Follow live the I Meetings of Popular Education

January 27 and 28 just wait Popular education meetings. Bringing together a group of historians and specialists, totally freethe event will be accessible to video conferencing.

A non-exhaustive view of popular education, its history and its values, at a time when the city of Marseille is trying to consolidate it as a foundational pillar of youth development.

The concept of popular education originated in the late nineteenth century in a French society still strongly unequal despite the foundations of principles inherited from the French Revolution.
It can be defined as an educational approach aimed at contributing to the emancipation of people and their autonomy in order to transform society.
The revolutions of 1830, 1848 and 1871 provoked decisive turning points. Three currents were born, each producing in its own way a form of popular education: a secular republican current, a social-Christian current and a working and revolutionary current.
Throughout the twentieth century, the notion of popular education evolved, became institutionalized, took on various political colors.

In Genesis, the Heritage of the Commons and the Christian Social Current

In 1871, the Paris Commune enacted several reforms, including free secular education, as well as vocational education provided by the workers themselves.

In our city, it is the most radical Freemasons who develop, through education, a genuine policy of mutual aid, which includes the range of opponents of Napoleon III. These are the beginnings of a real will for social policy. (See our article The Commune of Marseilles: 150 years later, a look back at an insurrection that changed the course of history).

French movement developed throughout the country through friendly, mutual and cooperative associations created in the years 1810-1820. The repression of the Commune, destroying this movement, was not completely reborn until 1880, becoming a powerful force in political life. In the 1890s, the Employment benefits created by the municipalities to regulate the labor market, they are assumed by the revolutionary trade unionists. The scholarships are equipped with mutual aid services, libraries, evening classes.

Social Christianity, on the other hand, is a movement that brings together the children of notables and young workers and peasants. It is structured more around the fight against misery and poverty.

The 1930s and May 68

The idea of ​​pedagogy of democracy is evolving towards a concept of sociocultural animation, linked to leisure. State recognition involves the creation of rights and the allocation of resources. Thus, the creation of Works Councils (1946), the law on the right to continuing vocational training (1971) or the construction of infrastructures such as the MJC (Center for Youth and Culture).

In the late 1960s a strong will to self-manage emerged along with a desire to rethink popular education as a powerful lever for transforming society. Thus, on May 25, 1968, the directors of the Maisons de la culture published the Villeurbanne Declaration which stated: “Any cultural effort can only seem useless to us as long as it is not expressly intended to be a politicization enterprise: that is, to invent non-stop, for the purpose of this non-public, opportunities to politicize (…). To politicize here being “politics” in its broadest sense, that of civility in terms of everything related to the exercise of power, the organization of society, the sense of the collective …

And today?

In recent years, sociology has developed the concept of capacity, in the sense of increasing the capabilities of each in the framework of a benevolent approach and the promotion of self-confidence. As we have understood, the “Marxist” approach has disappeared in favor of a dimension that defends the ability of citizens to act on their living conditions, their social context, to regain their day to day by being able to decide to themselves. Thus, they can transform the collective.

A lever of emancipation, an educational policy in itself, lines of thought to understand how everyone can flourish and contribute to inventing a more just, egalitarian society … Popular education is also all this.

See you on January 27th and 28th to feed the reflection and learn more about the existing systems in our city.

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