CGE is inspired by Paulo Freire’s philosophy of popular education, as well as other critical, experiential, feminist, indigenous, and postcolonial  pedagogies that foment transformation.  The goal of all of our educational programs is the empowerment of the participants to work for personal and social transformation.

CGE’s programs are rooted in community-based learning, which is grounded in direct dialog that occurs between students and members of local communities. Our pillars of education explain the key features of this educational philosophy:


CGE draws upon the diverse backgrounds of participants, students, faculty, staff, and community members with a goal of raising awareness about one’s own culture(s) and the complexities of diverse cultures within other countries. Because knowledge is culturally constructed, our programs broaden the base of what are commonly considered to be valid sources of information by facilitating encounters with people who have been marginalized.


CGE believes in reflection upon prior knowledge as we engage in new experiences. Critical analysis of experiences is a must because experiences alone are not truly educational. Our programs combine a variety of activities such as story-telling, dialogue with host families and a range of community members, small group work, excursions, lectures, internships, films, and the use of music and the arts with other hands-on experiences.


CGE is committed to both intellectual and emotional learning. We encourage people to reflect upon how they learn best and to grow outside of their comfort zone. Our programs are developed with different learning styles in mind.


CGE encourages participants to analyze multiple perspectives and to develop their own viewpoints. Our experiential interactions, combined with background reading and research to determine the validity of information, provide the basis for critical analysis of multiple sides of an issue.


CGE believes that the purpose of education is to create a more just and sustainable world. Our goal is for learners to engage both in their own transformation and to act to bring about the changes they envision for our world. Transformative education leads to greater personal and social responsibility.