Paulo Freire’s Legacy for Youth and Adult Education in Brazil
Fifty years after the pioneering adult literacy experience known as the “40 hours of Angicos” (referring to a small town in the State of Rio Grande do Norte), the Brazilian government has established participation as social policy, conjugated with a framework of reference for popular education designed to consolidate popular education as an inter-sectorial and transversal public policy for citizen participation and for the democratization of the Brazilian state. The Angicos experience represented a watershed in educational thinking, giving rise to a new vision of education and a new epistemology in which popular culture, as a contra-hegemonic project, and popular education became the cornerstones of a new educational system, with a strong political dimension capable of contributing to the transformation of society. The challenge which Freire posits today is how to develop youth and adult education in the spirit of popular education so as to prepare citizens to participate actively in the democratic process.
Author is Timothy D. Ireland, from Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil.
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