Education and Social Change

What Difference Education Makes in the ‘Outside World’File 1.2MB PDF document

A chapter of a thesis about the social change among high school graduates from a Manobo community; and the change they brought to their community.
The full thesis is available at
While reading the chapter.
What change in behaviour did the high school graduates from the community display? How did the community members react to those changes? What change in the community have the graduates brought or would probably bring about? What are the advantages and disadvantages of gaining education for the individuals and the community?

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After reading the chapter.
Think about how education have different effects (or no effect) on social structure and processes in a community. For example, would the high school graduation of a few students from an urban community in Manila have the same effect as in a rural community?
Trinidad, A.R.T. (2012). What difference education makes in the ‘outside world’. In the Author, Learning to be indigenous: Education and social change among the Manobo people of the Philippines. [Doctoral thesis]. University of Manchester, pp. 160-169. Retrieved from
• Horton & Freire Dialogue: Education and Social ChangeFile 731.4KB PDF document

Before reading the dialogue between Paolo Freire and Myles Horton on adult education and social change. Read the following background articles first.
Paolo Freire’s brief biography:
Who is Myles Horton?
What is the Highlander Folk School?
Consider the social context where and when they were active like the Civil Rights Movement in Southern United States (involving racial discrimination), and the denial of the right to vote of citizens in Brazil due to literacy requirements.

While reading their discussion take note of their differing points of view about the role of education in social change; and whether one can initiate social reform within the formal education system or if one needs to work outside the educational system. Consider their views on adult education.

After reading the dialogue, contextualise it in Philippine setting. Do we have adults who would need education in order for them to engage in social change–particularly to make their lives better or resist exploitation? How about the out of school youth, is government and non-government organisations’ effort enough to meet their educational needs?

Bell, B., Gaventa, J., & Peters, J. (1990). Myles Horton and Paulo Freire: We make the road by walking: Conversations on education and social change. Philadelphia: Temple University, pp.199-226.

Read the two articles providing examples of experiences of education that caused social change. The first is in Philippine context, an observation of an indigenous people’s community involving common formal education and indigenous education. The second is a dialogue between two “educators” who engaged in adult education of “oppressed” peoples in the context of the USA and Brazil.
Start your discussion and share your answers to the questions in the guide to reading the articles. Moderate your discussion thread and invite replies. Reply to at least one of your classmates thread.
You may also discuss other context of education and/for social change.
If you are a practicing ALS teacher, you may want to share your own experiences with how education contributed to a change in the social relations, structure and processes in a community.
In your discussion please avoid overstating the effect of education in changing society. Whenever you claim that education contributes to social change cite examples of effect. This should keep your feet on the ground instead of repeating motherhood statements. If you think education is not making any effect on society then state why you think so.
Take note of two historical periods where education was used to change Philippine society. The first is the religious education of colonial Indios under the friars. The children who grew up under such educational system where the ones who valued the new religion and Spanish culture, and rejected the native barangay culture of their ancestors. Sometimes there was a mixing of the culture but the Spanish culture was still dominant.
The second period is the American colonial era that expanded public education and used English as a medium of instruction. The Indio children who grew up in this educational system in turn rejected the Hispanic culture (with the compulsory teaching of Spanish language ending in the 1980s) and adopted American culture.
Both processes of change took a very long time and change became stable only after previous generations had died off, and the new generation had become the majority adult population. The length of time of change in these processes were far longer than the processes described in our articles. Take note as well that for the change to take effect, a generation made a decision (under duress but a decision nonetheless) to accept the new dominant culture.
How do you think these historical examples compare to the idea that social change can be managed or implemented rationally within a generations’ lifetime?

For more information on Education and Social Change read this:

Salvador Late or Early


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