Pedagogy of the Oppressed is the most widely known of educator Paulo Freire's works. Paulo Freire ( Recife, Brazil September 19, 1921 – São Paulo, Brazil May 2, 1997) was a Brazilian It was first published in Portuguese in 1968 as Pedagogia do oprimido and the first English translation was published in 1970. The book examines the struggle for justice and equity within the educational system and proposes a new pedagogy. JUSTICE is a Human rights and law reform organisation based in the United Kingdom. Pedagogy (ˈpɛdəgɒdʒi or paedagogy is the Art or Science of being a Teacher.
Dedicated "to the oppressed, and to those who suffer with them and fight at their side," Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Rooted in his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, the book remains popular among educators in developing countries. According to Donaldo Macedo, a former colleague of Freire and University of Massachusetts professor, the text is still revolutionary, and he cites as evidence students from totalitarian states risking punishment to read Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The University of Massachusetts (officially nicknamed UMass) is the five-campus public university system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a concept used to describe Political systems where a State regulates nearly every aspect of public and private The book has sold over 750 000 copies worldwide and is one of the foundations of critical pedagogy. Critical pedagogy is a teaching approach which attempts to help students question and challenge Domination, and the beliefs and practices that dominate
Translated into several languages, most editions of Pedagogy of the Oppressed contain at least one introduction/foreword, a preface, and four chapters.
The first chapter explores how oppression has been justified and how it is overcome through a mutual process between the "oppressor" and the "oppressed". Oppression is the act of using power to empower and/or privilege a group at the expense of disempowering marginalizing silencing and subordinating another group 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. He writes, "Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion. " (47) According to Freire, freedom will be the result of praxis--informed action--when a balance between theory and practice is achieved. Praxis is the process by which a Theory, lesson or skill is enacted or practiced
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. Freire rejects the "banking" approach, claiming it results in the dehumanization of both the students and the teachers. Dehumanization is a process by which members of a group of people assert the "inferiority" of another group through subtle or overt acts or statements In addition, he argues the banking approach stimulates oppressive attitudes and practices in society. Instead, Freire advocates for a more world-mediated, mutual approach to education that considers people incomplete. According to Freire, this "authentic" approach to education must allow people to be aware of their incompleteness and strive to be more fully human. This attempt to use education as a means of consciously shaping the person and the society is called conscientization, a term first coined by Freire in this book. Conscientization refers to a type of learning which is focused on perceiving and exposing social and political contradictions
The third chapter is devoted to dialogics--"the essence of education as the practice of freedom"--and dialogue. The English terms dialogic and dialogism often refer to the concept used by the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin in his work of Literary theory Freire argues that words involve a radical interaction between reflection and action and that true words are transformational. Dialogue requires mutual respect and cooperation to not only develop understanding, but also to change the world. "Authentic" education, according to Freire, will involve dialogue between the teacher and the student, mediated by the broader world context. He warns that the limits imposed upon both the colonizer and the colonized dehumanize everyone involved, thereby removing the ability for dialogue to occur, inevitably barring the possibility of transformation.
This chapter developed the use of the term limit-situation with regards to dimensions of human praxis. This is in line with the Alvaro Viera Pinto's use of the word/idea in his "Consciencia Realidad Nacional" which Friere contends is "using the concept without the pessimistic character originally found in Jaspers"(Note 15, Chapter 3) in reference to Karl Jaspers notion of 'Grenzsituationen'. Karl Theodor Jaspers ( February 23, 1883 – February 26, 1969) was a German Psychiatrist and Philosopher who
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). This is in contrast to antidialogics which use conquest, manipulation, cultural invasion, and the concept of divide and rule. Freire suggests that populist dialogue is a necessity to revolution; that impeding dialogue dehumanizes and supports the status quo. This is but one example of the dichotomies Freire identifies in the book. A dichotomy is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts Others include the student-teacher dichotomy and the colonizer-colonized dichotomy.
More detailed chapter by chapter summaries are available through The Communication Initiative.
The work was strongly influenced by the work of Frantz Fanon. Frantz Fanon ( July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was a Psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and author from