Panel F.09 — The many experiences and forms of popular education as a response to social inequalities. Legacy, challenges, and perspectives in extracurricular contexts

Convenors Massimiliano Fiorucci (Università Roma Tre, Italy); Lisa Stillo (Università Roma Tre, Italy); Elena Zizioli (Università Roma Tre, Italy)

Keywords Popular education; learning cities; social exclusion; rights;


Popular education has been and is a widespread practice in the European and non-European contexts that highlights the close connection between education and economic development, between participatory processes and pathways to citizenship, between inclusion and social regeneration. It has taken on different forms and modalities in the history of societies, which have corresponded to the social needs and political and cultural contradictions of the various contexts of reference.

Experiences in the past as in the present reflect the non-resignation in the face of injustice and processes of exclusion (Mayo, Vittoria, 2017), with the aim of supporting democratic action and opposing forms of oppression (Torres, 1987), offering paths of inclusion and opportunities for social redemption to the “oppressed” (Freire, 1971) and the “damned of the earth” (Fanon, 2007). Today, in particular, such initiatives exist “to leave no one behind”, countering the neo-liberal model that threatens to turn the school into a company based on competition.

Doing popular education entails listening to the needs of the territories and the subjects that inhabit them, and promoting possible renewed forms of social participation and the exercise of the “right to the city” and the re-appropriation of places, as promoted through international reflections on the concept of learning cities (UNESCO, 2021). Thus, non-formal learning contexts represent laboratories of active citizenship and educational experimentation through the promotion of “competent” communities and the fight against social exclusion.

In closing, the numerous and plural current experiences of popular education appear to represent intervention models in continuity with tradition, but at the same time capable of responding to the urgencies of the current international historical moment.

In this regard, presentations will be welcomed focused on the following topics:

– Theoretical and epistemological dimensions underlying popular education experiences;

– Experiences of popular education and/or case studies;

– Social inclusion and urban contexts;

– Popular education and educating communities;

– Popular education between past and present;

– Systematic literature reviews;

– Comparative analyses of popular education experiences in international contexts;

– Relationships between popular education movements and formal education;

– The role and competences of popular educators


Guidelines and abstracts submission