Monday, February 23, 2015

My Review of Wyllie's Review of Freire's Actual Work

Wyllie's review of Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, covers the main points chapter by chapter of Freire's marxist theories of society and the educational system. Freire focuses on dialectical materialism as the main solution to the educational system. He calls his theory of the ideal classroom Problem-Posing education, which in its simplest form is the idea that they teacher and the student should have a dialogue about the content of the class. He links this back to marxism, stating that the upperclass should start to dialogue with the lower class members of society. "The distinction is that dominant elites do not communicate with the people, do not dialog with them, but rather issue communiqu├ęs". The problem with focusing solely on dialectical materialism is that this theory ultimately ends in revolution, and class revolutions generally end with a new set of rulers taking place rather than shifting to equality of power.

 So, obviously I drew a pyramid made out of circles. The idea is that the blue circles represent the lower class, the red circles are the middle class, and the purple circle is the 1%, the man, the rich. In education, the blue would represent the students in a classroom, the red would represent the teachers, and the purple circle would represent the administration, the rich tax payers, the politicians, etc. There is a lot that goes into the curriculum of students and it has little to do with the opinion of those who are being forced to learn the material. Unfortunately, if one blue circle falls out of the pyramid, they could all go down like jenga. If the purple circle were to fall off the pyramid, not much would happen. I would have liked to show this in a video, but I don't have a bunch of balls lying around in my apartment. That being said, I hope the visual is enough to understand where I am getting at on this one. The students are the base of our educational system, and they should be treated as such.

Some questions
How do you feel about the idea of 'praxis'?
Do you think the opinion of the student matters?
Who do you believe is the base of education?
[insert some controversial questions here]


  1. Wow. Seriously, WOW on that cool metaphor. It's such an innovative way to think about the power at the bottom of any hierarchical structure. Very cool idea. If you could make that into a 1-minute video, I bet it could go viral. Not sure about "[insert some controversial questions here]," but the ones you pose are good ones!

  2. So first I'd like to say I love the title of your blog post! It's funny and it catches attention. I also thought your art work was on point with the one percent on top, middle class in the middle and the lower class on the bottom. Furthermore, I think the questions you pose are thoughtful and thought provoking. Love the insert some controversial questions here bracket.

  3. Thanks Kristin, thanks Professor DeRosa. I appreciate your feedback!