The Cuban Literacy Campaign at 50: Formal and Tacit Learning in Revolutionary Education

  • Arlo Kempf Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Keywords: Adult Education, Cuban Education, the Cuban Literacy Campaign, Schooling, Ideology, Marxism, Global South

Abstract

December 22, 2011, marked the 50th anniversary of the end of the Cuban Literacy Campaign, an initiative that dramatically increased literacy rates across the island and consolidated the presence of the revolutionary government. While Cuban schools are widely celebrated, a paucity of recent scholarship persists treating the structure and tenets, as well as the formal and tacit content of Cuban education. Beginning with an analysis of the political content of the literacy campaign, this article reviews the structure and content of Cuban education with a focus on the role of ideology. While numerous scholars have demonstrated the prescriptive and reproductive function of schooling Euro-American contexts, little comparative international work has treated the interfunction of schooling and ideology in the Global South. This article locates the literacy campaign as the formal genesis of contemporary Cuban ideology. Indeed the literacy campaign was the beginning of a discursive relationship that continues today.

 

Author Biography

Arlo Kempf, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Arlo Kempf is Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. His current comparative research project looks at diversity, teachers’ work, and standardization in the US, Cuba, and Canada. His research interests include teachers’ work, post-racialism, educational measurement, anti-colonial, anti-racist and comparative education. His most recent publication is the book New Perspectives on African-Centered Education in Canada, in press with Canadian Scholars Press (co-authored with George Dei).
Published
2014-04-15
Section
Articles