Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Penguin Education) Paperback – 25 Jan 1996
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About the Author
Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was a Brazilian educational theorist.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well it becomes difficult if the staple diet is pop psyche and other puerility; It takes me two or three goes to read a page and then let it sink in. There are some people I can skim but always balk at skimming this one, he says so much about education.
This is just the opposite of verbose, the insights are so distilled he says more in one sentence than most philosophers say in a book. It just keeps on going like a machine gun firing never ending bullets of corn seed, maize and magical insights to feed the imagination of the poor and those left out of the feeding trough. If you are an educational bully who believes in empty vessels then turn away now.This book is not for you, neither is teaching as a career.
In the first few pages he talks about the peasants rising through the system to behave as Kapo, people exhibiting worse empathy than the previous master, move over George Orwell. The "masters" who enjoy exercising power are emotionally empty, stripped by their educational journey- public school and lashings of it. Then there are the conservatives who wish to stop time and then replicate the perennial moment where they overpower all others. Alienation; as a tool to suppress the majority, by making their lives mundane. Countering this he perceives love as a weapon, rather than the use of machine guns, to create a new form of social interaction. The use of critical understanding to throw off the shackles of stupidity. These new regimes will replace the old by their versatility, the evolution of (wo) man.Read more ›
But this book is so so so worth persevering with. When the Freire's ideas are pondered over within the context of life, living and working with the oppressed, as a subject of oppression, maybe even as an oppressor, this book will be invaluable in the search for living out liberation.
The Coalition Government is committed to training 5,000 'community organisers,' based on Freire and Alinsky, from 2011 - 2015. This book, Freire's most famous, is therefore compulsive reading for anyone trying to understand the impact these 'community organisers' might have on UK society, particularly at neighbourhood level.
I might describe this book as having a very high density to volume ratio. I agree with many of the other reviewers here, that this is not a text easily dealt with. I personally found some of it impenetrable. At one point I was wondering if the fact that it had been translated from Portuguese might have resulted in a certain `lost in translation` effect, but I suspect that I am making excuses! I was a little surprised that many of the references which Freire uses come from unpublished texts - they are annotated thus. Some of the words used require their own investigation - assuming you are not an aficionado of course.
But, and it is a big BUT, the intention of this work is of the highest order and is quite awe inspiring. I was brought to tears on one occasion when contemplating my own personal feelings regarding my own consciousness of freedom. There is a great potential catharsis underlying this kind of investigation.
Freire states his intention in the penultimate paragraph, `just as the oppressor, in order to oppress, needs a theory of oppressive action, so the oppressed, in order to become free, also need a theory of action.`
I like to imagine Che Guevara as a champion of this theory.
Today we see uprisings as never before all over the world. The Ukraine being the latest such case at the time of my writing. So the issues that this book is raising and the awareness that it attempts to promote are as urgent and relevant as ever!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's about how to live love and learn better
A must read for everyone on planet earth.
A fascinating and challenging book, which, though not always easy to read (perhaps because of its brevity), nevertheless gives more than technical educational insights
I... Read more
classic work of critical pedagogy -for anyone interested in education and its meaning.Published 2 months ago by Sisyphus
Classic. Makes one think that what's happening now in educational institutions is more of a factory-style delivery and its function is to prop up the powers that be.Published 4 months ago by Rey Bowen
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