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
humanistic and socialist values. The goal of this article is to introduce to an
English-speaking audience the main contours and components of the MST’s
educational proposal. The first part of this article discusses the three
theoretical foundations of the movement’s educational approach and its five
pedagogical practices. The second part of the paper presents two concrete
experiences of educational institutions administered by the MST leadership:
the “Itinerant Schools” in Paraná, a network of public schools located inside
MST occupied encampments, and the MST’s national political training school,
the Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes (ENFF). Together, these two cases
offer concrete examples of how the MST’s educational proposal is implemented
in diverse Brazilian contexts.