social movements

Mariano, A. and Tarlau, R. 2019. The Landless Workers Movement’s itinerant schools: occupying and transforming public education in Brazil. British Journal of Sociology of Education 2019, Vol. 40, NO. 4, 538–559

This article explores how social movement co-governance of public education
offers an alternative to neoliberal educational models. The Brazilian
Landless Workers Movement (MST) is one of the largest social movements
in Latin America. We describe one of the many schools that the MST
co-governs, the Itinerant School Paths of Knowledge (Caminhos do Saber),
located in an occupied encampment in the state of Paraná. We analyze
three of the most unique pedagogical innovations in the school: the

Mariano, A., Hilário, E., and Tarlau, R. 2016. Pedagogies of struggle and collective organization: the educational practices of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement

The Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) is one of the largest and
most influential social movements in Latin America. Since the very beginning
of the movement’s agrarian reform struggle, MST leaders have developed a
broad-based program of leadership, political training, and education for all
participants in the movement. The MST’s educational demands are organically
connected to the movement’s attempt to create, in the present, a new social
order based on social justice, participatory democracy, autonomy, and

Tarlau, R. 2015. How do new critical pedagogies develop? Educational innovation, social change, and landless workers in Brazil. Teachers College Record 117.11: 1-36.

This article provides insights into the process of grassroots educational innovation,
illustrating that communities draw on a diverse set of educational theories that resonate
with local practices and beliefs to develop alternative proposals for their schools. The article
also suggests that certain questions arise about the purpose of public education when social
movements with particular visions of societal transformation demand participation in the
public school sphere. The article argues that this social movement participation is appropriate

Tarlau, R. 2015. Not-so-public contention: Movement strategies, regimes, and the transformation of public institutions in Brazil. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 20.1: 101-121.

This article examines how political regimes structure the strategies activists can effectively
utilize to transform public institutions. Drawing on Tilly’s concept of “regime space” as a
combination of capacity and democracy, the author analyzes the Brazilian Landless Workers

Rebecca Tarlau. 2015. Education of the countryside at a crossroads: rural social movements and national policy reform in Brazil, The Journal of Peasant Studies, 42:6, 1157-1177

This contribution explores the strategies used by popular movements seeking to advance
social reforms, and the challenges once they succeed. It analyzes how a strategic alliance
between the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the National
Confederation of Agricultural Workers (CONTAG) transformed the Ministry of
Education’s official approach to rural schooling. This success illustrates the critical
role of international allies, political openings, framing, coalitions and state–society

Tarlau, R. and N. Thapliyal. 2014. LEARNING, AND TRANSFORMATION: AN OVERVIEW OF EDUCATION WITHIN THE LANDLESS WORKERS’ MOVEMENT IN BRAZIL. Postcolonial Directions in Education, 3(1), pp.18-41

This article provides an introduction to the Brazilian social movement known as the Landless Workers Movement (MST). After a brief history of the landless struggle and the international organisation of the movement, the article discusses educational philosophy and practice in the MST. The MST actively cultivates a 'culture of study' within all the diverse spaces of the movement including (but not limited to) its schools and literacy programmes, political education, agricultural production, and culture and media communications.

Thapliyal, N. 2013. Reframing the public in public education: The Landless Workers Movement (MST) and adult education in Brazil. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS) 11.4

Education for rural Brazilians has historically been dominated by two imperatives: human capital and political patronage. For the last four decades, the Landless Workers Movement (MST) have maintained a struggle to democratise public education and democracy itself. In this article, I make a situated analysis of the educational politics of the MST for adult education.

Hammond, J.L. (2014) Mística, meaning and popular education in the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement. Interface: a journal for and about social movements 6(1): 372-391.

The Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) works to create solidarity and collective identity among its members through a variety of pedagogical practices. One such practice is mística, which is at once a public, expressive dramatic performance and, drawing on Christian mysticism, an way of making contact with a transcendent reality. Mística draws on Christian theology generally, and specifically on the practices of the Christian base communities associated with liberation theology which were key in the emergence of the MST.