Photo: Fernando Martinho

Emancipatory education that guarantees rights

We advocate for an emancipatory and liberating education that guarantees rights and has the role of promoting positive transformation of societies, based on reflection, critical thinking and dialogue as an ethical, political and pedagogic principle, and based on the ability to inquire, challenge, judge, imagine and take action for another, possible, world.

We highlight that an emancipatory education that guarantees rights implies serving a human rights purpose, building peace, and active, critical and participatory citizenship, strengthening our democracies, collective efforts, and overcoming inequality and discrimination.

Besides, it must promote decent lives, acknowledging singularity, diversity and different worldviews of peoples, and, at the same time, be driven by a democratic education management and active participation of the education community in the formulation of political and pedagogical plans.

An emancipatory education must consider the inherent and unbreakable relationship between education, art and culture. This relationship must resonate in education centers and systems so that schools are considered cultural centers where various cultural expressions are created, not only exhibited.

Likewise, it must secure teaching and learning the knowledge that humankind has accumulated throughout history, in different fields, including and acknowledging the diversity of knowledge and worldvisions from different peoples, from a popular education and decolonizing perspective.

Discussing the meaning and challenges of an emancipatory education also entails challenging reductionist, economicist and homogenizing trends of education systems. These trends have also brought the administration of standardized tests to measure students’ and teachers’ performance, which are frequently formulated and implemented without previous public debate, resulting in accountability, burden, penalty or reward of the education community, based on test results.