Can popular education be carried out in a system of formal education?

An education community in Malvinas Argentinas (near Cordoba, Argentina) set themselves the challenge of planning a school which would mean something to the poor people of the area and improve their lives. They wanted it to be a school which avoided the defects of the modern school. It would have to be a new type of school which would offer a service for both the children and their ‘barrio’ trying to build a better present and future for them. To create this school we thought in terms of ‘popular education‘ – through which each child would be educated for their own good and for the good of the wider community. We felt that the key to creating a formal education project in this context was to think in terms of a social space and a social practice.

In summary, we understand education as a process of development, creation and re-creation, and not merely the passive transmission of knowledge. Education for freedom is a pre-condition for democracy and is contrary to any inkling of authoritarianism, manipulation or invasive ideology. Education involves dialogue, grass-roots organization and the recognition of the struggle for human rights in working-class areas. It aims at the transformation of conscience and reality as a result of analyzing our own conscience and the reality of the world in which we live.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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