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125 Int'l Lab. Rev. 177 (1986)
Adult Education and Grass-Roots Organisations in Latin America: The Contribution of the International Co-operative University

handle is hein.journals/intlr125 and id is 191 raw text is: International Labour Review, Vol. 125, No. 2, March-April 1986

Adult education and grass-roots
organisations in Latin America: The
contribution of the International
Co-operative University
Maxime HAUBERT *
I. Adult education and action-research in Latin America
Although the circumstances vary considerably from one country to
another, adult education has emerged over the past 30 years or so as one of
the major issues confronting Latin America in the wake of the major
economic and social changes that have been taking place in that region.
These changes have generated educational needs which the traditional
school systems, mainly designed for children and adolescents, have shown
themselves incapable of meeting in a satisfactory manner. Consequently,
adult education programmes have been assuming increasing importance; at
the same time considerable changes have taken place in their design:
whereas to begin with they were strongly marked by the influence of the
traditional education systems, over the past few years they have been moving
towards the use of participatory action-research methods.
Adult education through participatory action-research has provided the
framework for the experiments carried out by groups associated with the
International Co-operative University; in this article we shall trace briefly
the background to the development of this method in Latin America and its
principal characteristics. First, however, it is necessary to make a distinction
between the official adult education programmes and those launched by
unofficial bodies or non-governmental organisations.1
The official programmes sprang originally from the realisation that the
traditional education systems were slow to produce results, covered only a
very small proportion of young people of school age, and were characterised
by large numbers of pupils either dropping out or having to repeat years, and
that their curricula were ill-attuned to the new needs of the economy. These
* Lecturer at the University of Paris I, teacher at the Co-operative College of Paris. This
article is based largely on documents prepared by individuals or groups associated with the
International Co-operative University and should hence be regarded as essentially a work of
joint authorship. However, any errors or omissions are the sole responsibility of the author.

Copyright © International Labour Organisation 1986

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