"First published in Portuguese in 1968, [this book] was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire's work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and continues to possess a special urgency as the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in urban centers around the world continues. The 50th anniversary edition includes a new introduction by Donaldo Macedo, an afterword by Ira Shor, and interviews with Marina Aparicio Barberán, Noam Chomsky, Gustavo E. Fischman, Ramón Flecha, Ronald David Glass, Valerie Kinloch, peter Mayo, Peter McLaren, and Margo Okazawa-Rey to inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come."--Page  of cover.
Will take less than an evening to read and
It was also hard for me not to read Friere's admiring quoting of Lenin, Marx, Mao Tse Dong, Guevara, et al. without thinking of the dark shadow history has cast on many of these thinkers. The "re-education" efforts of China and many other Communist countries relied on much of the same theoretical framework as the first two chapters of this work.
While there are many positive ideas in the work as quoted by some other reviewers, I also found many troubling passages, such as:
"Proposing as a problem, to a European peasant, the fact that he or she is a person might strike them as strange. This is not true of Latin-American peasants, whose world usually ends at the boundaries of the latifundium, whose gestures to some extent simulate those of the animal and the trees, and who often consider themselves equal to the latter" (p 174).
Overall, I rate this book "probably good for you but not enjoyable".
“People confuse freedom with maintenance of the status quo. Threaten the status quo, and the status quo will determine that as a threat to freedom itself.”
“The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion.”
“In their unrestrained eagerness to possess, the oppressors develop the conviction that it is possible for them to transform everything into objects of their purchasing power; hence their strictly materialistic concept of existence. Money is the measure of all things, and profit the primary goal. For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more—always more—even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them, to be is to have and to be the class of the ‘haves.’”
Just a few gems there. Read the book and find 180+ pages of them.
I remember the part about "praxis", for
Then the stuff for which the book is well known, about how teaching should be a collaborative project between teacher and learners rather than a hierarchical "banking" approach where the all-knowing teacher deposits knowledge into the "vessels" of learners.
This is a must read for any working within the bounds of the educational sphere. Finally a compassionate manifesto
It is actually a
It should be read, that is, by everyone who can read, without regard to preexisting ideological predisposition -- it actually is possible to see beyond such distorting lenses. And if during the reading you don't begin critically evaluating the education you "received," then you haven't suspended your idiological warp beforehand.
Yes: the FOX-ian paranoids will hate it, as instructed by FOX, and call it names, as they are given them by FOX. But there's nothing new about the ineducable rejecting anything that smacks of the risk of learning and knowing more than they already know, which is less and less as they reject more and more of fact and reality. But those who are thoughtful will find that this book is seminal, foundational, not only as a method of pedagogy but also as a clarifying method of criticially evaluating their context and situation, and reality.
In two words: must reading.
The education chapter stood out for me and is one that people must read carefully.
This is not an easy book to read, especially the last chapter, in which he kept repeating the word, 'praxis.'