Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire: Developing Pedagogy

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As a child, Freire did not have the best of childhoods. Unlike other children in well-off families, he did not have many things so that experience left him confused and not understanding owing to his hunger. Freire’s childhood was marred by poverty and hunger which limited his intentions to get education.  Over and above this experience, Freire says he got to understand the link between social levels and knowledge so much so that later in his life, he was able to transfer that knowledge into developing a pedagogy that s inclusive, one that features an understanding of the people and the world they live in. Freire’s early work in Brazil, including what you might guess was the main message in his 1959 Ph.D. thesis, called “Present-day Education in Brazil” and the reaction of the military dictatorship to his activities in 1964.

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Freire was concerned about how poor people are not able to access education due to their poor living conditions and his early work in Brazil was aimed at providing informal education to vulnerable poor people. By 1962 his methods and determination to take informal education to poor people paid off when he was given green light to teach farm workers to write. For that reason, I can say that Freire’s main message in “PresentPresent-day in Brazil” was to highlight the wrongs of the education system in that country that it was oppressive, education of the elite, biased, lacked diversity, and marginalizing poor vulnerable communities. Freire’s beliefs about what the communication and relationship should be between adult educators and learners, and how this differed from relationships, especially power relationships, in traditional education. Freire put a lot of emphasis on the need for a dialogue, the need for the educator and the students to sit down and exchange ideas. He pushed for informal education which on its own was or is a conversation exchange between a teacher and a learner. He said that this dialogue exchange involves values of mutual respect where both the educator and the student learn, question,n, and zoom into the environment they live in. The purpose is to try to make sense of the world which is contrary to traditional education which involves a teacher acting as the main source of information.

Freire’s choice of the title of one of his most famous books “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Pedagogy of the oppressed is widely regarded as having set the tone for the development of critical pedagogy in terms of defining relationships among a teacher, the learner as well as the community or society rather. It defined and challenged the then state of the Brazilian education system. The book in general was based on Freire’s own experience of the people he interacted with in his quest to take informal education to poor people. This was a time when he helped communities in Brazil most notably farm workers to read and write. Initially, the book was written in Spanish, a decade later (in 1970) it was translated into English followed then into a Portuguese version two years later. Y  our sense of terms that you see recurring in what you have read about Paulo Freire’s writing. These terms may include the Portuguese word “conscientização” (translated as “becoming conscientious” or “developing a critical consciousness”), “reading the word and the world”, “dialogue” – and others that you notice are referred to repeatedly. Freire can be described as “pro-poor” and by this,s I refer to the fact that his teachings, his books, and his influence were targeted at making an impact on poor uneducated people. He wanted everyone to become conscientious that is, become aware of themselves and socio-political issues, and in-depth issues of the environment they live in. Freire believed that they could do this by “reading the word and the world” to mean understanding the theoretical, the political as well as the practical elements of citizenship. Dialogue on the other hand means an exchange of conversations.

The extent to which the education system criticized by Freire is similar to or different from South Africa’s current education system. Freire criticized an education system where a teacher is the epicenter or fountain of knowledge and treats students like empty vessels. We have that system of education in South Africa. curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS)calls for teachers to become facilitators of learning. The teacher must not operate under a traditional method of teaching which is criticized by Freire. Freire believed that a teacher must alternatively act as a moderator and assist students in making discoveries for themselves owning resources in terms of self-discovery and dialogue. The criticism of Freire is that he over-simplifies complex social and political situations ignores nuances and categorizes people simply as either the poor, (who are oppressed and good), or the wealthy, (who are the oppressors and bad).

in conclusion. Freire truly received a huge fair share of criticism for his writings. One of the criticism was on his book ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’whereby he distinguishes the society into two simple halves. He argues that in a society, it is either that you are poor with no education or rich with education. That you are either oppressed or free. In my view, Freire also did not seem to understand he was pushing for another kind of old traditional model of teaching where he was telling people how to live their lives his banking system of education was arguable a traditional model of teaching one can say.


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