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Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Penguin Education) Paperback – 25 Jan 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2Rev Ed edition (25 Jan. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014025403X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140254037
  • Product Dimensions: 32.8 x 32.8 x 50.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was a Brazilian educational theorist.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Friere's classic book seeks to understand the way that the form in which education is offered can have a profound impact on the effect which that education has. His work comes out of the experience of running literacy classes for peasant people in Latin America. What he found was that traditional types of educational practice reproduced passivity and disinterest, and reinforced in those people's eyes the idea that they could never acquire an education. He sought to offer a different kind of education where the process of learning was linked with an understanding of the dynamics of power and oppression. For Friere education was about the process of "becoming fully human" and coming to a consciousness of the world around you. He found these methods to be extremely successful, as have many educators working with socially marginalised groups who have entered education. At a time when large numbers of "non-traditional" students are entering the 'new university' sector in the UK, this book, offers an important resource to teachers and students alike. Though it has been several years since it was first published, it deserves to come into its own yet again.
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By Me on 16 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
An essential book for those who wish to understand how education is strongly connected to social inequality and how it is used to dominate the oppressed masses. This book is interesting and relevant not only within the context of Brazilian inequality, but also in a wider context that involves every developing country and perhaps even developed ones.
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not an easy read according to some other reviewers.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I admit that for most this hardly makes light bedtime reading, but it is worth persevering with. If you expect to pick it up, read it and instantaneously know everything there is to know about oppression then you are sadly mistaken, and as far as I understand the book at the moment, the author would not hope for that to be the case.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Compulsive Reading

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator and philosopher whos experiences of the depression in the 1930s, left within him a calling to try and change society. He says that poverty and hunger severely affected his ability to learn at school and that “experience showed me once again the relationship between social class and knowledge”.
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!
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