Under the Radar: Popular Education in North America

Under the Radar Ft

What exactly is popular education? Historically, the two most significant thinker-practitioners for North American popular educators are Myles Horton and Paulo Freire. Horton, the founder of Highlander Research and Education Center, drew inspiration initially from the Danish Folk School movement founded by N.F.S Grundtvig in the 19th century. While the folk school movement in North America was primarily focused on personal development, Horton & Highlander became more politically involved in movements for radical social change thru labor unions, civil rights, environmental justice and immigration reform. However, Horton maintained key elements of the folk school approach, such as the importance of having residential retreats, building community, and honoring the inherent wisdom of one’s cultural background