Education and Democracy: Paulo Freire, Social Movements, and Educational Reform in Sao Paulo

Education and Democracy: Paulo Freire, Social Movements, and Educational Reform in Sao Paulo

Education and Democracy: Paulo Freire, Social Movements, and Educational Reform in Sao Paulo

Education and Democracy: Paulo Freire, Social Movements, and Educational Reform in Sao Paulo

Synopsis

This book examines critically the ideas & performance of Paulo Freire as secretary of education in Brazil in the early 1990s, during the socialist democratic administration of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo.

Excerpt

This book is a critical examination and analysis of the ideas and performance of the educational administration headed by Paulo Freire, Secretary of Education of the municipality of São Paulo, Brazil between 1989- 1991. Under Freire's leadership, the Municipal Secretariat of Education (MSE) implemented a process of educational reform that reflected the democratic-socialist ideology and objectives of the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT), which won municipal elections in 1989.

With a focus on theory and praxis, we discuss, on one hand, the relationship between the state and social movements and, on the other, the relationships between teachers and curriculum reform. In so doing, the book thoroughly examines the intersection of politics and education in a fascinating and ambitious project of educational reform in a major Latin American urban center.

A central focus of the book is the Interdisciplinary Project or "Inter Project." The Inter Project, along with other reforms implemented by the PT-MSE, had far-reaching effects on curriculum, instruction and teacher training, and as such, represents the primary effort of the Secretariat to create one of its fundamental policy objectives: the initiation of the Movement for the Reorientation of the Curriculum (MRC). The central concepts of interdisciplinarity, generative themes, critical consciousness and democratization of education formed the foundation of this Freirean program for curriculum reform.

Although this study centers on a particularly Brazilian educational reform experience, its political rationale, planning techniques and curricu-

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