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Rebecca Tarlau

Program Year : 
Fellow Type: 
Academic Degree: 
Ph.D. University of California; M.A. University of California,
Previous Education: 
PhD - UC Berkeley (2014)
MA - UC Berkeley (2008)
BA - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2006)

Rebecca Tarlau is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Education at Stanford University, affiliated with the Lemann Center for Educational Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Brazil. Her ethnographic research agenda has three broad areas of focus: (1) Theories of the state and state-society relations; (2) Social movements, critical pedagogy, and learning; (3) Latin American education and development. Her most recent project examines the educational initiatives of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), a national social movement of rural workers struggling for agrarian reform. This research explores the movement’s attempt to transform public education across the country, focusing on the micro-politics of grassroots educational reform: the strategies activists use to convince state actors to adopt their initiatives and the political and economic conditions that affect state-society interactions concerning schools. Her scholarship engages in debates in the fields of political sociology, international and comparative education, critical pedagogy, global and transnational sociology, and social theory.

Tarlau’s recent publications include "How Do New Critical Pedagogies Develop? Educational Innovation, Social Change, and Landless Workers in Brazil" (Teachers College Record); "Not-So-Public Contention: Movement Strategies, Regimes, and the Transformation of Public Institutions in Brazil" (Mobilization); "Education of the Countryside at a Crossroads: Rural Social Movements and National Policy Reform in Brazil" (Journal of Peasant Studies); "From a Language to a Theory of Resistance: Critical Pedagogy, the Limits of ‘Framing,’ and Social Change" (Educational Theory);  “Coproducing Rural Public Schools in Brazil: Contestation, Clientelism and the Landless Workers’ Movement” (Politics & Society).

For a full list of articles, see: