History of Popular Education

Teaching Democracy draws upon the tradition of popular education developed by Brazilian educator and organizer, Paulo Friere in Latin America during the 1930s.  It was deeply important to popular movements of peasants and workers struggling for a more equitable society.

Paulo Freire

Popular education was later used in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement, initially at the Highlander Folk School (now Highlander Research and Education Center) to teach literacy skills to African Americans organizing for the right to vote, and to support their political development as movement leaders.

Today, popular education is used widely in social justice movements in the U.S. and across the world.