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Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary Edition 30th Anniversary Edition

164 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0826412768
ISBN-10: 0826412769
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Editorial Reviews


"An inspiring and inspired document arising out of concrete experience with peasants, urban laborers, and middle class converts to freedom. . . . This book will prompt the reader to reconsider his or her situation in an oppressive society."—Christian Century

"[Paulo Freire] radiates the kind of immediateness that only a philosopher engulfed by terrible reality can project."—America

"Pedagogy of the Oppressed meets the single criterion of a 'classic': it has outlived his own time and its author's. For any teacher who links education to social change, this is required reading. Freire remains the most important writer on popular education and surely the virtual founder of the perspective known as Critical Pedagogy."—Stanley Aronowitz

"This is truly revolutionary pedagogy."—Ivan Illich

"Wherever education is explicitly involved in struggles for equity and justice, Freire's ideas and his books, especially Pedagogy of the Oppressed, will live on." —Herbert Kohl in The Nation

"Brilliant methodology of a highly charged and politically provocative character."—Jonathan Kozol

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Portugese

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 30th Anniversary edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826412769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826412768
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Rita A. Sperry on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a neophyte in the rather intimidating world of theory and critical pedagogy, I am both delighted and impressed by the ability Paulo Freire had to effectively communicate in a manner that was powerful yet unpretentious. His seminal work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, is indeed a wake-up call to educators everywhere and should therefore be required reading for anyone who ever has, or ever will, set foot in the classroom. Freire's simple message is this: True education is a dialogical process in which teachers become students and students become teachers, all in the name of liberation for everyone involved.

The first chapter - while admittedly depressing - introduces ideas and terms that are necessary for the comprehension of the latter three. The basic plot of domination is thus summarized: Through violence and exploitation, an oppressor class "dehumanizes" an oppressed group that ultimately becomes incapable of recognizing its own oppressive situation. Therefore, in order to overcome this oppressive state of affairs, intervention is not only desirable but necessary. The oppressed must experience an awakening period in which they open their own eyes (rather than have their eyes opened for them) to the true status of their situation. However, Freire contends that in order to achieve true liberation, the oppressors and the oppressed must join together in communion towards a common altruistic goal: humanity.

This is the cornerstone of Freire's argument. I have to admit, as an enthusiastic rookie to critical pedagogy, I have little to disagree with or respond to after reading this epic expression of love. Nonetheless, my major critique is that the idea of liberation for all is a bit idealistic given the current state of the American education system.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book.

I do not have a great deal to add to many reviews that have been written on this widely read book. But I would like to say a couple of things here.

First of all, this book has often been criticised for being biassed. Indeed, Freire expresses a strong bias. But, he makes no attempt to hide this and is often quite explicitly self-conscious of his own bias. All points of view are biassed. The reader should be wary on any book that claims to be "objective" or "unbiassed" on any subject. Selection and perspective are inevitable.

Secondly, Freire did make some quite naive remarks about Lenin and Mao, and he had very romantic view of the Cuban revolution, but these do not detract from the insights and intelligence of his views of education and how it can aid human liberation from oppression.

Thirdly, this book should be read alongside his Education for Critical Consciousness.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on November 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I look at today's current educational practices through the lens of Freire's discussion about 'banking', I feel very sad. The push for increased and higher-stakes standardized testing methods encourage us to use the banking method of education (dropping "facts" into the students' brains, and calling that "education"). Reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed is an important step in illuminating how harmful these practices are to the children we want to help become active members of society.

The concept of a ruling class and an oppressed class may be controversial, but is very, very true in the current stratified society of the USA, both within the area of public education, and within other portions of society.

Freire may have written this book 30 years ago, but it is just as relevant to the USA today as it was to Brazil in the 1970s.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla Stilwell on April 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
The first section of Freire's classic work is easy to read and relevant to most open-minded readers. However, it's the middle section that is simply tedious. He is painfully redundant and doesn't seem to go anywhere for many pages. Sheer determination made me get through this section of the book. But then in the last third or so of the book, he starts to move forward again. It is not well written, but the principals are a different matter.

Friere has some really good ideas. He speaks about how the attitude between the oppressed and the would-bead revolutionary leadership, must be one of partnership and collaboration. He speaks about how welfare is used to the detriment of the people when it is a way to keep people quiet and dependent. He speaks about how belief in cultural superiority keeps local culture from being appreciated and understood. He says a lot of good things. But the problem comes from the fact that Freire's historical context is incomplete at best.

Freire speaks positively about the revolutions of Castro and Guevara. Unfortunately, those revolutions have since turned into the worst of oppression of the people. I've been to Cuba. I have dear friends who are afraid for their lives every day because of the "revolutionary" Castro and his brother. That is not beneficial to the oppressed. It is simply replacing oppression with a new form of oppression.

The error comes largely from this statement: "[The revolutionary leadership] group is made up of men and women who in one way or another have belonged to the social strata of the dominators.
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