Posts Tagged ‘Paulo Freire’

Allies are often necessary but beware of the baggage they bring!

The three first graders in the theme photo don’t know a thing about allies, but the powerful form of education they received wouldn’t have been possible without a host of allies that worked with the village in a variety of ways.  From Padre Luis Gurriarán, the Spanish priest who provided the initial support and training for the settlers of the new village, and on into the future, allies have played vital roles in the development of liberating education in the village.  Randall (Rolando) Shea first became a middle school teacher to SMT refugee students in Mexico and then joined the reunited community in Guatemala in 1994 and became the organizing principal of the new Santa María Tzejá middle school and drew on his US funding network to support the school.  My church in Needham, MA became a partner ally of the village and provided the money to make it possible for the teachers to work full-time in the village schools.  A Roman Catholic agency, PRODESSA, provided amazing training in liberating education for the teachers drawn form the village population.  There were many others, but these were the key to the unfolding educational process of the village.  But there is a down side, as well.

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Can theory help us see how education can liberate in powerful new ways?

The three first-grade children from the remote village of Santa María Tzeja in Guatemala, shown here, don’t study theory, but theory can help us understand why they chose to stay in the classroom while their classmates were playing outside in their recess period.  No knock here on recess.  Kids this age learn a lot of what they need while they play and their bodies crave exercise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut something had been happening in the learning atmosphere of the classroom that bubbled over for these three that was so enjoyable that they wanted to keep at what had turned on their curiosity. Continue reading