Oct 01, 2010

RCLA Scholars Contribute to Definitive Volume on Political and Civic Leadership

RCLA scholars have contributed a chapter on "Popular Education" to a new reference book on political and civic leadership.

Popular education, an approach to critical education developed by the Brazilian educator and activist Paulo Freire, is gaining currency within the field of social change in the US owing to its roots in the civil rights movement in the United States and various farm workers' movements in Latin America.

Initially an approach to mass adult literacy, popular education has been increasingly seen as a useful approach to organizing because it is inherently political, seeking social transformation rather than Band-Aid solutions. Thanks to the work of Latino immigrant social change organizations and drawing on their experiences in Latin America, popular education is now seen as an important part of the organizing toolkit in the US, with leadership development at its core.

In the chapter "Popular Education" in the just-published Sage book Political and Civic Leadership, RCLA scholars Waad El Hadidy, Sonia Ospina, and Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla discuss how Latino social change organizations use popular education to nurture learning and leadership for action within their communities. The authors draw important lessons about leadership development from on-the-ground applications of popular education and share implications for a new trend in the leadership field that views leadership as collective achievement.

Edited by Richard A. Couto, PhD, the book provides undergraduate students with an authoritative reference resource on political and civic leadership, offering detailed but accessible discussions of 100 of the most important topics, issues, questions and debates related to politics and civic society.

Waad El Hadidy is Senior Associate at NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action, which builds knowledge and capacity for excellence in public service leadership. Sonia Ospina is Associate Professor of Public Management & Policy at NYU Wagner and Faculty Director of RCLA, and Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla is Deputy Director of RCLA.

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