Rural Poverty (gap between mainstream literacy expectations and the reality of poorly funded rural schools is a fitting place for the application of critical theory) The use of Mono language system : - prevents access to education, because of the linguistic, pedagogical and psychological barriers it creates;may lead to the extinction of Indigenous languages, thus contributing to the disappearance of the world’s linguistic diversity;often curtails the development of the children’s capabilities,perpetuates poverty, and causes serious mental harm.
Reading the word, but also reading the world :Hestressed the importance of reading the “word” (dominant culture texts) and the “world” (the context in which one experiences these texts), and argued that these dual acts were needed for individuals to participate meaningfully in society. Freire further added thatLiteracy instruction must extend beyond the classroom and into the economic, social, and political realm. Concretely, this pedagogy begins with the teacher mingling among the community, asking questions of the people and gathering a list of words used in their daily lives. The teacher was to begin to understand the social reality of the people, and develop a list of generative words and themes which could lead to discussion in classes, or “cultural circles” (Gadotti 20). By making words (literacy) relevant to the lives of people, the process of conscientization could begin, in which the social construction of reality might be critically examined.The Dialogic :A dialogic, he emphasizes the exchange between teachers and students, where both learn, both question, both reflect and both participate in meaning-making.Dialogic (in which both parties confront each other as knowledgeable equals in a situation of genuine two-way communication (Freire, 1973, p. 52). Teachers possess knowledge of reading and writing; students possess knowledge of the concrete reality of their culture ).Dialogic in the sense education is seen as a mutual process of reflecting upon and developing insights into the students' evolving cultureBanking Model of Education :In this system student is viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. That transforms students into receiving objects. -where the teacher's primary role is to transmit knowledge to students, "depositing" information into students as they would deposit money into a bank "(Freire, 1970, 1973; Graman, 1989; Auerbach & Burgess, 1985).It attempts to control thinking and action, leads men and women to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power" (Freire, 1970, p. 77)Problem Posing :In the approachcultural themes in the form of open-ended problems are incorporated into materials such as pictures, comics, short stories, songs, and video dramas, that are then used to generate discussion. The teacher asks a series of open-ended questions about these materials that encourage students to elaborate upon what they see in them. Ultimately, this questioning process leads the students to define the real-life problem being represented, discuss its causes, and propose actions that can be taken to solve it (Freire, 1970, 1973; Wallerstein, 1983).
Mother tongue based education as the aplication of critical pedagogy in timor leste
Mother Tongue Based Education as Practical
Application of Critical Pedagogy to Reduce High
Drop-out in Rural Areas in Timor-Leste.
Prepared by :
30 October 2013
I. Fact sheet About Timor-Leste
III. Problem Identification
IV. Theoretical framework
4.1. Critical pedagogy
4.2. Mother Tongue Based education
I. Fact sheet about Timor-Leste
Area : 14,874 sq km (160 )
Population : 1,172,390 (160)
Age structure :
0-14 years: 42.7% (male 257,340/female 243,174)
15-24 years: 19.7% (male 116,605/female 114,203)
25-54 years: 29.3% (male 166,048/female 177,024)
55-64 years: 4.8% (male 28,717/female 27,011)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 20,428/female 21,840)
Adult literacy rate : 58.3%
GDP per capita : $10,000 (119)
Languages : Tetum (official), Portuguese (official),
Indonesian, English (Working languages)
There are about 16 indigenous languages
Urban population: 28.3% of total population
70,3 % live in rural area
Dropout rate in the rural areas is substantially higher then in urban areas.
GER at primary level both rural and urban : around 105 %
Pre-secondary GER : rural 60,5 % <> urban 115,2 %.
Secondary GER : Rural 35.4 % <> urban 112.9%
Literacy rate : Rural 44.6 % <> Urban 80.9 %
EGRA (Early grade reading assessment ) in 2011 found that :
“More than 70% of students at the end of grade 1 could not read a single
word of the simple text passage. 40% of children were not able to read a
single word at the end of grade 2; and the share of children scoring zero
dropped to about 20% at the end of grade 3. The assessment provides
clear evidence that many children spend years in primary schools in
Timor‐Leste without learning to read” (UNICEF, 2011)
The lack of understanding of schooling system targeting children at early grades and
call for the improvement of preschool program, and establishment of national
III. Problem identification
Lack of funding (funding inequalities)
Limited access to educational resources
The use of Mono language system of education
(intensive submersion program ) against fact that
Timorese is multilingual.
Critical Pedagogy of Paulo freire
Involves not only reading the word, but also reading the world (Freire &
Macedo, 1987) .
The Freirean approach to adult literacy education bases the content of
language lessons on learners' cultural and personal experiences.
The two most distinctive features of the Freirean Approach are
dialogue/dialogic and problem-posing.
Opposed to the Banking Model of education (Freire, 1970, p. 77)
A critical pedagogy must be a pedagogy of place, that is, it must address the
specificities of the experiences, problems, languages, and histories that
communities rely upon to construct a narrative of collective identity and
possible transformation. (McLaren & Giroux, 1990, p. 263) .
(Gruenewald, 2003) emphasized that ” Critical pedagogy cannot be only
about struggles with human oppression, it also must embrace the
experience of being human in connection with the others and with the
world of nature “.
IV.2. Mother tongue based Education
Why Using mother tongue ?
Timor-Leste is multilingual society
The current program of submersion proved
to be unsuccessful
The current education system alienates
and disengage students from rural areas,
“ If you talk to a man in a language
he understands, that goes to his
head. If you talk to him in his
language, that goes to his heart “
as they feel not connected to the content
and language used to teach.
The resources available to support
submersion program in rural areas are
4.2. Mother tongue based Education
Mother tongues are the home languages of leaners, also
known as “first language (L1)”
The principle of mother tongue-based multilingual is creating
an efficient system of education and recognizes the cultural
It seeks to create an educational system that :
builds on what learners know,
facilitates beginning literacy,
supports learners’ identity formation,
makes learning relevant and enjoyable,
links generations in continued learning,
encourages collaboration between teachers and families,
promotes leaner-centered methodologies
Mother tongue Multilanguage education looks
at achieving three basic purposes:
To Ensure that all learners will understand and
benefit from literacy and content learning;
To valorize and build upon local community
languages, culture and identity so that education is
made relevant to the need of learners, their
communities, and Timorese national society;
To facilitate the learning of additional languages,
most immediately the co-official language tetum
It tries to respond to Paulo Freire critique of traditional relationship of
teacher and student of “banking system”, as this system promotes a
learner centered approach.
The approach follows the principle of critical pedagogy of place
(Gruenewald, 2003) that emphasized” Critical place-based pedagogy
cannot be only about struggles with human oppression, it also must
embrace the experience of being human in connection with the others and
with the world of nature
The pedagogy is based on social change education. As Choules (2007)
stated “the pedagogy is employed as a tool for engaging people to
transform unjust social, economic, and political conditions”
This approach tries to respond to the current system of education that
resulted in alienation and disengagement of student by promoting learning
more enjoyable and with local content and the involvement of parents and
Choules, K. 2007. Social Change Education: Context Matters.
Adult Education Quarterly, 57:159.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: The
Continuum Publishing Corporation.
Freire, Paulo, and Donaldo P. Macedo. Literacy : reading the
word & the world Critical studies in education series. South
Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, 1987.
Gruenewald, David A. 2003. The best of both worlds: A critical
pedagogy of place, Educational Researcher, 32(4), pp. 3 – 12.