Walking the talk: Expectations and intentions of a popular education workshop


Popular education programs allow for collective agenda setting and flexibility, and also to carefully and respectfully design activities that bring in all voices and level the power in the room. Popular education methods help to raise awareness and engage with stakeholders to support topics, such as social justice, human rights, collective power, and nonviolent responses. This study examines the explicit and implicit intentions and expectations of participants who have engaged in popular education workshops related to authentic leadership. This instrumental case study examines the reflective writing of 13 participants from two popular education workshops. To analyze the 26 reflections, the co-researchers individually coded a set of four reflections and then worked with a partner to compare their coding results. Themes were developed from the coded data. The themes included the Center as a destination, seeking renewal and inspiration, personal growth and learning gained from the experience, open minded and flexible expectations, interest in the topic, and professional and academic growth and networking. We suggest ways to build in components of a popular education program to other settings, such as building community, storytelling and sharing, and establishing group norms.

Publication Title

Journal of Experiential Education