Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a book written by Paulo Freire. His book talks about the injustices of the ‘system’ and provokes thoughts on how to overcome those injustices. He also speaks about how to overcome being oppressed. To overcome this struggle, we must work with the oppressed, so they know how to fight for themselves. They have to learn how to work in the society that constantly pushed them down. In chapter one, Freire states that a “pedagogy formed with the oppressed” will be the best option. (48) Pedagogy is the practice of teaching, therefore, if the oppressed are taught how they are being oppressed and why that is, they will have the understanding of how to not be oppressed anymore.
I do want to be a teacher after I graduate, so this book has opened up my views on teaching. I believe that whatever lesson plans you are given, or are prepared for the day, should be flexible based on the students. I am becoming a teacher for students not because I want everyone to know how smart I am. I believe that a classroom should have all the students looking at the teacher but also give the students options to work in small groups. I want to have an open classroom is what I like to call it. To me, a teacher is there to guide you through the new information you are learning. All of the information isn’t new to everyone though, so teachers and professors should be able to learn from their students and be able to fluctuate their teaching plans for the day. Most of the time, teachers can’t change it themselves. In a systematic educational system, it can only be changed by the government. In an educational project system, they carry out education plans with the oppressed in order to organize them. In order to get any change in either of these systems, we must “reflect upon action for reform” (53). If there is any want to change the system at all, teachers and professors have to decide who to get involved. I would think that if you got both of the educational systems involved, the most change will happen, and it’ll be the most affective. If I was in the situation, I would get the opinion of my students to see where they want their education to lead to. I would ask if they want more in depth information leading to more of a student input conversation class, or if they would like me to just talk and teach.
I agree with a lot of Freire’s ideas in this book. He relates education to banking. He states explains that the banking system of education hinders a child’s growth. “Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; the individual is a spectator, not re-creator. In this view the person is not a conscious being (corpo consciente); he or she is rather the possessor of a consciousness: an empty ‘mind’ passively open to the reception of the deposits of reality from the world outside” (247). This is explaining how some teachers just throw information at students and don’t take into consideration to explain why this information is important. Most teacher student relationships are only teacher student relationships. They don’t go beyond the classroom into the real world. They should both care and relate to each other and how to go about learning and giving information and being able to put it into the real world beyond the classroom. Freire also explains that “knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other” (244). The best teachers can change up their lessons every year and be able to de-structure their class. This could also prose problems in the classroom. If the teacher is a push-over, then the class could turn into a mess. The teacher wouldn’t be able to control his or her students and no learning would get done.
In the end, I believe that Paulo Freire’s book was a great read for everyone who would like to be a future teacher. He explains how to react in situations when your class happens to be full of students who are being oppressed. He also hints at how to help them out of that situation and how to push them to be a great student and how to contribute to society.