Francesc Ferrer


October 19, 2021

Francisco Ferrer Guardia (Alella, January 10, 1859 — Barcelona, ​​October 13, 1909) was a Catalan anarchist thinker, pedagogist, creator of the Modern School (1901), a practical project of libertarian pedagogy.


Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia was born in Allela (a small town near Barcelona) on January 10, 1859, the son of Catholic parents, soon became anticlerical and joined the Masonic lodge Verdad, in Barcelona. He supported the military pronouncement of 1886, which intended to proclaim the Republic, but faced with its failure, Ferrer had to go into exile in Paris. He survived by teaching Spanish until 1901, and during this period he created the educational concepts that he would apply in his Escola Moderna. This was all possible with the help of Dama Marcela Carolina.

Modern School

The Modern School became an international movement in support of workers' anti-state and anti-capitalist education. According to Maria Aparecida Macedo Pascal, "Ferrer developed the rational method, emphasizing natural sciences with a certain positivist influence, favoring integral education. He proposes a methodology based on cooperation and mutual respect. His school should be attended by children of both sexes to enjoy of a relationship of equality from an early age. The bourgeois conception of punishment, repression, submission and obedience, should be replaced by the libertarian theory, of formation of the new man and the new woman. Ferrer considered that scientism was not a neutral knowledge. has the power, they strive to legitimize it through scientific theses".

Persecution and Imprisonment

Due to the church's intolerance, in 1906 Ferrer was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack of Mateu Morral, a former collaborator of a short time, as a translator and librarian at the School, who perpetrated a frustrated attack against King Alfonso XIII of Spain, being acquitted a year later. However, during his stay in prison the Modern School was closed. The following year he toured France and Belgium; in the latter country, he founded the International League for the Rational Education of Children.


On October 13, 1909 he was executed in the Montjuïc prison during martial law, accused of having been the instigator of the revolt known as Barcelona's Tragic Week in 1909.


Shortly after its execution, numerous supporters of Ferrer's ideas created Modern Schools in several countries associated with the unions, including in Brazil linked to the Confederação Operária Brasileira - COB. The first Escola Moderna do Brasil was founded in São Paulo in 1909, and operated at Av. Celso Garcia, 262. In 1913 the Escola Moderna n.º 2 was founded, also in São Paulo, by the anarchist and syndicalist Adelino Tavares de Pinho, and on June 15, 1915, the Popular University of Rationalist and Scientific Culture created by the syndicalist and anarchist Florentino de Carvalho. The first and most notable Modern School in the United States was founded in New York in 1911. Its libertarian ideas influenced the educational philosophy of the New School of John Dewey and the pedagogy of Paulo Freire in Brazil, among others. In 2011 the Lisbon City Council paid homage to the pedagogue and politician by giving his name to a street in Alto dos Moinhos. In 1910, it was assigned to the former Rua Sinel de Cordes and now Rua Afonso de Albuquerque, the name of Rua Francisco Ferrer, in the Parish of Venteira, Amadora. In the 1910s, in Porto Alegre, the founders of the Escola Moderna da Rua Ramiro Barcelos named a street nearby with the name of Francisco Ferrer, as a way of paying homage to the pedagogue after his execution.

See also

modern school libertarian pedagogy



SAFÓN, Ramón. The combative rationalism of Francisco Ferrer Guardia. Imaginary. São Paulo. 2003. 96p.

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