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We Make the Road by Walking book review

We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social ChangeWe Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change by Myles Horton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this is the most useful book on education I have read and one of the top five most useful books on social change. The dialog between Myles Horton and Paulo Freire is so rich and grounded, exemplifying their styles of progressive/popular education. Freire is definitely the more academic of the two and he so lets himself speak in more abstract, theoretical terms while Horton always stays close to core anecdotes or experiences.

I had previously read Horton’s autobiography The Long Haul, so I knew what to expect. But this book breaks his story into thematic chunks, punctuated by shared reflection with Freire which really animates the insights of his work. You really get to the heart of these giants of adult education, literacy, and social change, and why they see themselves first and foremost as educators in the progressive/experiential mold and how that is central to their social and political agendas.

This book is deeply inspiring to me as I try to sort through what the future of civic education might look like, and how to think about what it means to be doing change work in order to bring about a more inclusive and better society.

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