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Paolo Freire suggests that true learning occurs when material is relevant to our lives and we become conscious of the root causes of issues. This growing awareness can begin with provocative educational tools that are relevant to the learners’ actual situation.

Popular education frequently uses a skit or film clip to portray a situation and help participants explore an issue in more detail. Such “triggers” can open the dialogue in high school classrooms, community meetings, and professional settings.

The Exchange Project has developed a series of film clips, Reader’s Theater scripts, and short educational documentaries which can be downloaded free of charge for non-commercial use. Once people have become aware of an issue, they may want to learn about what happened in the real life situation that the story is based on or to read about related research.