Food, Farming, and Justice

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La Vía Campesina

Questioning a future based on corporate-dominated globalised markets

La Vía Campesina is arguably the largest social movement in the world. As of 2019, it comprised 182 local and national organisations in 81 countries, and represented about 200 million farmers. And yet, try finding a mention of La Vía Campesina in mainstream textbooks.

One of the reasons textbooks fail to include discussions of La Vía Campesina—and other social movements, for that matter—is because the publishers presume that change comes from the top. Textbooks teach students to look to Great Individuals, governments, corporations, multilateral organisations, the United Nations. According to the official stories offered in textbooks, power flows downhill, from the commanding heights.

Another source of La Vía Campesina’s invisibility is the media’s core narrative—that humanity is in the midst of a pageant of progress, powered by science, technology, and capitalism. Peasants, by contrast, represent backwardness, pockets of ancient history waiting around in the countryside for the beneficent arrival of the modern world.

  • The text above was excerpted from Chapter 6 of …


A teaching guide edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart. 400 pages. 2014.  Articles, student readings, and teaching activities to help students understand environmental problems and imagine solutions.

Five years in the making, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth is a collection of articles, role plays, simulations, stories, poems, and graphics to help breathe life into teaching about the environmental crisis. The book features some of the best articles from the Rethinking Schools magazine alongside classroom-friendly readings on climate change, energy, water, food, and pollution—as well as on people who are working to make things better.

It has classroom-friendly readings on climate change, energy, water, food, and pollution — as well as on people who are working to make things better.


Role-play project for schools

  • You can get the whole section of the book relating to this content as a pdf

Food, Farming and Justice – A role play on La Vía Campesina

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1 : Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission

2 : Rethinking Schools – online magazine

3:  La Via Campesina – Who we are

About Editor

Ross Scholes —    BSc.(Earth Sci.); PGDip.(Nat. Res.): PGDip.(Devpt. Stud.)          • Assoc, Editor, Soil & Health magazine ( 6 ) • Development Consultant, Solomon Is. ( 8 ) • Organic gardener, ( ~50 )

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