9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
About Much More than Education,
This review is from: Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
I'll admit, with many other reviewers here, that Pedagogy of the Oppressed can be a bit of a chore to read. It's not that it's difficult so much as that it's repetitive and dull at times. But, that said, I found myself marking passage after passage in the book, stunned about how right he so often is and saddened that despite wide familiarity with Freire in our culture, we've not really learned the lessons he offers and taken heed of his warnings.
One key moment that stuck out to me was the animal analogy he offers. Animals, Freire points out, are unable to separate themselves from their activity and surroundings, unable to reflect upon it. It is simply an extension of themselves because they lack the consciousness to conceive of it as "not-I." This is important to see because the oppressed in societies (and oppressors, for that matter), those who suffer injustice, are often similarly submerged, made by the banking model of education and ubiquitous ideologies of oppression unable to recognize the many societal and personal forces that keep them in oppression. A liberating pedagogy--to be practiced both in schools and in other social organizations--treats individuals as subjects capable of creative and critical thought. Then, together, people may begin to name the forces of oppression, become conscious of them, and become fully human in the process of creating change.
I fear that Freire is right that our social education system paralyzes too many, making us passive, uncreative, unconscious, and far too unloving. Pedagogy of the Oppressed is such an important book to help those of us in education--but also those in churches, the news media, the arts, etc.--to become more conscious ourselves and to seek out with others a greater good.