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: February 8, 2020 - April 18, 2020

In a time of rising cultural contradictions, the working class has become contested territory. The working class has become increasingly racialized with media and political leaders exacerbating these divisions for political gain. This class aims to define the contested white working class on our own terms including putting forth the notion that the white working class only exists as a political football and that the historical term redneck meant a multiracial class alliance. The empirical evidence for such a definition will be drawn from film and music in this six week class over three months.

Dates: February 19, 2020 - June 10, 2020

As critique, political ecology seeks to expose dominant approaches to the environment favored by corporate, state, and international authorities, working to demonstrate the undesirable impacts of policies and market conditions, especially from the point of view of local people, marginal groups, and vulnerable populations. It works to “denaturalize” certain social and environmental conditions, showing them to be the contingent outcomes of power, and inevitable.

Dates: March 14, 2020 - April 11, 2020

This three-part class provides a space to play with ideas by employing scenarios and vision work that connect people and place while exploring the challenges and possibilities of constructing environmentally and socially just cities. By bringing urban studies, urban political ecology, and critical race theory into relationship with popular media, we will explore the visual and spatial politics of real and imagined cities.

Title Start Date
Political Ecology Wed, 19 Feb 2020
Redneck Studies Sat, 08 Feb 2020
Urban Problems, Politics & Policy Tue, 01 Oct 2019