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We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change
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We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  634 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
This dialogue between two of the most prominent thinkers on social change in the twentieth century was certainly a meeting of giants. Throughout their highly personal conversations recorded here, Horton and Freire discuss the nature of social change and empowerment and their individual literacy campaigns. The ideas of these men developed through two very different channels ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published December 28th 1990 by Temple University Press
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May 08, 2007 Ernie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pedagogy
Essential to anyone who is involved in the field of education, this book is a fountain of advice for how to teach, and ultimately how to learn. Horton and Freire's insights draw on a lifetime of work in education and political activism, and draw on sources from Marx and Gramsci to the Gospels. Motivated by a love for their "students" (discussants), justice, and the pleasure of reading, these master educators expound on the art of educating through an enlightening, book-length dialogue.
Aug 30, 2007 Maggie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone...especially educators
one of the most influential books for me....such good insight to what each of us can do to be apart of changing this person at a time.
Jul 17, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
okay - this is my nerd "I love social justice and community mobilization" choice. Paulo Friere once made a comment about "making the world an easier place within which to love." - got to love that man and what ideas he has put forth in our world. He is someone who is not afraid to talk about love.
Dec 18, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Really interesting, the conversation of these two men. They say some of the most beautiful things about their different lives, and how they came to work together. Worth picking up!
May 09, 2017 Zach added it
Recommends it for: All educators K-12 as well as those in higher education
Recommended to Zach by: Michelle Birkenshaw
We Make the Road by Walking is a beautiful, instructive, and compelling book about education and social change. The conversation between Myles Horton and Paulo Freire is delightful. The techniques and pedagogy discussed are worth contemplating (and enacting, in my opinion). Equally affirming and transforming.

Here's a favorite passage.

Paulo: I think that we have to create in ourselves, through critical analysis of our practice, some qualities, some virtues as educators. One of them, for example,
Bryan Alexander
Dec 21, 2016 Bryan Alexander rated it it was amazing
Excellent book.

Reviewed and discussed at my blog.
Chapters 1-2, 3, 4, and 5-6.  
There are also two posts exploring the book club's creations: 1, 2.

Plus the post describing the book club's reading's plan.
Feb 28, 2017 John rated it really liked it
Fascinating book where two rad old men talk about their rad old lives. Lots of cool stuff in here about how they think about education, social change, and living life. Totally fun, and seems like it'd be useful if you're at all interested in empowering the people around you and/or education or just how some very interesting people thought and lived their lives.

Reading this book kicked off a whole swarm of poorly-formed thoughts about how to live my life. I want to re-read this book in a few mont
Apr 28, 2013 Klelly rated it it was amazing
I started reading this in amandas home a long while ago! then liz took it out of the penn library for me. friend book hook ups.

This is basically a long dialogue between two educators with radical visions for social change. Approaches of each center peoples experience in making decisions that will affect their lives, learning to analyze critically their own situations. So many of Myle's words were just loose enough for me to actually imagine how things went at highlander, and also apply those id
Nov 23, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I read this book in college, and decided to re-read it as part of my re-engagement with the ideas of Paulo Freire and Myles Horton in my social work curriculum. I kept remarking that our texts continually referenced Freire (not so much Horton) but we weren't reading Freire, whose work is really lyrical and intellectually dense. I'm so happy that I re-read this text, as I had forgotten anything beyond overarching impressions it made on me, and perhaps never even really absorbed the specificity of ...more
Nov 02, 2012 Adam rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Educators of all levels
Recommended to Adam by: Kendal, then Sally. . .
Hmm. . .

I'm glad to have come across this book twice. The first time recommended by a friend, the second as assigned in Litigation, Organizing, and Social Change. I read it, the second time.

My familiarity with Paulo Freire was pretty much limited to knowing that he wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed while I knew of Myles Horton only that he had a school somewhere in the mountains that Rosa Parks once attended. And from there we begin.

The book contains an edited series of conversations between these
I wanted to hear more from Paulo, though overall, reading about the lives and work of both of these men was eye-opening, challenging, and encouraging. I'm not sure, for this kind of a topic, or, perhaps rather, for some of the topics discussed, that the spoken book format is really helpful. But the discussions of their personal lives as they formed them and intersected with events and work, was sincerely revealing.

This was one of my stumble-upon finds in some random foreigner destination around
Nov 29, 2016 Erhardt rated it it was amazing
I think this is the most useful book on education I have read and one of the top five most useful books on social change. The dialog between Myles Horton and Paulo Freire is so rich and grounded, exemplifying their styles of progressive/popular education. Freire is definitely the more academic of the two and he so lets himself speak in more abstract, theoretical terms while Horton always stays close to core anecdotes or experiences.

I had previously read Horton's autobiography The Long Haul, so I
Apr 23, 2010 Chérie rated it it was amazing
The common experiences shared by Myles & Paulo, represent more than one hundred years of educational praxis relevant beyond their time. I resonate with their work for a multitude of reasons. They express how ideas are universal, not singularly applicable to one section of social experience alone such as in the undeveloped, developing & developed areas of the world and can not be contained within one context alone. I relate to how Myles became inspired by the ideas of Bishop Grundtvig who ...more
Mel Katz
Jan 05, 2017 Mel Katz rated it it was amazing
This book was simply incredible and without question is one of the best books I've read. The structure of the book itself contributes greatly to the theories and practices discussed by both Horton and Freire. What is so beautiful about the book is the way that Horton's and Freire's styles are so different yet compliment one another so masterfully in creating a cohesive book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone involved in education, schooling, and/or organizing to stir internal question ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Hilary rated it liked it
A brilliant concept of a book. I found myself skipping the Paulo Freire parts to read the Myles Horton ones. Horton just seems more real, less academic than Freire. It's clear I need to read The Long Haul.

- I welcomed the discussion Horton shares about this relationship with Alinsky and the details about how organizing is different than education.
- I appreciated Horton detailing how he and his colleagues had to adjust their approach after their education and shift to a posture of experimentation
May 20, 2016 Sabra rated it it was amazing
I was shocked that I've never been introduced to this book or even come across it. I can definitely say that this book is one of my top 10! Such an interesting conversation in this book between these two geniuses, Myles Horton and Paulo Freire. You don't need to be educators or teachers to love this book. If you are concern about people, society, justice, equality and social change you should definitely read this master piece I will also recommend that you watch the "You Got to Move" documentary ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Jane rated it it was amazing
I first became aware of We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education & Social Change when a fellow teacher read it and recommended it to me. She then gave me her copy when she finished it. The dialogue is a conversation written into book form between Myles horton and Paulo Freire where they discuss Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppress. The discussion revolves around the idea the ordinary men and women can take control of their destinies and make society more humane, democratic and jus ...more
K Flewelling
Oct 04, 2011 K Flewelling rated it really liked it
I found this book to be an inspiring account of two men who participated in bringing the world to something better. It was filled with stories, moments, quotations that encouraged me to not give up the pursuit of bringing justice to our schools, no matter in what kind of atmosphere we do that. Sometimes the conversational style and the heavy matter of the discussion became difficult to comprehend, but all in all, it was a fantastic account that I think all educators would benefit from digesting.
Nov 03, 2009 Dont rated it it was amazing
I've been wanting to read this for a long time. Composed from six days of conversations between Paulo Freire and Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander Center in Tennessee. The most interesting section is the discussion around the differences between education and organizing. Much recommended for folks interested in the history of the Civil Rights movement in the US, the theory and practice of radical education, and a comparison between Freire and other forms of popular education.
Maughn Gregory
What a pleasure to read these dialogues between the two most important pioneers of education for social change: Myles Horton and Paulo Freire. I had the feeling of sitting in a rocking chair at Highlander, listening intently, as the two told stories, reiterated and reflected on theory, and compared and contrasted their radical educational practices.
Kevin Ressler
Feb 22, 2011 Kevin Ressler rated it it was amazing
While I have never read anything by Horton, I have read Paulo Freire before. I found that this book was much more accessible to the ideas that were trying to be conveyed. That said, I also felt that this was in part by the language choices and style choices but also the fact that the information being conveyed was much less "technical" in nature making it inherently more accessible.
Jun 29, 2010 Meghan is currently reading it
The personal histories of these two famous thinker-doers in conversation form are interesting enough to warrant a read. I'm enjoying taking notes on the role of education outside of the 9-3 school model for youth, and how these ideas of education can be used by people within the education system to guide change.
Adam Fletcher
Jul 05, 2013 Adam Fletcher rated it really liked it
Freire and Horton don't exactly have a battle royale, but that face-to-face pic on the cover is accurate: They don't hold back, and oftentimes engage in conflict openly. Freire's socialist/leftist/Marxist analysis pummels Horton's rugged American individualism at many points, but he doesn't go without a fight.

Highly recommended discourse from the non-popular side of American education.
Rushay Booysen
Nov 06, 2011 Rushay Booysen rated it it was amazing
This book/conversation was great on so many different levels.Paulo and Myles made some interesting points that i been questioning about the education system and educating style in general.Radical thinking indeed i could see why the Brazilian gov wanted to ban Paulo.I love how they acknowledged that there needs to be a equilibrium between theory and application of it.
Jul 05, 2009 Lissa rated it really liked it
Had to read this for school, but very much enjoyed it. Easy to read, great introduction to critical pedagogy. Loved the idea of how the book was written- a series of conversations were recorded and then transcribed. There was a great conversational connection between Horton and Freire. I intend to look into more of Horton's writings.
Apr 13, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
I'm only reading the intro. and I already love this book. I can't wait to hear what else these two have to tell me! :) have read a little more - very interesting people - need to get back to it, but Alice & Poe are taking up the little bit of reading time I have. I shall return!
Dec 25, 2013 Kaia rated it really liked it
This book is an invitation to not only listen but also to take part in a conversation between two great minds. I found many quotes to write in my journal and I'm inspired by their humble but radical methodologies to challenge and encourage people on the path of peace and justice.
Apr 23, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
For anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of community empowerment and what a real education means, this is a must-read. It is essentially a conversation between Myles Horton and Paulo Freire -- heavy reading, but very insightful stuff.
Dec 30, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
This book was an intriguing read that sometimes reinforced my philosophy on education and sometimes challenged it. Published in 1990, the ideas discussed are still very relevant to current events both in and outside the realm of education. I appreciated the cognitive dissonance.
Feb 14, 2008 Janice rated it it was amazing
A book I go back to again and again. It is a readable, lucid conversation between two titans of education and social change. A must-read for activists, educators...and people interested in thinking about how education can be centrally about liberation.
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“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” 104 likes
“The educator has the duty of not being neutral.” 66 likes
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