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Manes Pierre, Ph.D.

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Exploring Freire's Ideology on the Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Thursday, August 04, 2005  8:16:00 PM

by Manes Pierre, Ph.D.

Freire''s book on the Pedagogy of the oppressed has given me some food for thoughts as an educator. I wanted to explore his ideology with my readers, especially those of you who are in the education field, teaching young minds.

Exploring Freire’s Ideology on the Pedagoy of the Oppressed

In analyzing Pedagogy of the Oppressed, I found the author’s views to be very valuable in inspiring the masses of Brazil. Freire does not simply write his book for only the wretched of South America but his book contains some fundamental references for societal change in the context of education.

The author compares and contrasts the lives of uneducated peasants and the lives of the educated Brazilians. He argues that the uneducated will only live in ignorance when there is not an alternative to explore knowledge. He believes that once the uneducated becomes educated, the possibilities of making a contribution in his or her community are limitless. He explains that an oppressed person can only accept oppression as an acceptable means of life since oppression is the only form of life that has been introduced to him or her.

The part of his book that I like the most was the part in which he argues that the oppressed becomes liberated and begins to question every aspect of society. Now the oppressed and the oppressor have joined hands to mutually find their liberation. This mutual process begins the journey of self-fulfillment and inquiry.

In looking retrospectively at how education is distributed in Brazil, the author also attributed some of the disadvantages of being not fully engaged in education through the “Banking” process in which the teacher deposits the information to the student’s mind and the student receives it as deposited. Freire suggests that education is best achieved when there is a continuous flow of inquiry between teacher and student and vice-versa. The author states, “Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.

Another interesting observation I made during my reading and rereading of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, is the ideology of the oppressor, which suggests that the oppressed knows absolutely nothing, which negates the education that the knowledgeable is depositing to the ignorant student. For instance, when the teacher teaches, he or she expects the student to simply accept the concept taught without allowing the student to inquire or even question a given doubt.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you facilitating knowledge or oppressing through miss-education?
© 2000 Manes Pierre


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