Agroecological education for food sovereignty: Insights from formal and non-formal spheres in Brazil and Spain

Marta G. Rivera-Ferre, David Gallar, Ángel Calle-Collado, Vania Pimentel
Journal of Rural Studies

In a context of re-definition of what is Agroecology, we reflect on the characteristics of an agroecological education for food sovereignty (AEFS). To do this, we analyse four courses self-claiming to have a food sovereignty focus in the formal and non-formal spheres in Brazil and Spain by answering three questions: “from where” (motivations and actors promoting it), “who” (teachers, students), and “how” (pedagogies). We describe the commonalities and differences among them and show that in developing AEFS, the most important question is the from where. However, important differences may exist between the formal and non-formal spheres, mostly in the who and the how. AEFS in the classroom is based on diálogo de saberes, participatory methodologies and dynamics with a rotational focus (alternancia) on learning from the dialectic between theory and practice and reflection and action. Furthermore, the emotional and organizational spaces are as important as the “official” content of the course. We conclude that despite existing barriers to follow some of pedagogical tools in the formal sphere, it is possible to develop AEFS with a focus on transformative education.