0 Revolutionary Pedagogy in Action—Mexico’s Rural Teaching Schools

In the 1920s, Mexico’s revolutionary government created normales rurales (rural teaching schools) to train teachers to “bring education to the most marginalized and distant places in every state in the country and to offer a dignified form of life to peasants.” Rather than simply teaching students reading, writing, and math, rural teachers must also “assist in the organization of the populace to improve its quality of life and work on projects for social development” as well as “contribute to the struggle against imperialism and the nation’s bourgeoisie.” The Mexican Federation of Socialist Peasant Students, the semiclandestine organization that coordinates the nation’s network of seventeen normales rurales, believes that providing carefully screened applicants with explicitly socialist, anti-imperialist, and antiracist education is what has maintained the normales rurales’ revolutionary project, and has protected it from the infiltration and co-optation that has derailed all other government-funded revolutionary education projects in Mexico. This presentation will cover the history and philosophy of the normales rurales as well as some of their most infamous graduates. It will also provide illustrative details about particular normales rurales’ struggles along with tactics to defend themselves against the neoliberal government that threatens to destroy them. Kristin is a freelance journalist covering militarization, social movements, human rights, and the drug war in Latin America. She is the Security Sector Reform Resource Centre’s Latin America blogger, a regular contributor to Upside Down World, and a former NACLA research associate. Her articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, IPS, Counterpunch, Telesur, Rebelión, Left Turn, the Indypendent,Por Esto!, and the News (Mexico). She has appeared on Al-Jazeera, Democracy Now!, Radio Mundo (Venezuela), Morning Report (New Zealand), and various Pacifica radio programs.
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Location
HCL4
Presenter
Kristin Bricker