Teaching and Learning Readers’ Group, Simon Fraser University

Quotations for Discussion: March 29, 2007

Prepared by Elizabeth Wallace

Freire, P. (2006).Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th Anniversary Ed.). NY: Continuum.

You are invited to discuss the following with reference to teaching and learning at SFU in your discipline.

Forewords by Macedo, Shaull, Freire (pp. 11-40):
 The young perceive that their right to say their own word has been stolen from them, and that few things are more important than the struggle to win it back. And they also realize that the education system today—from kindergarten to university—is their enemy (p.34).

 There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes ‘the practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world” (Shaull, p.34).

Chapter 1
 If the implementation of a liberating education requires political power and the oppressed have none, how then is it possible to carry out the pedagogy of the oppressed prior to the revolution (p. 54)?

 They [Peasants] call themselves ignorant and say the ‘professor’ is the one who has the knowledge and to whom they should listen.... Almost never do they realize that they, too, “know things” the have learned in the relations with the world and with other women and men (p.63).

Chapter 3
 For the anti-dialogical banking educator, the question of content simply concerns the program about which he will discourse to his students, and he answers his own question, by organizing his own program (p. 93).

 The task of the dialogical teacher…is to “represent” that universe to the people from whom she or he first received it [after asking them]—and “re-present” it not as a lecture, but as a problem (p. 109).

Chapter 4
 The same divisive effect occurs in connection with the so-called “leadership training courses”…. These courses are based on the naïve assumption that one can promote the community by training its leaders (p.142).

 A rigid and oppressive social structure necessarily influences the institutions of child reading and education within the structure. These institutions pattern their action after the style of the structure, ad transmit the myths of the latter. Homes and schools (from nurseries to universities) exist not in the abstract, but in time and space. Within the structures of domination they function largely as agencies which prepare the [cultural] invaders of the future (p.154).

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