Popular education is carried out within a political vision that sees women and men at the community and grassroots level as the primary agents for social change. It equips people to define their own struggles and to make their voices heard. It involves a process whereby a group collectively analyses its problems and works collectively to solve them, including identifying the resources and skills they need. Popular education develops within this process the consciousness of and commitment to the interests of the most marginalized as part of the struggle.
Popular education brings ongoing “consciousness-raising” to organizing. It shifts the emphasis from organizing for single events to organizing a group of isolated individuals into a collective of people committed to acting together for justice. As the Filipino popular educator Ed de la Torre warned, “if organizing includes only mobilizing for rallies, demos, and protests, then when the space for organizing is again constricted, there’s not enough strength of conviction, clarity, and unity among the people. Because the issues never sank deeper, people join another power (often right-wing forces) when the power of the protest movement wanes.”