Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education

ISBN : 9780197584347

Rebecca Tarlau
416 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Aug 2021
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Winner of the 2020 ASA Sociology of Development Book Award Winner of the 2020 APSA Michael Harrington Book Award Winner of the 2020 Comparative and International Education Society Globalization and Education Book Award Winner of the 2020 Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section Best Book Prize in the Social Sciences Winner of 2019 Robert Reis Best Book Award Over the past thirty-five years the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the largest social movements in Latin America, has become famous for its success in occupying land, winning land rights, and developing alternative economic enterprises for over a million landless workers. In Occupying Schools, Occupying Land, Rebecca Tarlau explores how MST activists have pressured municipalities, states, and the federal government to implement their educational program in public schools and universities. Drawing on twenty months of ethnographic field work, Tarlau documents how the MST operates in different regions. She argues that activists are most effective using contentious co-governance, combining disruption and public protest with institutional pressure to defend and further their goals. Through an examination of the potentials, constraints, failures, and contradictions of the MST's educational struggle, this book offers insights into the relationship between education and social change, social movements and states, and the barriers and possibilities for similar reforms in democratic contexts throughout the world.


List of Acronyms
List of Illustrations
Part One: Constructing a National Educational Program
1. Pedagogical Experiments in the Brazilian Countryside
2. Transforming Universities to Build a Movement: The Case of PRONERA
3. From the Pedagogy of the MST to Educacao do Campo: Expansion, Transformation, and Compromise
Part Two: Regional Cases of Contentious Co-Governance of Public Education
4. Rio Grande do Sul: Political Regimes and Social Movement Co-Governance
5. Pernambuco: Patronage, Leadership, and Educational Change
6. Ceara: The Influence of National Advocacy on Regional Trajectories
Appendix A: Manifesto of Educators of Agrarian Reform, July 1997
Appendix B: Curriculum of the University of Ijui Pedagogy of Land Program (1998-2001)
Appendix C: Curriculum of the UNESP PRONERA Geography Program (2007-2011)
Appendix D: Fourth National Seminar on PRONERA Final Document, November 2010
Appendix E: Manifesto of Educators of Agrarian Reform, September 2015
Glossary of Portuguese Terms

About the author: 

Rebecca Tarlau is Assistant Professor of Education and Labor and Employment Relations at the Pennsylvania State University. She is affiliated with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Comparative and International Education program, and the Center for Global Workers' Rights.

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