How the Dreamers Are Born: Struggles for Social Justice and the Identity Construction of Activist Educators in Brazil

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This book discusses the identity construction of activist educators or, as one of the research participants poetically summarizes it, how the dreamers are born. The dreamers, in the case of this research, are eleven women, activist educators who have participated in the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (Landless Workers' Movement), the MST. This book explores how the development of one's identity as an activist educator is a long and complex social, political, and cultural process involving many causal elements. The MST, one of the largest social movements in contemporary Latin America and one of the most successful grassroots movements in the world, has struggled for agrarian reform as well as social and economic justice in Brazil, achieving impressive results. Its members include people from some of the poorest segments of Brazilian society. This book presents a powerful analysis of their incredible life stories (testimonios), collected through semi-structured interviews with women educators, seeking to uncover the main elements that account for the development of their identities as activist educators. Finally, the book addresses the implications of its research findings for social justice teacher education.