AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Functional and critical literacy in Yo Sí Puedo an examination of Cuba’s literacy program through a Freirean lens

by Ruth Ratcliffe

Institution: University of Newcastle
Degree: MPhil
Year: 2015
Keywords: functional literacy; critical literacy; Freire; Cuba; oppression; liberation; education
Record ID: 1034728
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/1059046


Masters Research - Master of Philosophy (MPhil) The adult literacy program Yo Sí Puedo has taught an estimated 5 million people, predominantly although not exclusively in the Global South, to read and write yet remarkably little has been written about these various campaigns. This research draws on the works of Paulo Freire to analyse both the seminal Cuban National Literacy Campaign of 1961 as a significant influence on YSP and the academic literature on contemporary YSP campaigns in 4 diverse settings, Bolivia, Timor Leste, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. A Freirean framework which highlights the inter-relationships between oppression, liberation and education; dialogical and problem posing education and a specific form of conscientization within social struggle is used to analyse the YSP campaigns and draw a number of conclusions regarding how YSP can be characterised in relation both to traditional models of functional literacy and its ability to contribute to a form of critical and transformative literacy. The unique and uneven contributions of the Cuban revolution to education and international solidarity are considered within the context of the development of ALBA as an alternate pole of international cooperation that potentially offers a path away from various economic and ecological crises.