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Popular Education

The philosophy and methodology that underlies, animates and inspires our work at ORCHWA is popular education, also known as, "the people's education."

Popular/people's education is an approach to education and organizing that has been used successfully around the world for literacy instruction, community development, health promotion, and in other fields. It is based on the ideas that

1) the knowledge gained through life experience is just as important (and sometimes more important) than the knowledge gained through formal education, and

2) people -- especially people who are most affected by inequities--are the experts about their/our own experience.

While popular/people's education is closely associated with the Brazilian educator  Paulo Freire, there are forms of popular education all over the world.  Popular/people's educators seek to start with what people already know and do, create situations where people can learn from one another, and then use what they know to create a more just and equitable society.

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