Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

In Paulo Friere's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", he illustrates a method of teaching in which an individual learns to grow from their cumulative experiences. Justin Wyllie's review of this work discusses Friere's background as an educationalist, and how his South American roots influence his views on the oppressed. In the beginning, Wyllie says, "While the revolutionary theory is Marxist the context is unmistakably South American" (Wyllie 1). He discusses Friere's approach and who he aims his attention at. 

He outlines the argument by addressing the overarching themes of the four chapters right up front. Chapter one dealing with the revolutionary background, the oppressed in relation to those who oppress, as well as the the pursuit of the oppressed over time. The second chapter highlights the educational approach that many oppressors choose. The third describes Friere's experience with the "educational programs with the rural poor in various South American countries". Lastly, the fourth chapter compares the two theories of 'antidialogical' and 'dialogical'. Antidialogical aims to suppress the anxiety of reality, and dialogical aims to aid in "the discovery of reality through critical thought and free communication" (Wyllie 1).

Wyllie quotes Freire and says "oppression and its causes objects of reflection by the oppressed...from that reflection will come their necessary engagement in the struggle for liberation". Wyllie says that this is a  "pedagogy for the revolution" (Wyllie 1).

Would Friere consider conventional educational methods to be oppressive? How would he begin to educate oppressed people in urban areas to educate them about their own situation while still being sensitive? Clearly poverty influenced Friere in a negative way and helped him to develop this theory, but how would he think differently if he was raised in  a different environment with different living conditions?

Although the famous image of the fist is generally one that represents power to the working class, I thought it would be interesting if I used the image to represent the oppression that the proletariat is subjected to. 


  1. This is solid, and I appreciate how you are delving into the language of the article, but sometimes it will help to try to use your own words more. For example, you state: "Antidialogical aims to suppress the anxiety of reality." Ok...but what does that mean? The point of dialogic education is that it empowers the learner to contribute to her own educational process and to the wider world of knowledge. Antidialogic models would empower only the teacher, who would then use monologue to "bank" or "deposit" knowledge into the passive student. You are on the right track, but don't get too tied down in the vocab of the readings; try to state things clearly in your own words, even if you are not fully sure if you're right. The photo collage is good, but when you use images like this, make sure they are cited somewhere in your post. Also: still a minor highlighting issue in the middle of this post!

  2. In response to your question regarding Friere's living conditions, I absolutely believe that different living conditions would have caused him to think differently. We are all, at least partly, constructed by our environments and surroundings. However, if there are an infinite number of moments and any given point then there is an infinite number of situations that coincide within them. In that sense, someone other than Friere could eventually come to the same conclusion despite being a completely different type of person, living in an entirely separate part of the world.