Mexico - A Revolution by Education

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Read Books, 2008 - 252 pages
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MEXICO- A Revolution by Education by George I. Sanchez. Originally published in 1936. FOREWORD BY RAFAEL: The Julius Rosenwald Fund has on different occasions shown an interest in the educational and racial problems not only of its own country but also of the world as a whole. In 1935, it had the happy thought of studying the new school movement in Mexico in situ and of investigating the manner in which this countrys revolutionary governments have been removing obstacles in an attempt to secure some measure of social and economic progress for that immense majority of its population that has been living in extreme misery and ignorance. Mexico has long been a source of preoccupation to the American people. Our cultural backwardness has bothered them and, possibly because of that, they have in the past thought of us as barbarous. Our revolutions have disturbed them and they have, therefore, thought of my country as dis orderly and turbulent. Our campaigns against religious fa naticism have irritated them and, for this reason, it has been said that we are heretics. Our efforts to bring about a more equitable distribution of wealth have aroused indignation and the opinion has been expressed that Mexico is headed towards communism. Many other misconceptions concerning my coun try are widespread in the American Union. Because of that, when a responsible institution decides to make a conscientious investigation as to the true situation in Mexico, we can only congratulate ourselves and look with sympathy and interest upon the development of its study. The Julius Rosenwald Fund could not have done better vi Foreword than to choose Dr. George I. Sanchez to make the investiga tion. A distinguished educator, of wide general culture and of a solid professional preparation, Dr. Sanchez is also a man of penetrating social vision and of an enormous capacity for work. With a good command of the Spanish language, an understanding of our race, and a comprehension of our social phenomena, Dr. Sanchez was able to penetrate to the very soul of our people. In my long professional life I have met and known other American educators who have come with the purpose of studying the social and educational development of my coun try. They travel through the nation during two or three weeks too often in the manner of tourists, always over paved highways. They visit schools and villages along the edge of the road and talk chiefly with people of their own nationality or attempt to learn of Mexican life and institutions through the thick veil of interpreters. Returning to their country they feel satisfied with their studies and prepare now a book, now a bulletin, or at least two or three magazine articles describ ing what they call the social and educational reality of my country. I do not deny that they say many amiable things that are full of sympathy. I do doubt that through a visit made on the trot they have been able to acquire a full and clear vision of Mexican life. Mexico A Revolution by Education, the book in which Dr. Sanchez gathers his observations and formulates his judgments about Mexico, has been developed in another man ner. In the first place, his study covered more than half a year and followed a number of earlier visits to Mexico by him and other officers of the Rosenwald Fund. In the second place, he did not travel only over paved roads nor did he visit only two or three schools, but he travelled in all directions through the valleys, in the mountains, in the forests, and, in Foreword vii general, through all of those corners where there was some thing new to see or something typical to study. He rode on mules rather than in automobiles, and he lived for weeks at a time in the homes of the paisanos in the little villages...

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