Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and a Revolutionary Praxis for Education, Part II

Age of Revolutions

Check out Part I of “Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and a Revolutionary Praxis for Education”

By Kevin Gannon

Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed was a powerful, indeed revolutionary, reformulation of the very idea and purpose of schooling. It boldly and insistently criticized the functionalist, instrumental approach to education that characterized the dominant pedagogies of the era.

It was (and remains) common practice to talk about education as a set of practices which expands a student’s range of opportunities and degree of freedom. Yet, Freire and other critical reformers of the late 1960s saw this ideal honored solely in the breach when it came to state-sponsored schooling. Rather than merely the transfer of “knowledge,” which aimed to make students functional more than thoughtful, education ought to be a practice of liberation, Freire argued. Yet, for Freire, much of the pedagogical status quo was anathema to this (or any)…

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