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The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:11 am


We Make the Road by Walking : Conversations on Education and Social Change


Paulo Freire and Myles Horton


Temple University Press







Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA 19122



http://fcis.oise.utoronto.ca/~daniel_schugurensky/freire/freirebooks.html#..\annotations\Books by Paulo Freire.doc# 1,80,245,0,, HYPERLINK "http://fcis.oise.ut


We Make the Road by Walking is a book of compelling passion, politics, and hope. The dialogue between Horton and Freire opens up new insights into the meaning of pedagogy, social criticism, and collective struggle. This book offers hope by demonstrating in the voices and practices of two of the great educator-activists of the twentieth century the reason for making pedagogy practical and theoretical in the service of social justice. Horton and Freire discuss the nature of social change, empowerment and literacy, through their own unique experiences. The publication of this taped conversation virtually represents Myles Horton's last testament with respect to his ideas concerning adult education and social change. Myles Horton passed away soon after the two authors' final revision of the manuscript thus, it constitutes a fitting tribute to him. Although Freire undoubtedly makes his presence felt throughout the conversation, it is Horton who takes up most of the space, encouraged, in this regard, by the third anonymous participant who, at times, makes special efforts to bring the best out of him. Myles Horton and Paulo Freire have a lot in common. Throughout their adult education work, Horton and Freire have underlined the distinctly political nature of educational activity, insisting that there can be no 'neutral' education. They have also promoted the view of the learner as 'subject' rather than 'object' of the learning process. Furthermore, they both devised their adult education strategies within the framework of an ongoing struggle for the generation of radically democratic social relations within the respective contexts in which they worked. A fundamental difference in the ideas of the two speakers can be noticed. Horton tends to portray the formal system of education, as well as other formal social institutions, in a pejorative light. The message which seems to come across from Horton is that transformative social practices are most likely to occur outside the formal system: Reform within the system reinforced the system, or was co-opted by the system. This explains his focus on adult education and the formation of potential leaders of social movements. Freire argues that one should engage in transformative action both outside and inside the system, and that opportunities to work within the system should not be missed. In his view, one should have one foot in the system and another outside. This seems to have been the philosophy throughout his life as an adult educator and is reflected in his recent work as Education Secretary in the Municipal Government of Sao Paulo where he worked 'within' the system in concert with agencies operating 'outside' the system - the social movements.




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