Contributions to a critical pedagogy in Latin America since the footsteps of Simon Rodriguez
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conference papers and proceedings
Citation of Original PublicationOrtiz, M. (2015). Contributions to critical pedagogy from Latin America: in footsteps of Simon Rodriguez (Text & video). Paper presented at the 2015 International Herbert Marcuse Society Conference, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD.
Mariana Ortiz is from Mendoza, Argentina. The city where she lives is a thousand kilometers from Buenos Aires. In Mendoza she works as a teacher at all levels (high school, college and university). In Latin America teaching is a precarious job and teachers have to work at several institutions to make a living. Especially if you also do research. Her first approach to the work of Herbert Marcuse was in the 90s, as a student activist. At that time, the student movement in her country saw a boom of participation and revolt against neoliberalism. The takeover of colleges and universities was unprecedented during the period between 1995 and 2001. In this context, they appropriated the political experience of the May 1968 events in France, texts by Sartre, Angela Davis and writings of Marcuse. The 90s were experienced by them with intensity; for many of us they determined our whole way of life: some of they decided to teach in rural areas, others traveled to work to other Latin American universities, others were devoted to political participation in social environmental organizations and others continued to participate in the human rights movement. For Mariana Ortiz, the Latin American intellectuals made great contributions to the construction of a critical pedagogy that largely revolves around the need to create an opposite to the dominant language in order to build emancipatory political processes in general and pedagogical processes in particular. To understand this, the starting point is the work of the educator Simon Rodriguez in the mid-nineteenth century. Beginning in the 1960s, as all the people know, the imprint of the Brazilian Paulo Freire was key. In order to think these Brazilian experiences as part of a continental process I brought to share with you some notes written by an Argentine professor named Daniel Prieto. His unique way of revisiting Simón Rodríguez's pedagogical proposal was brutally interrupted in the 70s by the last military dictatorship in Argentina. The update made by Professor Prieto gave new meaning to the dominant forms of communication found in the process of teaching and learning following in the footsteps of Rodriguez. The work is synthesized with a five-minutes video made for this meeting. It was created collectively between Mariana Ortiz and others activists who are filmmakers and students who have participated in educational projects in recent years. Perhaps the history of struggles in Latin America shows that the starting point for building a critical pedagogy is to return to the subject, which is also a fundamental principle we learned from Marx.