Saturday, November 14, 2020

Review of We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change by Myles Horton, Paulo Freire

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Philosophy

Elaborate Description

This book is talking book, in which Horton and Freire conversation was transcribed and edited. The central theme is the impact of education and the educator. The educator is considered an authority figure, but need to be prevented from becoming authoritative. Providing freedom with limits, otherwise the they loss the respect of students or become repressive.

How idea spread is also discussed, as the speakers try to elucidate how to spread ideas without intervening too much. Intervening too much is seem as taking away the freedom of speech of others. Telling other what to do takes away their ability to learn to do the task they need.

Both speakers have created communities around voting rights. Each discussed how they helped people obtain literacy skills which was the qualifier for voting. It seems that the major reason for the success of the community education programs that they created was due to the them first listened to what the community needed and what did not work, then created an educational program that helped the community. Taking the communities discomforts with certain types of speakers and places, both speakers help their nations become more democratic by giving the ability for more people to vote.

The book is not for everyone. The conversation was more based on Horton’s experience with Highlander, a program that educated people on how to be an activist. It would actually be wrong to call this book a conversation. Both speakers just shared their views on a particular issue and rarely did they go back and forth within a certain issue. No real disagreement or questioning their own or each other’s views. Just supporting each other and expressing the way they see the others view. There were a few instances that that expressed a belief that some people know more than others and the need to raise the knowledge of the others. Helping people learn and giving them the ability to handle tasks is good, but the expression of intellectual superiority over others contradicts their own methods of education.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9780877227755
Pages to read:   273
Publication:     1990
1st Edition:      1990
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          3
Overall           3