Popular Online Education

The Cooperative New School is a next generation institution for popular education that is fully online and governed cooperatively by students, faculty, and staff. Popular education is politically conscious in that it recognizes oppressive structures in society. It aims at social transformation through the self-empowerment of people who are socially marginalized, or who are not sufficiently served by established academic institutions. Our collaborative structure, in which student-owners and faculty-owners co-create our curriculum, as well as teach and learn from each other, is rooted in these principles. Popular education originates in many parts of the globe. The faculty owners at the Cooperative New School draw inspiration from pedagogical approaches articulated by among others Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and Myles Horton.


The purpose of this institution is to prepare activists, organizers, and social entrepreneurs to survive and fight back in a rapidly changing world. Scientific consensus is that dramatic environmental change is not only inevitable but already happening. Fires with increasing intensity, strong storms and longer duration of storm season, dead zones in oceans, rising sea levels, just to name a few are going to be increasingly common. The next steps are adaptation and mitigation, in a word, survival. We believe that dealing with environmental change and catastrophe will begin in local communities with basic skills, skills which have been lost in the Industrial Age. Growing food are one of the basic skills that The Cooperative New School’s courses focus on.


Student Owners receive a 20 percent discount on all courses and webinars. Sign up today!
Dates: September 3, 2019 - November 19, 2019

This course takes an ecosystem approach to the study of urban food production through its intersections with social, cultural, and political dimensions of the urban environment. "Urban Agriculture and Food Justice" examines historic and contemporary forces driving urban agriculture, and the ways that it contributes to processes of gentrification, food security, biodiversity, energy conservation, job creation, human health, and well being.

Dates: September 7, 2019 - November 23, 2019

Economies in cities are dominated by extra-local corporations. The question is “how do communities start to take back control from these corporations?” The answer lies in a methodology for community development called asset-based community development or ABCD. ABCD assumes that people in communities already have skills and talents, but that those skills and talents are under utilized. It is an evolution of popular education, which we will spend the first half of the semester discussing.