Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Two Catholic Visions of the Teaching Vocation


Published on

In the early 1960s, both Paulo Freire and the Second Vatican Council emerged on the world stage with transformative ideas and approaches rooted in Catholic practice and doctrine. Both Freire and the council fathers wrote highly of the vocation of educators and challenged all Catholics to live out their vocations in solidarity with those who are oppressed. The Second Vatican Council and Freire's critique can offer insights for teaching religion in any context.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

Two Catholic Visions of the Teaching Vocation

  1. 1. Two Catholic Visions of the Teaching Vocation: Paulo Freire and the Second Vatican Council April 2013 Photo Soure:
  2. 2. Meagen FarrellGraduateStudent, Theology &Religious StudiesJohn Carroll
  3. 3. Objectives• Introduce Paulo Freire and the Second Vatican Council.• Compare their visions for the ideal educator.• Consider the implications of these viewpoints for educators and Catholics.
  4. 4. What do you know about Vatican II?
  5. 5. What was the Second Vatican Council? Called by Pope John XXIII to “open the windows” of the church. 1961-1965, bishops from around the world gathered in St Peter’s Basilica for sessions. Committees developed a series of documents on which bishops debated and voted.Photo source:
  6. 6. What do you know about Paulo Freire?
  7. 7. Who was Paulo Freire?• Catholic, Brazilian educator who led a mass literacy campaign in 1963 for 2 million adults.• Literacy gave voting rights.• Military responded with a coup & exiled Freire until 1979.• In exile, he led literacy campaigns around the world.Photo source:
  8. 8. Why is Paulo Freire important for educators?Dialogic approach• Wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed and other international classics on adult education.• Critiqued the “banking system of education” emphasizing lecture & passive students.• Promoted the opposite: communication & dialogue.Photo source: via
  9. 9. A Sample of the Freirean Method• I need volunteers to take turns to read.
  10. 10. Identification with the Oppressed• Paulo Freire:• Humanization is humanity’s vocation, which “is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression, and the violence of the oppressors; it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed for freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity” (Pedagogy of the Oppressed 28).
  11. 11. Identification with the Oppressed• Second Vatican Council:• “The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts” (Gaudium et Spes 1).
  12. 12. Necessity of Formation for the Teaching Vocation• Paulo Freire:• “Nobody becomes an educator on a Tuesday at four in the afternoon. Nobody is born an educator or marked to be one. We make ourselves educators, we develop ourselves as educators permanently, in the practice and through reflection upon the practice” (Paulo Freire Reader 232).
  13. 13. Necessity of Formation for the Teaching Vocation• Second Vatican Council:• “Splendid, therefore, and of highest importance is the vocation of those who *…undertake+ a teaching career. This vocation requires special qualities of mind and heart, most careful preparation and a constant readiness to accept new ideas and to adapt the old” (Gravissimum Educationis 5).
  14. 14. Parents as the First Teachers• Paulo Freire:• “One of my concerns, at the time, as valid then as it is now, was with the political consequences of that kind of relationship between parents and children, which later becomes that between teachers and pupils, when it came to the learning process of our infant democracy” (Pedagogy of Hope 14).
  15. 15. Parents as the First Teachers• Second Vatican Council:• “Since it is the parents who have given life to their children, on them lies the gravest obligation of educating their family. *…+ The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute” (Gravissimum Educationis 3).
  16. 16. Need for Political & Social Transformation• Paulo Freire:• “Now the person who has this new understanding can engage in a political struggle for the transformation of the concrete conditions in which the oppression prevails” (Pedagogy of Hope 23).
  17. 17. Need for Political & Social Transformation• Second Vatican Council:• The Church “recognizes in those who are poor and who suffer, the likeness of the poor and suffering founder. It does all in its power to relieve their need and in them it endeavors to serve Christ” (Lumen Gentium 8).
  18. 18. Who Should Lead Theological Education?• Paulo Freire:• “The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption” (Pedagogy of the Oppressed 54).• “This conditioning *to think about the people instead of with the people] affects the theological training of the leadership of the militant church, as well as the education dispensed by the church. Even theological education and reflection are touched” (Politics of Education 130).
  19. 19. Who Should Lead Theological Education?• Second Vatican Council:• “Among the more important duties of bishops, that of preaching the Gospel has pride of place. For bishops *…+ are authentic teachers *…+ they vigilantly ward off whatever errors threaten their flock (see 2 Tim 4:14). *…+ the faithful, for their part, should concur with their bishop’s judgment, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and adhere to it with religious docility of spirit” (Lumen Gentium 25). [emphasis mine]
  20. 20. What is one word or phrase that stood out to you?
  21. 21. What are similarities & differences between Freire & Vatican II?
  22. 22. What do you think this means? • For Catholics? • For educators? • For students?
  23. 23. Thanks for coming!• Join me at 3:30pm in Admin 225 for my next session: “Crowd-funding for Student Scholarship” where I will discuss…
  24. 24. Fair Use Disclaimer• This presentation developed for the John Carroll University Celebration of Scholarship, and the American Academy of Religion Midwest Regional Conference.• Images, quotes and logos are the property of their respective owners and included for the purpose of education and scholarly commentary. Use does not imply affiliation, sponsorship, or endorsement of any kind.