Author Bio

Charlotte María Sáenz has worked in the wide terrain of Education for over 25 years, contesting normative schooling and dominant narratives. Through creative inquiry and scholarly research, she seeks to expand consciousness and collective knowledge towards greater socioecological health for all. In her native Mexico, she researches Indigenous epistemologies focusing on a Zapatista Seed Pedagogics. She worked with Universidad de la Tierra in both Chiapas (Indigenous Center for Integral Learning) and Oaxaca—where she was Ecology faculty for World Learning. Previous collaborations include the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts in Beirut, Lebanon, and in Chicago co-directing Street-Level Youth Media while serving on the board of Women in the (film) Director’s Chair. Currently, she has been teaching Interdisciplinary Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco since 2007. Born and raised in the mountain-rimmed high-desert valley megapolis guarded by the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes, she now lives on the Sausal Creek watershed in xučyun, also known as Oakland.


This article inquires into a pedagogics that seeds a larger co-educational process outside of the Zapatista movement’s autonomous territories. A Zapatista Seed Pedagogics (ZSP) is theorized as an educational, political, and ethical process that confronts oppressive power relations at all levels, growing a collective political and educational subject. While still asserting the need for Indigenous rights within a neocolonial context, a ZSP transcends a human rights education framework to insist on the inherent value of all beings and their birthright to a dignified life. Drawing on a qualitative transgeographic study conducted through interviews with pro-Zapatista interlocutors who are themselves involved in processes of social change in their localities, the author explores how this ZSP provokes a learning to learn and listen differently, contributing to a larger mutualistic political-ethical education that in turn grows Zapatismo itself.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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