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Ivan Illich

(Vienna, 1926 - Bremen, 2002): Educationist and essayist. He is known for his theoretical developments in the field of Latin American pedagogy. He asserted that none of the traditional educational institutions of industrial society was adapted to the real needs of today's world. In view of this, Illich urged a thorough review of these structures, starting with the one he considered to be the most 'harmful' of all: school. Throughout his career—which ranged from ecclesiastical institutions to universities—Ivan Illich devoted himself to writing and disseminating his radical pedagogical ideas in the Hispanic-American sphere, where he soon achieved remarkable prestige and recognition. After several stays in countries such as the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico, he collaborated in the foundation of the Centro Intercultural de Documentación (Intercultural Center for Documentation) of Cuernavaca. From there, he reflected on his ideas together with great educationist thinkers of the twentieth century, such as Paul Goodman, Peter Berger and Paulo Freire. In his postulates, Illich defends and encourages informal learning, while enhancing the creativity of individuals within the social environment in which they move, without subjecting them to the rigid structures of the institutional school.