industries are either in trouble or winding down because of a change indemand, a lack of materials with which to work, or the increasing use of computerizedmachinery to replace human labour. Stringent economic times have also caused vastreductions in executive and middle-management workforces across the country andthroughout the developed world. Each of these unemployed workers must be taughthow to cope with life on a daily basis while at the same time becoming re-skilled withthe hope of re-entering the workforce in a new capacity. There are formal, plannedcurricula for this purpose, but there is also a tremendous amount of learning which can157take place informally.Many people are becoming entrepreneurial, learning their new business as theygo along, seeking help where it is available. Many others have decided that a return to anew and different workforce is not the answer to their predicament, they are generallyolder, used to higher wages and salaries than some corporations can afford now, and seeno prospect of working again before retirement. There are people such as FrithjofBergmann (1983), and the New Work Society, who are trying to address such problemsusing any means within their power to encourage people to learn new ways of thinking,and to adopt creative ways of changing the 9-5 routine which has governed so manyworkers' lives for so long.Some evidence of changing attitudes is becoming apparent in a recentannouncement by President Clinton of the United States that in the face of reducedneed for armaments he would keep munitions factories running, making socially usefuland acceptable products. This was tried in 1981 in Britain, and failed (Cooley, 1987), butperhaps twelve years later, in 1993 in another country, 'the time is right' and the ideamight finally find a foothold in a more aware society. If such a change does in facthappen, it suggests that grass-roots movements to persuade decision makers to learnfrom suggestions made by workers may gradually be having some effect on officialpolicies. It is not just the lower echelons of society who have to learn, become creativeand change their attitudes, it extends throughout, from top to bottom, and no-one,however well educated, is immune from the need for further and continuing learning.Not only is the current employment market an area which might benefit fromcreative ways of using informal learning opportunities, the field of community health isalready having to attack new problems with new, or different, approaches to learningpromoting lifestyle changes which may avoid known risks of diseases common to oursociety. People are encouraged to take personal proactive responsibility for theirwellness, rather than succumb to illness for lack of knowledge or lack of application ofthe preventative measures that are within their power. Sometimes this involves major158changes in attitude and values, but when society has been saturated with theappropriate information, and time has elapsed in which learning and reflection can takeplace, societal changes in attitude begin to be manifested in changing social policies. Thetime becomes right for a major shift to general acceptance that new values replace theold. This can only take place, however, through constant use of persuasivecommunication and social marketing in selling a change of values to individuals until acritical mass is reached which, if Senge (1990) is correct, causes the movement towardsacceptance of a new value to be unstoppable.Much informal learning is also being used to promote environmentalresponsibility. Attitudes and values towards non-renewable resources are changing, andmovements have been around for many years to encourage less use of packaging, moreuse of returnable containers, use of biological controls in place of insecticides andherbicides, the re-stocking of streams with fish after cleaning up water quality first—thelist goes on. There is a great deal of informal learning happening in these areas, much ofit through promotion by community action groups, but also in some sectors of thecommunity there is a lot of self-learning taking place as people are anxious to find outmore for themselves and then incorporate their learning into their personal lifestyles.Another area which has been using informal learning for quite some time is in the area ofcomputers and 'everyday' technology that the public is having to become accustomedto as previous methods are being replaced.Libraries now have computer catalogues, bank machines have become a way oflife, and before long there may be opportunities to access transportation timetables, dailynewspapers and other necessities of life through computer-assisted technology. People,especially those who have had little or no contact with computers, suddenly findthemselves faced with the problem of learning how to use them or doing without theinformation they need, and informal learning and teaching is taking place all the time inthese domains. There not only has to be learning concerning the use of these newtechnologies, there must also be learning to encourage overcoming the fear of finding159out how to use them. Amongst non-computer users there is considerable `techno-phobia' which has to be overcome before people will even consider learning how to usethem.New attitudes and values are permeating everyday life in many areas at this time,all of which need a considerable amount of promotion before they become woven intothe fabric of life and people wonder why anything different was ever acceptable. Ittakes years of promotion, persuasion, role modelling, and perhaps policy making andlegislation until social attitudes change. Those that affect individuals personally may beeasier to bring about because of the fact that vested interests are involved, but whereattitudes are towards others and do not affect the individual directly, it may be a littlemore difficult to inculcate. For example, it may be easier to persuade someone to changetheir diet to conform with new health knowledge, whereas it may be more difficult topersuade that same person to be concerned about handicapped access to publicbuildings, or equality in the workplace. In such cases where wholesale conversion ofattitude is eventually required, the media have a large role to play in keeping matters inthe news, gradually saturating society with information which cannot be ignored.Implications for PracticeKnowing that achieving attitude change is a long-term learning project, it shouldbe accepted that knowledge increases little by little, over time, and as the new attitudebecomes accepted into the mainstream it gathers momentum, sometimes exponentially.Short-term learning is important to deal with immediate circumstances and start theprocess of change, and acting on that learning helps to re-inforce acceptance of anattitude or value at an individual level. When others see action taking place, they toobecome aware of values being implemented, not just inwardly acknowledged, and thusthis sort of learning may have a domino effect. For example, recently many sidewalkcurbs at intersections have had wheelchair ramps built in so that disabled people cancross roads with the same ease as mobile pedestrians. While the work was being done160around the city it may have made a few people stop and think why all this washappening, and to consider what other obstacles the handicapped must face on a dailybasis which the average person does not even notice. These are seemingly insignificantmatters to most, and as Fensham (1992) states, they are taken for granted, apparentlyobvious, and therefore not newsworthy or a talking point since it is assumed thateverybody else knows about them. But as was found in this research, trigger factors canbe something very small, but important to the individual, and it is difficult to guess whatmight act as a catalyst for whom.Because we cannot tell what will arouse an interest which may lead to learningand change of values, it is essential to create as wide a range of learning opportunities aspossible on a consistent basis in order to promote, encourage and attain the eventualgoal. On the larger scale, advertising can be used in conjunction with socialmarketing—the Participaction campaign is an example of this, encouraging people toadopt a healthier lifestyle through regular participation in physical activity within theircapacity. Social marketing and advertising are closely allied, and used with sensitivitycan both be educational. There are many more public service advertisements in themedia now than in previous years, promoting changes in attitude towards drinking anddriving, smoking, recycling, and many other aspects of life which depend, to an extent,on peer support for the new attitude.Another invaluable aspect of informal and incidental learning is the way that twoor more apparently unlinked pieces of information, even apparent trivia, can becomevaluable knowledge through some catalytic action which makes that informationmeaningful for one person, and yet another person may fail to see any connection. Nolearning, incidental, informal or any other kind, is wasted. It may remain unconnected foryears before becoming linked and meaningful, but Archimedes was probably notlooking for a theory about objects displacing their own volume of water when hestepped into the bathtub. Although as Jarvis (1987a) states, there is meaningful andmeaningless experience, what is meaningful to one person might be meaningless to161another, and planned learning opportunities to encourage informal learning mustacknowledge this and offer many ways of absorbing the same information in order to tryto meet this challenge. In order for learning to occur, and thus for an experience to bemeaningful, Jarvis (p. 168) suggests thatpeople have to think about it, reflect upon it and, maybe, seek otheropinions about it ... Reflection is an essential phase in the learningprocess whereby people explore their experiences in a conscious mannerin order to lead to a new understanding and, perhaps, a new behaviour.... Reflecting is, however, a personal process. People reflect in differentways and they bring their own personal stock of knowledge to bear uponthe experience. Sometimes that reflection may be of a cursory andsuperficial nature while at other times it may be deep, searching, andprofound.As well as providing an opportunity to learn, therefore, there must also be anopportunity to think on it and discuss it with others. According to Blunt (1988, p. 50)"Learning has emerged as the key to ... enabling participation to occur."Gaining knowledge through the process of informal and incidental learning in acommunity setting, in conjunction with participation in activities, can play a veryimportant role in creating a knowledgeable community and in changing social attitudes.Present-day democracy is much more participatory than it used to be, with many interestgroups forming to discuss overall goals and plans to be presented to the politicians andbureaucrats who make the decisions governing that area. It is therefore necessary forsuch groups to be well-informed not only in the immediate matter under discussion, butalso in the ways of bureaucracy, how to solicit opinion and be representative of theircommunity, and in long-term goals as well as short-term plans.Many such advisory groups are now being initiated by bureaucracy itself, as seenin Vancouver's City Circles, which are voluntary groups set up to discuss ideas for thefuture city plan. In this instance such 'study circles' are non-confrontational and areoffered help in the form of facilitators, meeting space, and any other services which maybe required in aiding citizens to participate (Vancouver CityPlan, 1993). A local arearesidents' association has similarly set up 'Kitchen Table Sessions' to discuss ideas for162planning future development of their area of the city with regard to housing, businessareas, roads, traffic and any other issues seen as important to the success and well-beingof the neighbourhood. Ideas from both the more formally organized CityPlan and theinformal Kitchen Table Groups will be presented to Council for consideration andinclusion in future planning and legislation. Growth of these study groups indicates adesire by individuals firstly to become more knowledgeable about the needs of theircommunity and the ways of bureaucracy, and secondly to have a more participatory rolein their local government. At the same time the fact that this form of consultation is beingused by bureaucracy shows recognition that there is much commonsense knowledge inthe community which has remained until now an untapped resource.Other interest groups dealing with specific social issues need also to beknowledgeable in legislation already in place, and in way of drafting recommendationsfor amendments to that legislation to accommodate changing social needs and attitudes.Self-help groups of all kinds are learning systems where informal and incidental learningplay a very large part in furthering the needs of participants, and enabling them to helpthose in the wider community who share the same problems.There is immense learning going on in these situations, amongst the participantsof the discussion groups and between the spokespeople for these groups and council,when presentations are finally made. As people feel more included in their localgovernment process, so they will be encouraged to learn more informally so that theycan maintain and increase their participation. They develop vested interests in theoutcomes of their suggestions for a more livable city or region, become more interestedin what is happening in the area, and thereby create their own informal learning cycle.Encouraging people to participate in decision-making wherever possible empowersthem to feel a certain amount of control over their destiny. To ignore the wishes of theelectorate at this time is courting disaster, encouraging very knowledgeable grass-rootsmovements to act in confrontation rather than co-operation.163One area in which the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee were particularlysuccessful was in encouraging people to think critically about all sides of the issue, andnot rely on appeal to emotion in order to gain support. As one member of the Committeesaid:A lot of the groups generally rely on emotion. 'This is awful, the way oursociety is going, and we must reverse civilization, we've lost touch withour roots and lost sight of what we should be doing for the planet' andso on. It's good stuff, and it reaches a certain emotional level and that'sgreat. You've got to have people like that doing that sort of angle, butit's no good going to a politician and saying we've lost touch with ourroots! (3:4)Members of the Committee stressed many times that they put the environmental factsbefore the general public and invited them to make up their own minds as to theworthiness of the arguments made against housing and golf course development.Members of the public also stated that they weighed the evidence from both sidescarefully before making a decision. As one person put it:I judged everything on its merits and asked questions all the time,weighing the evidence as to whether or not what I was reading orhearing was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, anddoing my own research on the matter before deciding what I felt about itand what I believed or disbelieved about presentations. (16:1)It is thus important for community action groups and others involved in citizenshipeducation is to encourage the development of critical thinking skills amongst thegeneral public, not just those who participate in action groups, but everyone whowishes to be able to participate in the democratic process.Critical thinking and analysis of information also extends to what is seen andheard in the media. Newspapers and magazines always have an editorial bias, which maybe exercised to a greater or lesser extent, but information gained from these source mustbe judged as much for what is not written as for what does appear on the printed page.There are also various ways the visual media can manipulate interpretation of reality. Forexample, recent television news coverage of an environmental demonstration whichbecame somewhat more confrontational than expected concentrated, in part, on filming164lengthy floor-level footage of the crowd in ragged jeans and sneakers. Withoutcommentators saying anything, my interpretation of this presentation was "look at theseunruly people, just look at the way they're dressed, people who dress and behave likethat can't be presenting a rational, informed point of view." Other people may haveinterpreted the scene very differently, but the media can be manipulative if one is notaware of the way editing may create bias.Not only is bias found in the media—the Boundary Bay Conservation Committeeacknowledged their bias from the outset. They provided information at meetings whichput forward the environmental point of view, and if the public wanted to hear thedeveloper's side they would not look to the Conservation Committee to provide it. Butif people are encouraged to question information received and become knowledgeablethemselves about the matter, they are then in a position to make a firm and reasonedjudgment as to their opinion. Opinions held as a result of critical reflection are morelikely to be maintained and defended than those resulting from immediate emotionalappeal.One aspect of learning in community settings, and perhaps more especially wherethe issue is fairly intense and serious, is to introduce an element of fun and enjoymentfrom time to time, where people can relax, take time out to socialize, congratulatethemselves on victories achieved to date, and take stock of what must still be done inthe future. This was certainly evident with the issue at Boundary Bay, where the LastStraw Festival was held to provide some relief from the tension of waiting for Council'sdecision on whether or not to go ahead with allowing the proposed development,against which the community action groups were working so hard. The seriousness ofgetting to the long public hearings every night on time was lightened at one point bythe organization of pot-luck suppers at City Hall when the scheduled starting time wasbrought forward unexpectedly. Individual burn-out in these demanding situations canbe quite high, and care must be taken to ensure that time is set aside to try to preventthat from happening.165Core group members of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee stated that itwas difficult to find people who had the time to be deeply committed to the action. Thisis usually the case with any action group—most people have busy schedules and areunable to devote the large amount of time it often takes to lobby politicians, attendmeetings during the day, organize and run learning activities for the general public,produce and distribute information, attend media events or the see to the many 'behindthe scenes' administrative details which keep community action groups running. Thus itis important to keep recruiting active members who can share the load, or take overwhen others have to leave. The strength of any organization lies in its people, and nogroup can exist for long on a small pool upon whom the entire burden falls.In order to gain the public's confidence, any new group must establish itscredibility for the cause it supports in the way it promotes its message, the type ofmessage it puts out to the public, and the reliability of its information. It is also necessaryto be congruent with, or fit into, the beliefs and values of the public from whom supportis being sought. In this respect the Boundary Bay Conservation Committeeinitially stood back, because some local people felt a "greenie" lobbycould hurt their issue rather than help it. Ultimately the opposite provedto be true. (2:2:3)Originally the concerns of the many small action groups which sprang up against thedevelopment project were traffic, housing density, social problems and loss of quality oflife on an individual basis. It was not until a member of the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee brought up the concern for the environment as a whole at the publichearings that the common good, as opposed to the individual good, became the moreimportant factor. But once that point had been made publicly, it caught on immediatelyand it was on that issue more than any other, that all the educational strategies andlobbying were based. All the other concerns were still present, and still valid, but fellsomewhat into the background once the major focus became the sanctity of the flywayand the changing of the Agricultural Land Reserve criteria to allow golf courses to be a166legitimate use of farm land.Because of the good rapport created by the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee when it was at its most active, people began to rely on its members to makerepresentations to Council, to put forward proactive ideas for future area plans, and toask for official studies to be carried out before further decision-making took place. Whilemost of the other smaller community action groups have disbanded as the immediatethreat to the area has diminished, the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee hasbecome more active and more prominent because it covers a wider range of issues thanthe smaller groups did. It has become acknowledged in the community as beingproactive in negotiating with Municipal council and working towards an overall planfor the area which would reduce conflicts between the many and varied interests, suchas farmers, hunters, environmentalists, the rights of the First Nations People, and otherdevelopers who now are looking towards expanding a nearby coal port into a containerterminal. The mandate of the Committee has now changed from being very active in theshort term to being consistently hard working towards long term plans for the overallgood of the area, continuing with long-term educational strategies, and trying to draw allinterest groups together through consensus building.Thus action groups must be able to 'read' the community in which they areworking if maximum co-operation and support is to be gained. They must have localcredibility and be seen to be reliable and consistent in what they do and how they do it,so that the community can rely on them to provide the voice they, as individuals, appearto have lost when it comes to lobbying politicians and decision-makers in times ofconflict.At the same time, community action groups must also plan their educationalstrategy to ensure that the general public becomes knowledgeable and well informed onthe issue by the means summarized in Table 2, together with any other ways whichspecific groups might find applicable to their particular situation. In the case of theBoundary Bay Conservation Committee the community learning which took place was167deliberately and carefully orchestrated, agreeing with Martin (1988, p. 218) whomaintains that " 'education' in the widest sense is of central importance for(environmental) movements" and is not just a spin-off from participation as suggestedby Armstrong and Davies (1977, p. 153) who askDo community action groups really proceed to deliberately teach theirmembers relevant skills and knowledge? That they are learning systemsis undoubtedly true, but it is probably also true to say that the learningis really a spin-off from participation and involvement, i.e. that theamount of attitude change which occurs or political awareness whichgrows up is a major by-product. The groups do not organize primarily toteach or instruct, but they are nonetheless networks for learning and thelearning may be very extensive.In the case of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee one of their first actions afterbecoming informed and knowledgeable as a core group was to organize educationalactivities which encouraged informal and incidental learning in the community, andtherefore their answer to Armstrong and Davies' question "do community action groupsreally proceed to deliberately teach their members relevant skills and knowledge" ismost definitely yes.In final summary, this case study found six main ways in which public awarenesswas raised, which are sumamrized in Table 2, and nine `behind-the-scenes'elementswhich seem to be necessary for a core group to become successful and gain respect intheir community, shown in Table 3. This particular community action group achieved ahigh profile with the target audience both at the time of greatest activity, while the issuewas being hotly debated, and in the longer term, as overall plans for the area begin toemerge. The learning opportunities created by the Boundary Bay ConservationCommittee are summarized in Table 4, and the communication flow which determinedhow information diffused within the community is outlined in Table 5, and schematizedin Figures 2 and 3.It is hoped that these findings may be useful to other informal education groupsconcerned with changing attitudes or educating communities large or small throughstrategies based on informal and incidental learning, although how much of the168information contained in this thesis might be useful elsewhere depends on the specifictarget audience, circumstances, and subject matter of the issue under consideration.169REFERENCESAbelson, H.I. (1959). Persuasion. New York: Springer.Armstrong, R. (1972). 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World Commission on Environment &Development.Burnard, P. (1988) Experiential learning: some theoretical considerations. InternationalJournal of Lifelong Education, 7(2), 127-133.Cann, R. J. (1984). Incidental Learning. Adult Education, 57(1), 47-49.Cann R.& Mannings, B. (1987). Incidental learning: a positive experience. AdultEducation 60(2), 128-133.Carlson, R. (1980). The foundation of adult education: Analysing the Boyd-Apps model.In R.D. Boyd, J.W. Apps & Associates. Redefining the discipline of adult education.(pp. 174-184). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Collins, H.M. (1982). Tacit knowledge and scientific networks. In Barnes, B. & Edge, D.(Eds.). Science in context: Readings in the sociology of science (pp. 44-64).Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.170Cooley, M. (1987). Lucas and socially useful production. In T. Woodhouse (Ed.).People and planet: Alternative nobel prize speeches, 138-153. Hartland, UK: GreenBooks.Coombs, P.H. (1985). The world crisis in education: The view from the eighties. NewYork: Oxford University Press.Dean, G. J. & Dowling, W. D. (1987). Community Development: An adult educationmodel. Adult Education Quarterly, 37(2), 78-89.Durrance, J.C. (1980). Citizens groups and the transfer of public policy information in acommunity. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, 1980).Fensham, P.J. (1992). Common sense knowledge: A challenge to research. RadfordMemorial Lecture, Deakin University. Unpublished manuscript. Monash University,Faculty of Education.Finger, M. (1989a). New social movements and their implications for adult education.Adult Education Quarterly, 40(1), 15-22.Finger, M. (1989b). Environmental adult education from the perspective of the adultlearner. Convergence, 22(4), 25-31.Glaser, B.G., Strauss, A.L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies forqualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Publishing.Hastings, G. & Haywood, A. (1991). Social marketing and communication in healthpromotion. Health Promotion International, 6(2), 135-145.Hastings, G.B. & Scott, A.C. (1988). Advertising research: a new perspective fordeveloping educational material. Research in Education, 39,73-82.Hovland, C.I, Janis, I.L.& Kelley, H.H. (1953). Communication andpersuasion: Psychological studies of opinion change. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Jarvis, P. (1986) Sociological perspectives on lifelong education and lifelong learning.Adult Education Department: University of Georgia.Jarvis, P. (1987a). Meaningful and meaningless experience: towards an analysis oflearning from life. Adult Education Quarterly, 37(3), 164-172.Jarvis, P. (1987b). Adult learning in the social context. New York: Croom Helm.Johnson, J.C. (1990). Selecting ethnographic informants. Newbury Park, CA: SagePublications.Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Kotler, P. (1982). Marketing for non-profit organisations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall.171Lamble, W. (1984). Diffusion and adoption of innovations. In Blackburn, D.J. (Ed).Extension handbook. University of Guelph.Linton, David (1977). The Battle of Whiskey Run. Parks & Recreation, 12(9),65-67, 92-94.Lovett, T. (Ed.). (1988). Radical approaches to adult education: A reader. New York:Routledge.MTR Consultants Ltd. (1991). Corporation of Delta: Tsawwassen Commercial MarketStudy. Unpublished.Manoff, R. K. (1985). Social marketing: New imperative for public health. New York:Praeger.Marsick, V.J. & Watkins, K.E. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace.London: Routledge.Martin, B. (1988). Education and the environmental movement. In Lovett, T. (Ed.).Radical approaches to adult education: A reader. New York: Routledge.McCreary, E. K. (1984). Use and utility of information channels for self-help advocacygroups. (Information gathering by advocacy groups). Unpublished doctoraldissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.Merriam, S.B. (1988). Case study research in education - A qualitative approach.San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Owens, R.G. (1982). Methodological rigor in naturalistic inquiry: Some issues andanswers. Educational Administration Quarterly. 18(2), 1-21.Parker, F., & Parker, B.J. (1991). Myles Horton of Highlander: Adult educator andSouthern activist (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 336 615)Paulston, R. (1977). Social and educational change: Conceptual frameworks.Comparative Education Review, 21(2/3), 370-395.Reischmann, Jost (1986). Learning "en passant": The forgotten dimension. Paperpresented at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Adult andContinuing Eduction. (Hollywood, Fl. October 23) (ERIC Document ReproductionService No. ED 274 782)Roberts, H. (1979). Community development: Learning and action. Toronto: Universityof Toronto Press.Rogers, E.M. (1983). Diffusion of innovations. (3rd ed.). Free Press: New York.Rossing, Boyd E. (1991). Patterns of informal incidental learning: insights fromcommunity action. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 10(1), 45-60.172Selman, G. (1990a). "New Social Movements" and Citizenship Education in Canada.Proceedings. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, University ofVictoria.Selman, G. (1990b). Changing concepts of democracy: Implications for education forcitizenship. Unpublished manuscript, University of British Columbia, Department ofAdministrative, Adult & Higher Education, Vancouver, B.C.Selman, G. (1991). Citizenship and the adult education movement in Canada.Vancouver: University of British Columbia.Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline : the art and practice of the learningorganization. New York: Doubleday/Currency.Stewart, C., Smith, C., & Denton, R.E. (1984). Persuasion and social movements. ProspectHeights, IL: Waveland Press.Trenholm, S. (1989). Persuasion and social influence. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: PrenticeHall.Vancouver CityPlan Tool Kit. (1993). Vancouver City Hall.Zacharakis-Jutz, J. (1991, April). Highlander Folk School and the Labor Movement, 1932-1935: The relationship between education and social movements. Paperpresented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association,Chicago, IL. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 331 940)Zaremba, A. (1988). More than rumours. Understanding the organizational grapevine.(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 296 434)173Appendix AQuestion ScheduleRe: Core Group Activities Do you think people learn by following your example in what you do in the communitywith regard to the issue? Does your name often appear on meeting minutes or in themedia as being involved?To what extent did the core group use mass media communications?- Newspaper articles- local/national radio/televisionfilms or videosnewsletters- slide shows and presentations- frequent promotions in other public areasbriefs to council- organized attendance at relevant council meetingsDo you think people regard you as an opinion leader in this issue? Do they place morecredibility on something when you say it, rather than someone else saying it?Do you often get asked to speak in public on the issue?Are presentations made to community groups/schools?When you make a public presentation, do you carefully think through what is going tobe said in advance, or do you prefer to speak 'off the cuff'?When you address an audience, do you have an idea of who they are and why they arethere before you start?Did you have a particular target audience in mind when making presentations?- please describe any specific target audience aimed atDo you find all sections of the community will take an interest in the issue, or onlycertain sections?- If only certain sections, which are they?- the already converted?the vaguely interested?- the completely uninformed, seeking more information?- is there much opposition in the form of heckling?- do the opposition attend?174How do you select people to make public presentations?- the first person who is free?- people well known to the community and respected for their opinion?- do you ever try to get someone with a well-known name to endorse the issue?Are the education efforts of the core group carefully planned and co-ordinated on along-term basis, or do they 'just happen' as the need arises?If planned education, on what basis was it planned?- what assumptions were made about the target audience?- were any specific 'teaching tactics' used deliberately?have any other groups found some ways of getting the message across moreeffective and efficient than others?- if so, which groups, and what tactics?Were petitions sent around the community?how?door to door?through mall promotions, open-house meetings, other meetings, or environmentday activities?Did it take some considerable time to get the general public interested in the issue?- any idea how long?Did the core group get together with other major environmental organisations insupporting the issue?- if so, which groups got together?- how did they help each other- was there some cross-over of personnel, some people belonging to severalgroups?Were outside resources called upon sometimes?which?- how did they help?- was it a short-term or long-term liaison?Do you talk about the issue a lot on a person-to-person basis in the community?Re: Extended Community LearningDo you notice people in the extended community changing their attitude, or is itsomething which isn't noticeable until demonstrated by specific action?Do those people seem to take more interest in the issue as time goes by, or do they justabsorb the information but take no action?175Do people in the extended community discuss the issue a lot between themselves?Were bumper stickers or other small information posters provided for general use?Do people tend to use them to spread the message?- what about the use of lapel buttons?When choosing information to give out, through meetings, posters, pamphlets etc., wereboth sides of the issue given, or was one side only promoted? How did you see thematter being presented?Did the group deliberately target specific groups to start spreading the message?- community centres/groups- schools- other environmental groupsservice groups, etc.?What were your reasons for becoming involved in this issue?Can you suggest ways and means by which the campaign might have had more impact?If you were to do it all again, what might you do differently?Re: Mass MediaWhen using mass media in any form to promote the message - community tv or radio,video/slide presentations, do you do any sort of checks to see whether the message youbelieve you are promoting is the one the audience is picking up?in personal discussions with those involved, do you ascertain that they they haveinterpreted the message in the way you wished it to be?What form of mass communications were used?- newsletter- newspapercommunity tv- radioposters- bumper stickers- lapel buttonspamphlets- flyers176Re: Interpersonal communications If you attended a presentation on the issue, what was it that held your attention most?Had you already formed some opinion, either for or against, before attending suchpresentations?What first drew your attention to the fact that there was an issue to be concernedabout?- meeting- bumper sticker/poster- community tv.personal communication at home/workWhat was it about the things which caught your attention which caused you to stopand look at it, listen to it?What particular fact or information caught your attention?Did you subsequently find yourself noticing newspaper articles, other posters etc. whichyou might otherwise have overlooked?Did your opinions change one way or the other in the course of the discussions, overtime?If your opinions changed, can you pinpoint anything in particular that caused thatchange?Did discussions of the issue serve to reinforce an already-held opinion, either for oragainst?Did you find yourself discussing the issue with friends/work colleagues/people youbump into?- Did it become a topic of interest throughout the community, that you were awareof?When looking at information pamphlets, videos, etc. were you made aware of both sidesof the issue?- Did you notice bias towards one side?- Did it coincide with your own opinions, or did it help to change them in anyway?Was information provided not only by the action group but by those onthe other side as well? i.e. did the developers attempt to put out their side of thestory.If so, how did their information help you to form your opinion?177Did you learn about the issue because you saw it in the media, on posters, bumperstickers so often?- if not, how?Did you attend many information meetings, open houses or other displays to find outmore about the issue?Did you go on any organized or individual walks around the site in question to see foryourself what it involved?Did you become more than just incidentally involved? Did you take part in any positiveactions- organizing trips to the site?- helping the core group in some way?- other means, i.e. support with cash or volunteer time?What were your reasons for becoming involved in this issue?Have you always been involved in environmental issues? Can you remember when youfirst became interested/took part in a similar issue?To what extent might you have got information through rumours or the grape vine?- did it turn out to be correct?if not, how did you find the correct information?- how do you determine whether something is fact or rumour?Through which means did you accumulate what you know now about the issue?- mass media?- which?- personal communication?- which?Did you learn a lot about the issue mainly:- from your own friends,from work colleaguesfrom elsewhere- if so, where/whomDid most other people learn in the same way, do you think?178Did you actively seek more information about the issue on your own?- from where, which sources?- other people- the mediathe core groupthe bureaucracy- otherWhich were the most important sources of information to you in learning about thismatter and keeping up-to-date with events?Can you suggest ways and means by which the campaign could have been moreeffective?Note: These questions were jotted down as the literature review was being done. Astexts were read, and questions came to mind suggested by the literature, they werenoted for possible use in interview-discussions, and formed the basis upon whichinterviews were structured.Slightly different questions were asked of core group members, the media, and thegeneral public, for some questions which were applicable to one segment of thepopulation were not applicable to the other. The headings under which questions fellwere also suggested by the literature, particularly that relating to persuasivecommunications and social marketing.As each interview progressed cues were taken from what had already been said tosee which question could be logically asked next in order to cover the areas suggestedabove. Some questions did not need to be asked, as respondents talked about manyaspects without being prompted. During interviews, which were always tape-recorded,with permission, attention could be given to the subject matter being discussed withouttrying to remember important details, which would come out when tapes weretranscribed, and it was found to be very helpful if respondents' key words were jotteddown as they spoke, so that topics which had been brushed over quickly could befurther explored by the next question to be asked.As soon as possible after each interview, tapes were transcribed so that theinformation provided by one respondent could be used to shape the upcominginterview for the next respondent. In this way events referred to by one person could beconfirmed by another, or a second person could provide a very different perspective tothe same happening. This is part of the constant comparison process recommended byqualitative methodology texts.


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