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Souza, João Francisco de (1944–2008)

Zulma Amador


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João Francisco de Souza was a popular educator, sociologist, academic, and activist. He was born in Timabaúba, Pernambuco, in the Brazilian Northeast. He dedicated his life to teaching and learning about popular education as a means of humanization around the world. Souza defended the idea that education must be a social praxis, with responsibility for raising historical, political, and cultural issues in context and seeking social transformation. For him, education was a cultural activity for cultural development in the postmodern era, characterized by cultural diversity and social inequality. His actions ranged through popular social movements, pluriculturalism, multiculturalism, democracy, teacher training, and education of youth and adults who did not complete formal education. At the time of his death, he was an important reference figure in the field of young adult school leavers' education both in Brazil and throughout Latin America. All of his theoretical and practical reflections on popular education were and continue to be seen as a general critical theory of education. Souza had important teachers and associates that fed his thought and rebel spirit: Dom Hélder Câmara and Paulo Freire. He studied at the Seminar in Olinda with Dom Hélder. In the early 1960s he learned the tenets of Freirian pedagogy and social activism, taking part in a group of socially minded secondary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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