Popular Education in Revolutionary Times: Reflecting on Nicaragua's Popular Education Program in the 1980s

Maize vs. Corn

Paulo Freire proposed that popular education be built around generative themes, issues that emerge from the daily experiences of the learners in the broader social context, that have deep emotional meaning for them, and that represent the key social contradictions that they are living. Freire suggested the use of ‘codes’ that represent those contradictions. Maize/corn could be a code, or a symbol of this broad and intensifying struggle between two cosmovisions of food.
You will notice that I have been using the two terms ‘maize’ and ‘corn’ together. Why? Maize is a more accurate English translation of the Spanish word ‘maíz’ even though it’s not commonly used; in Latin America, maíz or maize connotes the original grain with all its cultural, political, economic and spiritual meanings. ‘Corn’ is a term used more often in the English-speaking world and in North America where it usually connotes something produced through industrial agricultural processes. 
I’ve chosen to use the two together to represent what is a current struggle between different worldviews or cosmovision.


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