Call for papers 63

(July-December 2024)

Topic: Popular education, subjects, social knowledge and know-how[1]

Deadline for reception: January 19, 2024


María Mercedes Ruiz Muñoz
Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City

Maria Clara Di Pierro
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil


Popular education in Mexico and Latin America represents an crucial field of discussion due to societal changes in the region, which are expressed in the construction of political-pedagogical alternatives that in many cases lead to the emergence of collective action and social movements that undertake a struggle for social justice, democracy and citizen participation against discrimination and in defense of education, particularly for groups living in the greatest vulnerability: Adults, youth, women, migrants, Afro-descendants, farmers, indigenous, children, and adolescents living or working on the streets, among others.

In recent years, citizen movements and popular education have been calling for the reconstruction of the community fabric and solidarity networks to deal with the social insecurity caused by the frayed safety net, a situation aggravated by the COVID 19 pandemic, the loss of jobs, the precarity of public services, and the growing difficulties in gaining access to educational systems and being able to stay there long enough to complete educational programs.

Popular education goes back many decades in Latin America, to the initiatives of Paulo Freire and the so-called pedagogy of the oppressed and education for freedom (Freire, 1969, 1973), which unfolded against a historical background of efforts to promote public education after decolonization and the construction of independent republics (Jara, 2018; Puiggrós, 1998). Popular education also went through a process of refoundation at the turn of the 21st century, in response to the paradigm crisis sparked by the fall of real socialism and the neo-liberal wave. Today it is tied up with critical and emancipatory pedagogies of young people and adults as agents of change, and with feminist and decolonial thinking (Walsh, 2017). Contemporary popular education promotes dialogue between different knowledge systems and cultural negotiation, is guided by the ethics of care, adheres to the environmental movement and the worldviews of original people with regard to good living, and applies itself to the critical reading of media and the democratization of information and communication technologies.

There are multiple expressions of this articulation between popular education and collective actions in the region. Examples include the movement of secondary education students in Chile known as The Penguins, and later, the struggle against the privatization of education, with a special emphasis on higher education given the high levels debt taken on by Chilean families. In the case of Mexico, young people agitated for democratic change and political participation in the Más de 131 and #Yosoy132 movement of 2012, when university students from both public and private institutions articulated political demands related to the information media and their role in that year’s presidential election. Not to mention the popular high schools in Argentina and the struggle for land in Brazil, the Sin Tierra (Landless) movement and other organizations and networks.

What types of social knowledge and know-how are deployed in social struggles? How is agency constructed and how are subjects configured in popular education? Without a doubt, advances in research, the systematization of collective actions and countless empancipatory and transformative socio-educational experiences are part of the discussion projected for this issue of Sinectica, which goes beyond the social practices in school settings to include a wide-ranging zone of possibilities for change and social transformation.

The topics of interest are:

  • Theoretical discussion of the refoundation of popular education in today’s context
  • Popular education’s methodological contributions to educational systems in Mexico and Latin America
  • Meaningful experiences that contribute to the fulfillment of the right to education
  • Social learning and the construction of knowledge within the framework of popular education
  • Popular education and its contribution to the post-pandemic social and community fabric    
  • Pedagogical alternatives, socially productive knowledge and the constitution of subjects


Keywords: popular education, social transformation, subjects, social knowledge and know-how


Bibliographical references

Freire, P. (1973). Pedagogía del oprimido. Siglo XXI.

Freire, P. (1969). La educación como práctica de la libertad. Tierra Nueva.

Jara, H. O. (2018). La educación popular latinoamericana: historia y claves éticas, políticas y pedagógicas. Alforja.

Puiggrós, A. (1998). La educación popular en América Latina: orígenes, polémicas. Miño y Dávila.

Walsh, C. (2017). Pedagogías decoloniales: prácticas insurgentes de resistir, (re)existir e (re)vivir. Abya-Yala (Pensamiento Decolonial).


[1] Submissions should be made through the Sinectica website once the author has registered. Research and theoretical papers are received in Spanish, English and Portuguese. Only unpublished papers are accepted. All articles, without exception, will be reviewed blindly by outside experts.