Curriculum Overview

Following the spiral model of popular education, which illustrates the important principles of popular education (see image below), our curriculum facilitator guides serve as a tool for increasing community interest and involvement in the food economy. Ultimately, we see this curriculum as a path for increasing community ownership over food resources.

Theories of popular education assert that real empowerment and learning occurs when participants are able to cycle through the entire “spiral” over a long period of time. That said, however, our curriculum is adaptable for different situations and audiences and therefore does not require a consistent audience throughout each of the workshops (although that would be best!).

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Curriculum goals:

Through Workshop 1, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify and record their relationship to the food economy.
  2. Share their relationship to the food economy in order to construct a representation of their community’s relationship to the food economy.
  3. Examine patterns in community food purchasing data.
  4. Categorize implications of collective experiences on topics such as local economy, environmental impact, access, jobs and nutrition.

Through Workshop 2, participants will be able to:

  1. Analyze the food economy in terms of its social impact, environmental impact and financial impact on their community.
  2. Assess the potential benefits/improvements of a community economy framework on the food economy.

Through Workshop 3, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify areas of improvement within their food economy.
  2. Identify action steps they can take to improve their community food economy.

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Fig. 4. The above flow chart describes the themes of three popular education workshops aimed at discussing the community food economy. (Figure by Marcy Ostberg. “Popular Education Food Economy Curriculum,” 2013.)