Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change” as Want to Read:
We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  804 ratings  ·  76 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  804 ratings  ·  76 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change
May 08, 2007 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.
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
AWWWW YEAH. This is a really important dialogue. I am glad it was captured.
Nov 03, 2009 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.
Aug 30, 2007 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 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The more people participate in the process of their own education, the more the people participate in the process of defining what kind of production to produce, and for what and why, the more people participate in the development of their selves. The more people become themselves, the better the democracy."
- Paulo Freire
Jul 17, 2007 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.
Eugene Kernes
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This book is talking book, in which Horton and Freire conversation was transcribed and edited. The central theme is the impact of education and the educator. The educator is considered an authority figure, but need to be prevented from becoming authoritative. Providing freedom with limits, otherwise the they loss the respect of students or become repressive.
How idea spread is also discussed, as the speakers try to elucidate how to spread ideas without intervening too much. Intervening too much
Aug 12, 2013 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
Dec 18, 2007 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!
Amory Ross
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We Make the Road by Walking is a revealing insight into two minds regarding education and movements. One is a Brazilian named Paulo Freire and the other is an American named Myles Horton. This is a must-read for any teacher or aspiring teacher. It's also an incredibly pertinent book regarding the recent election (2016) and the frustrations of the lack of movements. I did, however, feel as though one speaker spoke more than the other.

This is a book that was talked. That is, two men, in the winter
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book will be no surprise to Frierians, but what will be a surprise - and what gives this book tremendous value - is to see Friere articulating his ideas in concert with Myles Horton, the founder of the Highlander School in Tennessee. Horton is a powerful, radical background figure in American pedagogy and the history of radicalism. I say background because there's so little written on him, and he doesn't appear in the more general histories of the US labor movement or the US Civil Rights mov ...more
Alexandra Morgan
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goodness, before I read this I though the idea of 'speaking a book' sounded like more pretentious nonsense, but I absolutely loved the dialogue and editing that made this 6-day conversation between two revolutionary educators come to life.

I struggle reading Freire. I struggle with his academic language and a deeper understanding of his marxist background. I struggle looking at his work coding and decoding and finding where I am as an educator. Whether that degree of community analysis is always
May 09, 2017 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 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 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
Sean Estelle
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a banger. The format of “speaking a book” must be my new favorite - especially when it’s absorbing the reflections of these two militants. Absolutely essential reading on the differences between education and organizing, political development, building structures, and so much more. And reading this right after Pedagogy of the Oppressed helped solidify so many of the lessons from that text as well.
Rod Endacott
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These two men get it . . . there is no change by applying the same old same old. Change comes by DOING TOGETHER. Particularly as at Miles's school 'Highlander' in Tennessee, I imagined, finally, the embodiment of the truthful saying "Work is love made manifest". Again and again I found myself reveling in his indomitable spirit.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I gave this five stars because I would like to return to it someday. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn about Myles Horton and the Highlander School (I'd already known quite a bit about Paolo Freire, who's in dialogue with him here). The deep non-attachment to the power structures of traditional education here are inspiring and challenging.
Karina Scott
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Freire and Horton discuss, at length, the importance of education and social change. How reading should be a wonderful thing for children should want to do and should not be messed up into the punishment system. Reading must be a loving act. The importance of life learning in addition to book learning.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
A transcribed conversation between Miles Horton of Highlander and Paulo Freire the subversive educator from Brazil. They discuss their histories and beliefs about transformative education and its place in creating political and social change. this makes Freire's ideas much of accessible than his own writing, and exposes us to Myles Horton whose work is so important but he wrote almost nothing.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to learn something about teaching without top-down hierarchy. Only one thing bothered me, that Myles Horton had more space than Paulo Freire, but the message is there, even with this disproportion.
This was a good refresher of Friere and an introduction to Horton for me. I was not familiar with the Highlander project and this has inspired further readings. I enjoyed the conversational tone and content of this work.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A revealing and important conversation between two revolutionaries and their fight for education and social change. Anyone involved in grassroots movements, organizing, advocacy, education—well, any field—should read this conversation!
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every teacher should read this.
Graham Mumm
Jun 04, 2018 rated it did not like it

Sophistry at it's finest.
Apr 28, 2013 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 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 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
Erhardt Graeff
Nov 29, 2016 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
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed
  • Democracy and Education
  • Educational Psychology
  • Leading Change
  • The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art
  • The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World
  • Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know  to Do It Once and Do It Right
  • How the Brain Learns
  • The Secret Lives of Color
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
  • Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
  • Would Like to Meet
  • Understanding by Design
  • Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: The Essential Guide for Progressives
  • The Sociology of Education: A Systematic Analysis
  • Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
  • The Cost of Discipleship
  • Teaching to Change the World
See similar books…

News & Interviews

When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
120 likes · 33 comments
“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.” 138 likes
“The educator has the duty of not being neutral.” 86 likes
More quotes…