1st Edition

The Educational Philosophy of Luis Emilio Recabarren Pioneering Working-Class Education in Latin America

By María Alicia Rueda Copyright 2021
    162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This text offers a unique philosophical and historical inquiry into the educational vision of Luis Emilio Recabarren, and his pivotal role in securing independent education for Chile’s working classes in the early 20th century.

    Through close analysis of the textual archives and press writings, The Educational Philosophy of Luis Emilio Recabarren offers comprehensive insight into Recabarren’s belief in education as essential to the empowerment, emancipation, and political independence of the working class, and emphasises the importance he placed on the education of workers through experiential learning in their organizations and press. By situating his work amongst broader political and educational movements occurring in Latin America in an era of imperialism, the text also demonstrates the progressive nature of Recabarren’s work and maps the development of his philosophy amid Socialist, Marxist, and Communist movements.

    Making an important contribution to our understanding of the aims and value of adult education in light of neoliberalism today, this text will be of interest to scholars, researchers, activists, and post-graduate students with an interest in education, social movements, and Latin America. The text also addresses key issues raised in studies of Recabarren and the history of education in Chile.



    Chapter 1 - Luis Emilio Recabarren: Educator of The Chilean

    Working Class

    Chapter 2 – Biography and Historical Context

    Chapter 3 - The Civilizing Aspect in Recabarren’s Political and Educational Vision

    Chapter 4 - Education for Power or Revolutionary Education: Education of Workers as New Subjects (As Participants In Organizations Of The Working Class)

    Chapter 5 - The Educational and Revolutionary Role of TheWorking-Class Press

    Chapter 6 – Recabarren And His Contemporaries

    Chapter 7 – Conclusion


    Dr. María Alicia Rueda is an independent researcher and adult education scholar based in the United States. Originally from Chile, she has written and presented extensively in English on the history of the working class in Chile. Basing her research on adult education and social theory, as well as in literary studies, she has published articles and chapters on literature, on the immigrant experience in the United States, on working-class education, and on social movements. María Alicia Rueda completed her master’s and doctorate in Adult and Continuing Education at Northern Illinois University, USA, where she also obtained an MA in Spanish and Spanish Literature.

    "The emergence of a new radical student movement in Chile in the last decade makes this historical account of the origins of Chilean popular education very timely.[...]The book will form a valuable addition to the library of students interested in the history of radical or popular education and social movement learning, as well as to the fields of critical pedagogy, Latin American studies, and labor history."
    -- Bob Boughton, University of New England, Australia, Adult Education Quarterly

    "The author provides a nuanced, careful survey of Recabarren’s intellectual development […] This excellent contribution is a worthwhile read for scholars and practitioners seeking lessons on the political education of the working-class, the role of the press as a tool for popular education, Marxist studies in adult education as well as adult education in Latin America."

    -- Aizuddin Mohamed Anuar, Department of Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    “The Educational Philosophy of Luis Emilio Recabarren: Pioneering Working-Class Education in Latin America offers illuminating views about the fundamental educational role of the working-class press in the organization of the working class, amid the deplorable labor and life conditions of the workers in the context of the nitrate era in Chile. The organization of the working class in Chile unfolded in an international context where international socialism was gathering strength as an emancipatory economic alternative for society in its confrontation with capitalist exploitation, and it was traversed by a fervent proliferation of newspapers that allowed for debate, reflection, and consciousness awareness of class rights and of the press’s educational role […]. [It] brings back to the center stage Luis Emilio Recabarren’s thought and ethics with respect to equality constituting a fundamental value to rethink politically and institutionally the aims and design of education.”

    -- Cristian Ceron Prieto, Pléyade

    “Maria Alicia Rueda has made an essential contribution to education and Marxist studies with the publication of The Educational Philosophy of Luis Emilio Recabarren: Pioneering Working-Class Education in Latin America. By focusing on the early twentieth-century Chilean Marxist, the author showcases a lesser-known Communist leader and pioneer in working-class education. As the author states “the book is not a biography, nor does it approach him as a ‘great man’ but rather as ‘an organic intellectual’ of the working class.””

    -- Gary Prevost, Postcolonial Directions in Education