Paolo Freire


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A brief & introductory discussion on the background & thought of Paolo Freire & a history & prospective analysis of the application of his ideas.

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  • Entered University of Recife to study law as well as philosophy & education; married
  • "Realism reflects the dominant intellectual beliefs and influences of the time in which it arose. The nineteenth century also saw the ascendancy of economic pragmatism, scientific empiricism, social utilitarianism, and a concomitant rise of socialism and atheism." (Fuery and Mansfield, 1997)
  • Paolo Freire

    1. 1. Paolo FreirePhilosophy’s Influence on Education from the Developing World’s Perspective Sydney Philosophy Circle 2010
    2. 2. Outline• Brief Personal Biography• Survey of Major Works• Historical Philosophical Background/Influence• Philosophy Applied to Pedagogy• Prospective Applications
    3. 3. Life & Times• Life • Times – Born middle class – Roaring Twenties – Experienced poverty – Great Depression – Entered Uni & married – World War II – Joined government – Cold War – PhD & political exile – Vatican II – US & Switzerland; Africa & – Newly Industrializing Asia Economies & Newly – Return to Brazil Democratizing/ Re- – Widowed, Remarried & democratized Countries Died while working on – Advent of the Internet/ Ecopedagogy Sustainable Development
    4. 4. Major WorksPedagogy of the Oppressed.Pedagogy of Hope.A Pedagogy for Liberation.: Dialogues on Transforming Education. With Ira Shor.We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education & Social Change with Myles Horton.Paolo Freire: A Critical Encounter. Edited by Peter McLaren & P. Leonard.Cultural Actions for Freedom.Education for Critical Consciousness.Education, the Practice of Freedom.The Politics of Education: Culture; Power; and Liberation.A Day with Paolo Freire.Literacy: Reading the Word & the World. With Danaldo C. MacedoLearning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation. With Antonio Faundez.Pedagogy of the City.Letters to Cristine: Reflections on my Life & More. With Donaldo C. MacedoPedagogy of the Heart. With Maria Araujo FreireTeachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare to TeachThe Paolo Freire Reader: with Ana Maria Araujo Freire & Donaldo C. MacedoPedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy & Civic Courage.
    5. 5. Philosophical Roots• Critical Theory – Kant: Notion of Autonomy – Hegel & Marx: Praxis – Disillusionment over the failure of the Enlightenment – Social inquiry taken with the intent of exposing social injustice required stronger normative foundations than a theory of reason could provide• Phenomenology – Husserl: epoché & essence – Heidegger: Being in the Word; Not One, Not Two
    6. 6. Philosophical Roots• Realism (late 1800s) – Social life = f(economics) – Skepticism towards the supernatural – Self-conscious Representation in History• Modernism (early 1900s) – Radical rejection of inherited systems – Propose solutions/ alternatives• Postmodernism (post WWII) – Dismantling universal truths – Contextualization
    7. 7. Philosophy of Man & Society• Original State: Humans as Subjects• Society of Subjects: Mutual Respect• Discourse: Engagement through Dialogue• Social Aspirations: To Become More – Struggle Between Freedom & Control By Those Who Believe They Know Better Over Those Who Surrender Their Power as Co-Subjects – Hidden Agenda/Vested Interests: Opacity – Information: Controlling vs. Enabling
    8. 8. Freire’s Core Thinking: Situation• Thought Banking: Objectification of Humans – Individual Control: Denial of Subjectivity • Obedience to Authority/Fear & Consequence • Chance & Destiny – Mass Programming: Beings for Another/Patronage • Good Citizenship/Employment & Industrial Peace • Prosperity & Security – Behavioural Modelling: Be Like the Oppressor • Shaping Perception, Opinion & Lifestyle • Education as Thought Banking • Teacher Knows All, Student Knows Nothng
    9. 9. Freire’s Core Thought: Solutions• Critical Thinking: Anti-Objectification – Reflection/Question – Restoration of Dialogue• Conscientization: Return to Man as a Subject – Reexamination of Structures, Origins & History – Analysing Structures & Systems• Participation & Authorship in History – Generating of Alternatives for Self & Community – Building Anew Relationships
    10. 10. Paolo Freire’s Legacy• Not So Much Philosophy – Religio-mystical insinuations – Biases: Culture of the Colonized/Oppressed • One-sided fault – Claims of Inconsistencies: Self-criticism of Bias • e.g., the cultural excuse; revolutionary solidarity; bourgeois condescension• Black Consciousness Movement: Steve Biko• Cooperative Enterprise: Mondragon Movement• Critical Education: North America Left Wing• Popular Education: Formerly Colonized/Newly Democratizing Countries• Theology of Liberation: Christianity
    11. 11. North-South DialoguesDeveloped Worlds Developing World• Political Pluralism • Self-Application• Participatory Democracy • Legal Codification• Developmental • Grassroots Spurred Institutional Reforms & Development Innovations
    12. 12. Prospective Applications• Internet/Worldwide Web• Gender Studies• Counteracting Perception Management• Good Governance: Fairness, Transparency & Accountability• Self-Regulation: Involving All Stakeholders, Primarily the Consumer• International Commerce: Equal Access & Opportunity; Reciprocity