Encountering works by Nyerere and Freire

Exploring the connections between education for liberation and education for self-reliance in contemporary radical popular education


  • Silke Schreiber-Barsch University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Joseph Badokufa Bulugu St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Mwanza / Tanzania https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4231-465X
  • Lukas Eble University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany




Freire, Nyerere, solidarity, comparative research, service learning


This conceptual paper presents an encounter of a work regarding education on self-reliance by Tanzanian educator Julius K. Nyerere (1922–1999) with a work by Brazilian educator Paolo Freire (1921–1997) on education for liberation to explore their relevance for contemporary radical popular education. To this end, the study aligns with the methodological approaches used in qualitative comparative education research. Entering into a comparative dialogue between both contributions contextualises the respective features of each contribution and allows a systematic dialogue between commonalities and differences and for conclusions to be drawn regarding radical popular education. Solidarity and sustainability serve as guiding categories in this endeavour. They point conclusively to the benefits of further theoretical encounters (with, for example, the philosophy of ubuntu), to the risks of neoliberal reinterpretations and, against this background, to the quest for nurturing contemporary approaches in radical popular education in adult education academia, research and practice under the auspices of social change and transformation.


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How to Cite

Schreiber-Barsch, S., Bulugu, J. B., & Eble, L. (2023). Encountering works by Nyerere and Freire: Exploring the connections between education for liberation and education for self-reliance in contemporary radical popular education. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 14(1), 79–96. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.4420