Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paulo Freire (1970)

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Portuguese: Pedagogia do Oprimido), written by educator Paulo Freire, proposes a pedagogy with a new relationship between teacher, student, and society. It was first published in Portuguese in 1968, and was translated by Myra Ramos into English and published in 1970. The book is considered one of the foundational texts of critical pedagogy. Dedicated to the oppressed and based on his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. In the book Freire calls traditional pedagogy the ‘banking model of education‘ because it treats the student as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge, like a piggy bank. … The first chapter explores how oppression has been justified and how it is reproduced through a mutual process between the ‘oppressor’ and the ‘oppressed’ (oppressors–oppressed distinction). Examining how the balance of power between the colonizer and the colonized remains relatively stable, Freire admits that the powerless in society can be frightened of freedom. … According to Freire, freedom will be the result of praxis—informed action—when a balance between theory and practice is achieved. The second chapter examines the ‘banking’ approach to education—a metaphor used by Freire that suggests students are considered empty bank accounts that should remain open to deposits made by the teacher. … The third chapter discusses the idea that ‘to speak the true word is to transform the world’. Freire developed the use of the term limit situation with regards to dimensions of human praxis. … The last chapter proposes dialogics as an instrument to free the colonized, through the use of cooperation, unity, organization and cultural synthesis (overcoming problems in society to liberate human beings). … The work was strongly influenced by Frantz Fanon and Karl Marx. One of Freire’s dictums is that ‘there neither is, nor has ever been, an educational practice in zero space-time—neutral in the sense of being committed only to preponderantly abstract, intangible ideas.’ … In his article for the conservative City Journal, Sol Stern asserts that Pedagogy of the Oppressed ignores the traditional touchstones of Western education (e.g., Rousseau, John Dewey, or Maria Montessori) and contains virtually none of the information typically found in traditional teacher education (e.g., no discussion of curriculum, testing, or age-appropriate learning). …”
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and a Revolutionary Praxis for Education, Part I
Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed : Book Summary
W – Paulo Freire
[PDF] Pedagogy of the oppressed; translated by Myra. Bergman Ramos

Mural by Paulo Freire at the Faculty of Education and Humanities of the University of Bío-Bío, Chile

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