As our book club finishes up its most recent science fiction reading, we are getting ready for our next title. And this time we will switch away from sf, and towards education. Not just education, in fact, but a work about the connections between learning, teaching, and social justice.
The book is We Make the Road by Walking (Temple Press, Goodreads, Amazon). The full title is, actually, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change. Authors are Myles Horton and Paulo Freire; editors include Brenda Bell, John Gaventa and John Peters.
The text is a discussion between two of the 20th century’s great educational thinkers and practitioners. Freire might be best known outside of his native Brazil for his classic Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968), Horton for creating the Highlander Folk School (est. 1932) in American Appalachia.
I am almost done, and find the book rich, stimulating, utterly accessible, and very hard to stop reading. I love hearing their unique voices, filtered through audio tape and textual transcription.
As the publisher puts it,
Throughout their highly personal conversations recorded here, Horton and Freire discuss the nature of social change and empowerment and their individual literacy campaigns…
The themes they discuss illuminate problems faced by educators and activists around the world who are concerned with linking participatory education to the practice of liberation and social change.
The book is out of print, unfortunately, but you can find copies. Check your libraries for their holdings or inter-library loan service. Amazon links to tons of used editions. If you have a used bookstore, check there as well.
I’d like to give people time to find a copy and start reading. How about November 28th? Or Black Friday, so you can shun the malls (if you still have them) and instead enjoy the day off with a fantastic book?
I want to give full credit to Kristen Eshleman for suggesting the reading on Twitter. This is her idea, and I’m very grateful.
Join us in walking the road!