Over the last 40 years the experience of ‘popular education’ in Latin America has made a massive contribution to the theory and practice of adult education around the world. The names of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal are well known but it is the cumulative work of the popular education movement - a social movement in its own right - which has been so important in Latin America.
In the 1970s and 1980s, in the face of severe oppression from authoritarian governments, the popular education movement worked predominantly outside the state, openly working for progressive social change while developing exciting educational ideas and methodologies which challenged mainstream thinking and practice.
Without losing its independence, from the 1990s onwards, the movement also sought to influence state education from within. Particularly given recent political developments in Latin America, with a move towards the left (sometimes referred to as the ‘pink tide’) and increasing rejection of ‘neoliberal’ economics, the question of what popular education can and cannot do within the state has become topical.Professor Rodolfo Hachén will talk about popular education in Latin America,particularly in Argentina, addressing how it has operated both outside the state, in social movements, and inside the state, with particular reference to the role potentially played by university education.