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Luís Armando Gandin and Michael Apple

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Can Education Challenge Neoliberalism? The Citizen School and the Struggle for Democracy in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Gandin and Apple look beyond the U.S. to examine how negotiating local control of schooling can be a powerful force of resistance against the market-economy paradigm of education. In general, education in Brazil is highly centralized and focused on conservative modernization, in which opportunities for local control are limited. The municipal government of Porto Alegre, under the leadership of the Workers’ Party, is an exception to this trend, having specifically allocated resources and decision-making to residents of its most impoverished neighborhoods through a measure called “Participatory Budgeting.” A major project of the city is the “Citizen School,” where social transformation is at the core of its curriculum and pedagogy. Porto Alegre shows what is possible for the democratization of education when renegotiation of relations of power takes place at the local, state, and national levels.

social movements, educational policy, social movements, education — Brazil, Knowledge, local government — Brazil — participatory budgeting, Porto Alegre, Brazil — politics and government

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002): 26-40