Talking about Zapatista Education

Is it so simple to talk about Zapatista Education…?

A building, a yard, some pencils and books, a blackboard, desks and chairs, students, teachers. None of the above is enough for the “escuelita zapatista”. The Little Schools of Below are a community learning through sharing, coexistencing and abolishing dominant roles. In the Small School you learn how to learn collectively and then how to teach the youngest, that is, the most important — and not only them.

Starting from the above, we wish to open a public debate on the ‘other education’ and the ways in which experience can be transmitted. As the Zapatistas themselves say, the experience is tangible and rooted but not replicable. There are no recipes because “We proceed by asking”.

We are individuals and collectives from different starting points and different ‘positions’ in the educational process, but also with a common intention for communication, dialogue, learning, sharing tools and experiences. At the first level, we get to know each other through the reading of texts concerning the Zapatista School, the importance of the community, but also their stories. At the second level, we try to create our own collective views on the above issues, a process for the construction of ‘we’, as the Zapatistas call it.

A meeting of our educational reality with the Zapatista reality of the Small School would be important and enriching.

SELF-EDUCATION FOR ZAPATISTA PEDAGOGY

So we proceed by asking and reading, having various sources of inspiration such as the following texts:

1. Teachers are a mirror and window
2. Educate in resistance: the autonomous Zapatista schools
3. Autonomous Zapatista Education: The Little Schools of Below, by Raúl Zibechi 
4. MUNICIPIO AUTÓNOMO EN REBELDÍA RICARDO FLORES MAGÓN. La Educación Verdadera