Ch. 2 – Social Movements as Spaces of Learning

In Latin America schools are often the only state presence, teaching the individualistic values of neo-liberalism. The landless movement in Brazil has started 2000 self-managed schools in which families are involved in planning and administration. Movement education has three goals:

developing critical awareness through studies that “lead to reflection and the acquisition of a broader world view, differentiated from official discourse.”
the “understanding of the history and meaning of the struggle for land and agrarian reform that led to the creation of the settlement.”
“practical exercises in arenas of knowledge needed for the development of the settlement.”

Do schools here teach the individualistic values of neoliberalism? What might a localized curriculum look like in the U.S.? Should families run the schools? What practical knowledge is needed in our “settlements?” Is homeschooling a form of self-managed school or neo-liberal individualism? How might the homeschooling movement be affected by the Newtown school murders?

“Productive work is educational if it is transformative.” Zibechi asks, “how can we organize ourselves to work and produce so that we can establish pedagogical relations?” Well?

In our neighborhoods, can we “de-institutionalize space” by “generating communal and flexible places” and integrate time by dissolving the divide between working time, leisure time, school time and domestic time? Has that been done by the home-office, with the result that families now grow up in workplaces where the kids need to stay quiet and the parents are accessible to work 24/7?

In our society what is the goal of higher education – the real goal, in your opinion? Is it worth the money? Does it depend on whether the student needs to take out loans or whether the parents can pay? In Nigeria a student can be given a scholarship to attend school for $67 per year. For the same price as a $20,000/yr university, 300 Nigerian youth could attend school. The University of San Francisco, which boast a “passion for justice” and a “global perspective,” cost $38,500 before room and board, books and fees. Is it ethical for a parent to spend on their own child what would educate 575 Nigerians, in order to teach them about global justice? Do they owe this to their child, if they have the money?

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