Pedagogical Experiments in the Brazilian Countryside

Rebecca Tarlau

in Occupying Schools, Occupying Land

Published in print August 2019 | ISBN: 9780190870324
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190870331 | DOI:

Series: Global and Comparative Ethnography

Pedagogical Experiments in the Brazilian Countryside

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  • Sociology of Education
  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Political Sociology


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Chapter 1 analyzes the pedagogical experiments that MST activists developed in the Brazilian countryside in the 1980s and 1990s. In the early 1980s these educational experiments were largely isolated initiatives in dozens of different camps and settlements. There was room to experiment with pedagogical alternatives even under a dictatorship, partially due to the lack of state presence in these rural areas. In 1987, the MST leadership made education an official concern of the movement and founded the national MST education sector. Then, in the 1990s, MST leaders refined their educational proposal through their own teacher training programs, which became spaces for pedagogical experimentation and the prefiguration of alternative social and political values. These experiments took place under a conservative and antagonistic national government. In 1997, the MST published its first national educational manifesto, summarizing the different components of its educational approach.

Keywords: Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST); Pedagogy of the MST; Paulo Freire; liberation theology; base ecclesial communities; popular education; teacher training; MST education sector; IEJC/ITERRA; socialist pedagogies

Chapter.  18230 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology of Education ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Political Sociology

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