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American Federation of Teachers: International Affairs Department Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR000348IA

Scope and Content

The majority of the collection deals with AFT’s activities via various non-government organizations that worked in Poland and Russia. Documentation and reports about the activities of various unions in other countries as well as their governments are scattered through out this collection especially in the files of countries. There is valuable information on the development and creation of various organizations, such as Education for Democracy International and the International Civic Education Exchange Program. Some AFL-CIO files contain insight on day-to-day operations right before the fall of the Soviet Union. Most of the organizations files contain grant and reports and updates of projects. The collection consists of some of the issues surrounding Central American during the 1980s as well.

Papers consist of reports, grant proposals, emails, drafts and final papers, articles and academic publications, memos and correspondence in variety of languages. There are conference planning and conference packets from international events, guests lists and lists of participants in workshops, US visits as well as teacher to teacher programs.

Abbreviations used: F.E.N. – French Teachers Union IFFTU – International Federation of Free Trade Unions NASUWT – National Association of School Masters Union of Women Teachers NEA – National Education Association USAID – U.S. Agency for International Development FTUI - Free Trade Union Institute

Important Subjects: Czechoslovakia Democracy--Former communist countries National Endowment for Democracy (U.S.) Poland Polish teachers Russia Sandinista Solidarity (Labor Organization) Nicaragua Teacher Unions Free Trade Unions

Important Names: Albert Shanker Chester Finn, Jr. David Dorn Diana Ravitch Eric Chenoweth Matthew Gandal Paul Somogyi Time Shea Zhenya Belyakov

Series Description: Series I, AFT, 1981-2001 Activities generated from the AFT that concerned the International Affairs Department. Correspondence, reports and other items related to education reform and international issues from the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO files do contain very detailed communication with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Series II, Subject and Organization Files, 1981-1998 Correspondence with other organizations and actual actives of the International Affairs Department in participation with other organizations. The series contains communications, reports, subject materials, information about various projects and reports.

Series III, Countries, 1981-1996 Correspondence and factual information about teacher unions in these countries. The files on Poland are a great insight on the activities that the AFT took in assisting the Solidarity movement in Poland.

Series IV, Groups and AFT sponsored projects, 1987-2000 Series is made up of grant packages to create non-government agencies that the AFT was involved with, the formation of these groups and yearly reports. They consist of correspondence with author who wrote various essays on democracy that were used through out eastern Europe and Russia. This series has very detailed information on the creating Education for Democracy nationally and internationally.

Series V, Publications Various publications published by Democracy for Education or the National Endowment for Democracy in Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and other languages.

Dates

  • 1980 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1990 - 1999

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

History

The AFT has always maintained a close relationship with unions from across the globe. The AFT was very active with the World Federation of Education Association and the International Federation of Free Teacher Unions. By the 1970s with the election of Albert Shanker as president of the AFT; the international affairs department took a more prominent role in international activities particularly in Eastern and Central Europe, Central America, Africa and Asia. The AFT worked with various teacher unions around the world to start training programs for teachers and unionists that established a presence in countries to educate about free trade unionism and democracy. The department also increased its presence in various human rights campaigns as well as worked on strengthening the anti-child labor laws.

Extent

12 Linear Feet (12 SB)

Abstract

The AFT has always maintained a close relationship with unions from across the globe. The AFT was very active with the World Federation of Education Association and the International Federation of Free Teacher Unions. By the 1970s with the election of Albert Shanker as president of the AFT; the international affairs department took a more prominent role in international activities particularly in Eastern and Central Europe, Central America, Africa and Asia.

The majority of the collection deals with AFT’s activities via various non-government organizations that worked in Poland and Russia. Documentation and reports about the activities of various unions in other countries as well as their governments are scattered through out this collection especially in the files of countries. There is valuable information on the development and creation of various organizations, such as Education for Democracy International and the International Civic Education Exchange Program. Some AFL-CIO files contain insight on day-to-day operations right before the fall of the Soviet Union.

Arrangement

Arranged in 5 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), Series 2 (Boxes 2-4), Series 3 (Boxes 4-6), Series 4 (Boxes 5-11), and Series 5 (Box 12).

Series I – III are arranged in alphabetical order. Series IV is alphabetical by organization. Within each organization the series is broken down alphabetically as well. Series V are publications in no order.

Acquisition

Deposited in December 1997 and August 2003 by the American Federation of Teachers.

Related Materials

AFT President’s Office: Albert Shanker Records, AFT President’s Office: Al Lowenthal Records, Selma Borchardt Papers

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Daniel Golodner in 2009.
Title
Guide to the American Federation of Teachers: International Affairs Department Records
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Daniel Golodner.
Date
2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA