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Teacher's Union produces alternate school texts in Mexico

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Soviet cogitations: 4764
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
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Post 15 Jun 2015, 07:11
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I only found out about this today, but apparently since late last year, the CNTE (national coordination of education workers, a split from the SNTE, or national union of education workers) is issuing its own textbooks for students, based on the principles of pedagogy of the oppressed and including subjects left out by the government books.

Some background: the public school system in Mexico is undergoing a "modernization" that has lasted a few years. There was an educational reform that in reality was just a labour reform for teachers, since it was almost solely focused on rolling back their rights, on centralizing the granting of positions, introducing an exam for teachers that would determine their chances of employment and much more.

The teachers, especially those gathered around the CNTE instead of the government-friendly SNTE, as well as those studying for teaching (the "normalistas") have been one of the most vocal and combative elements of Mexican labour, and were instrumental for the uprising in Oaxaca, as well as the protests against president Peña Nieto for the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero.

Well, back to the point. They have issued their own school textbooks, because of the terrible quality of the official textbooks (the ones issued last year had dozens of mistakes, from spelling errors to scientific or historical inaccuracies), as well as the need to include a more critical, Marxist view of reality.

The books bring back group theory, logic, statistics, civics, all taken out from the school curriculum a decade back. They also deal with cultural emancipation, social struggle, pedagogy of the opressed and other subjects.

The base from which they are written is dialectical materialism, as "the philosophy that allows the student to understand reality with the purpose of transforming it", as they explain it.

The call it the "Programa Nacional Democrático de Educación y Cultura" (PNAEC), or national program of democratic education and culture.

I know I should link to something, but I can't find any information on the subject in English. But in "hotspot" states like Michoacán or Guerrero, hundreds of thousands of students are reading them.

For those who can read Spanish, here's a presentation of the program. After the historical preamble and justifications, you can read some of their definitions, which are basic Marxist concepts on reality being an unfinished process, on labour being the process of self-actualization and generative praxis, and so on.
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"You say you have no enemies? How is this so? Have you never spoken the truth, never loved justice?" - Santiago Ramón y Cajal
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 15 Jun 2015, 18:49
It sounds good but if the CNTE is a split from the mainstream SNTE, how much impact is it actually going to have?
Also the background of dialectical materialism can only be counter-productive. I don't understand why they would bother teaching anyone (especially schoolkids) that trash. After all, dialecticians can't even teach it to themselves!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
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Post 16 Jun 2015, 08:21
Because it's still a very large group with approximately 700 thousand members.

Here's a picture of one of their protests:

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And let's not get into Rosa-land, beyond the label, it's still basic Marxist tenants, which are not actually taught to children per se, but serve as the baseline and ideal from which the teacher strives to fulfil his duties, that is, a viewpoint on reality as being an unfinished social process that needs to be transformed. We're talking about the Theses on Feuerbach, about Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, of a leftist view on education.
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"You say you have no enemies? How is this so? Have you never spoken the truth, never loved justice?" - Santiago Ramón y Cajal
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