Transforming Rural Schools: The Struggle over Education in areas of Agrarian Reform in Brazil
Rebecca Tarlau

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Berkeley

Primary Discipline

Comparative Education
My dissertation research analyzes the educational initiatives of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST). Based on 17 months of qualitative research, I examine the reasons why MST activists became concerned with transforming rural schools, the pedagogical practices they developed and the theories they draw on. Using a three-state comparison, I analyze the process of negotiation between MST activists and government officials, and the conditions under which MST activists are allowed to participate in the school system. Finally, through extensive classroom observation I explore the implications of the MST?s participation for the curriculum and pedagogical practices in these schools. This research is an important contribution to education in its analysis of an innovative educational pedagogy for rural areas, how community participation in schools occurs in practice, and the feasibility of implementing new educational practices within the public school system.
About Rebecca Tarlau

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