This book has been almost seven years in the making. Though the work has certainly not been continuous for all those years, it was a major focus of the three of us for most of them. It is a tribute to Paulo Freire, his courage, his humanity, and the timelessness and relevancy of his ideas that our work on this manuscript was never tedious, never dull, and never a burden, but rather a constant source of joy, inspiration, and discovery. Although the book was always intended to be a critical but friendly description and analysis of Freire's efforts as Secretary of Education, the need to disseminate information about this radical educational reform became even more urgent after the sad news of Paulo Freire's death in May 1997. Thus, while this text is the result of the scholarly efforts of three researchers, it is also a celebration of a revolutionary thinker who had the unique opportunity to make his ideas concrete and therefore affect the lives of countless young children in his native country. We dedicate our efforts on this volume to Paulo Freire and to the hundreds of educators in Sao Paulo whom he inspired to work tirelessly in creating a happy, democratic school dedicated to serving poor and working class children and their communities. It has been our pleasure and privilege to have worked with Paulo Freire and the many educators involved in educational reform in Sao Paulo. Their commitment, courage, political clarity and struggle for social justice and equality are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for us to renew and reinvigorate our own efforts in the fight for equal rights, decency and justice.
Table of Contents
From a Pedagogy of the Oppressed to a Pedagogy of Hope -- Setting the Stage: Politics, Policy, and Education in Brazil -- Redefining Relationships: The State, Education, and Social Change -- Creating the Popular Public School: Theoretical Foundations and Policy Initiatives -- Reorienting the Curriculum: The Interdisciplinary Project -- Pedagogy of Hope and School Realities -- Conclusion