Pedagogy of The Oppressed
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire’s: The abused person and the education’s needs theory
Education and Oppression
Paulo Freire’s “pedagogy of the oppressed” is a dedication to the oppressed individuals and uses the author’s experiences when he taught adult Brazilians. The teacher-student relationship that the author uses as an example aims at showing how colonizers treated the colonized. Freire’s ideas of teaching methods come out clearly in the book to show the author’s success and contribution in discussing the need for the theory of education and the best ways to learn as discussed below.
Freire’s idea of the ideal education helps the audience to learn the need for the theory of education. Countries and educators need the theory to transform their education systems by eliminating the oppressive structures that make teachers appear as colonizing the students. Also, the theory can help in making education, a practice of freedom. Freire suggests that education should lead to equitable relationships that help teachers and students to learn from each other. Freire discourages banking in education that involves the teachers oppressing students and controlling their thinking. Educators need the theory of education to learn the interrelation of concepts and the environment. By knowing the interrelation between students, teachers and environmental contexts, educators that understand the theory of education can use it to design pedagogies that aim at revealing reality to the learners.
Educators and policy-makers also need the theory of education to learn the best way of designing pedagogies based on the students’ past experiences. Freire suggests that teachers that are conversant with the theory of education strive to refer to the past experiences of the learners when designing learning goals. He protests the use of the past pedagogies where educators used their goals to teach students and proposes that new pedagogies should be designed after the involvement of the learners to ensure that they do not feel oppressed. Freire’s idea of the theory of education is that it helps the educators in integrating unrelated content in a way that relates to the students’ experiences. The theory of education, as Freire suggests can be helpful in formulating the basis of dialogue between the students and teachers. The author asserts that dialogue should seek to re-humanize students by making teachers develop love for the students.
Concerning the best way to learn, Freire suggests that students learn well through participatory action and dialogue. The former entails finding solutions to problems by gathering data from the environment. In this case, the teacher involves students in generating ideas regarding the problems in the community. Consequently, the teacher allows the learners to collect data from their peers and the environment, then present it to class for further analysis. On the other hand, dialogue entails cultivating deeper understanding between teachers and students as a way of generating knowledge. Freire holds the view that teachers and students should relate as equals to ensure success in learning. The book discourages the idea that dialogue should involve competition of ideas and asserts that learning takes place when students and teachers discuss theories and experiences with the aim of creating knowledge that can be used to generate actions.
Therefore, Freire’s book succeeds in highlighting the importance of education theory and the best ways to learn. The author uses his experiences as a teacher to build the discussion in a way that makes the reader understand the concept of pedagogy and how it relates to the theory of education. The author builds his arguments in clear, logical and coherent manner that enables the audience to easily locate information.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire’s: abstraction, notions, and hypothesis concerning education
Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a nonfiction political philosophy book written by Paulo Freire that addresses concepts, ideas, and theories in relation to educational pedagogy. Initially published in Portuguese and later in English, the book addresses sources of oppression, identifies the keys to liberation, and proposes theories for the reform of modern education. Freire’s approach to concepts of education, the relationship between both student and teacher and the oppressor and the oppressed, liberation and acquiring freedom, and oppressive techniques can be personally applied to everyday life.
Because of his upbringing and beliefs, Paulo Freire’s experiences contributed in the writing of Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire states that the book’s content is a result of observations made during his six years of political exile. His ability to relate to the oppressed and to have oppressed citizens find understanding in his writing is mutually beneficial for both parties. For most of his adult life, Freire was dedicated to the well-being of the impoverished. He was even jailed for teaching Brazilian peasants how to read. Freire’s own experiences of poverty led him to have differing opinions regarding class. “It is the realization of such class borders that led, invariably, to Freire’s radical rejection of a class-based society” (Macedo, 2000, p. 13). His ideas on class and the factors of oppression altered his perspective, which led him to view situations and write more openly and more universally.
Many ideas were presented in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The text began illustrating the why there is even a need for a pedagogy of the oppressed. It explains where oppression stems from, the “contradiction” between the oppressor and the oppressed, and how liberation is a mutual process between the oppressor and the oppressed rather than a self-achievement made solely by the oppressed. The book goes on to assess the dynamics of a teacher-student relationship and introduce the idea of the “banking” concept as a form of oppression in regards to education. This concept establishes a basis of the educated teacher passing on a narration to their uneducated, patient, docile students. Rather than building upon the student’s knowledge and prior experiences, the teacher fills or deposits information and knowledge for the student to memorize without truly perceiving. The text later establishes the concept of dialogics, the use of education as a tool for freedom. Freire explains that dialogue is necessary in the liberation process. The text ends with a summary of the opposing theories of cultural action, or oppressive techniques.
The material presented in the Pedagogy of the Oppressed is organized in four sections. The sections explain, in depth, the main concept presented and expand upon the central idea with supporting evidence. Freire organizes the information in a coherent manner that makes it easy for the reader to connect the different points he’s making.
The argument presented throughout is pertinent to the age old saying: “Knowledge is power.” Freire forms the notion that in order for the oppressed to fully achieve liberation, they must be educated and that through reading can liberation be attained. He states, “Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other” (Friere, 2000, p. 72). Freire’s description of attaining knowledge in order to attain liberation is associated with the idea of developing critical consciousness. Critical consciousness, also known as liberatory consciousness, involves awareness of oppression in society and the knowledge needed to create social justice. “With a liberatory consciousness, every person gets a chance to theorize about issues of equity and social justice, to analyze events related to equity and social justice, and to act in responsible ways to transform the society” (Love, 2000, 602). Freire incorporates these ideas throughout his text.
It appears that the text had two purposes: to inform and to persuade. Freire seems to intend to inform his audience of why oppression will always remain relevant, where it stems from, how a group of people can begin the process to truly liberate themselves, the different oppressive techniques and how they relate to past and modern societies, and how the banking concept affects all people. However, he persuades his audience with his ideas of how these topics can be addressed and problems of different societies can be solved.
Freire makes a number of well-thought arguments and suggestions for reform. One of the arguments he makes, his ideas regarding the banking concept in education, is germane to the discussion of both modern and outdated forms of education. Freire notes,
“Narration (with the teacher as the narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them into ‘containers,’ into ‘receptacles’ to be ‘filled’ by the teacher. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are” (Freire, 2000, p. 72).
This argument can resonate with students and teachers alike, as both sides equally contribute to education. In Freire’s claim, he made it fairly easy to see the faults in education systems that utilize ineffective forms of learning. His claim also emphasizes a power struggle between student and teacher: one that leaves the teacher demanding to remain in power over their students and the student struggling against the teacher to control their own creativity and have a voice in their education. This argument is beneficial in explaining the roles of oppression in a setting most people in the modern world have faced at one point or another. Many of the arguments presented throughout the text provide the reader with a better understanding of Freire’s logic. None of the arguments or evidence presented seemed to deviate from his addressed topics or appeared ineffective in helping the reader to perceive his reasoning.
Freire offers solutions in the text to the many problems he addressed. He explained the solution to achieving liberation for the oppressed by stating the “solution cannot be achieved in idealistic terms” (Freire, 2000, p. 49). He illustrates that liberation can be significantly altered by view of liberation and the perception of an oppressive state. By viewing oppression as unending, the oppressed have asserted they accept their position of not being fully equal to their oppressor. By viewing oppression as a situation that cannot be transformed overnight but over time, the oppressor accepts that they might not have equality immediately but will have it eventually.
Freire’s intended audience is suggested to be for all people, but more exclusively for the oppressed. Freire explicitly dedicates the book to “the oppressed and to those who suffer with them and fight at their side. By writing in a way that recognizes sources of oppression, Freire’s text does seem to be aimed toward the understanding of both the oppressed, who can use the identification of these sources to achieve liberation, and the oppressor, who through reading the text can identify the error of their ways.
Language and Imagery
The language Freire used in the book appeared to be more advanced. The language seeming to be more advanced could simply be related to the fact that his concepts were advanced. Perhaps Pedagogy of the Oppressed could possibly be better understood by someone with more knowledge of the subject. The book wasn’t the type to be centered around characters, a plot, a setting, or even display forms imagery, but minimal examples of imagery were present in passages that Freire was trying to simplify his concepts.
Relevancy in Education
One of the book’s main topics is centered solely around education. While the banking education concept remains relevant throughout, Freire also offers the problem-posing concept in accordance with education. He explains that the way to combat banking education is with problem-posing education. Through dialogue and open discussion, “the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-students and student-teachers” (Freire, 2000, p. 80). This concept challenges the very relationship that students and teachers have with one another and emphasizes the difference from which students and teachers are typically expected to interact.
My initial reaction to the book was that the language was very hard to interpret upon first reading. I had to reread sections and give thought to what was being said to truly understand the book. I remember feeling that I could relate situations in my personal life with things the text described the oppressed had experienced. I also remember feeling angry and considering how unfair it is that our society has a history of oppressing many groups of people based on factors such as class, race, religion, and gender, but while advancements have been made, the same people are still being oppressed to this day.
Throughout the book, I was able to resonate with the side of the oppressor but also with the things addressed about the education system. I was surprised to find that once I viewed education differently than I always had, I was able to see some of the errors of the system and how some teachers I previously had taught in accordance with the banking concept. However, the text made me appreciate the teachers I had that truly invested their time and dedication in my learning and taught in accordance with the problem-posing concept.
When reading the book, I felt a variety of different emotions. I felt angry for the behavior and tendencies of the oppressor, I felt understanding towards the side of the oppressed, and I felt pessimistic about the future for the oppressed worldwide. Surprisingly enough, towards the end of the book I began to take on a more hopeful outlook. I began to feel somewhat inspired. Reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed made me realize that if you aren’t apart of the solution then you’re apart of the problem. I soon realized after reading that if you take on the role of a bystander to oppression and you don’t use your voice to fight for liberation, you’re on the side of the oppressor.
he information concerning oppression presented in the book wasn’t completely foreign to me. I knew previously that for as long as man has been around, the struggle with oppression has existed. However, the way the topics were presented throughout the book was new to me. Freire introduces his theories in a way that I hadn’t been exposed to before. His ideas about education were new to me because I had never questioned the state of education systems.
I can’t necessarily say that I experienced an extreme transformation from reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The book caused me to enter a state of thinking to question things that I hadn’t prior. It made me reflect on my past behaviors, attitudes, and overall actions. It caused me to think about what kind of teacher I want to be and how I should treat people in general. The most significant transformation I encountered was that of no longer being a bystander. Because I read this book, I believe in the future I’ll be more adamant in discussions that pertain to my role as a minority. “Taking responsibility means not waiting for others to tell you what to do, to point out what’s going on, or to identify alternatives” (Johnson, 2006, 614). The book and the points it made allowed me to recognize what taking responsibility for social justice truly means.
Application to Life
I feel that Pedagogy of the Oppressed has lessons that can be applied to both personal and professional life. Personally, reading the book can help someone struggling with their own oppression change the perception they have about things and even encourage them to have a generally more positive outlook. I believe the text can help everyone not be “bystanders” of oppression. Pedagogy of the Oppressed can encourage those who feel offended by oppression to voice their opinions in hope for a change. Professionally, reading the book could help prevent an oppressive situation from happening in the workplace. For someone who would be in charge of or presiding over a group of people professionally, the book could help them understand the repercussions of even the simplest words or actions and help them establish what type of leader they wish to be. Surprisingly enough, the book could even bring those in a professional workplace closer together. “Building bridges between people from different social backgrounds becomes increasingly important as our society becomes more diverse and stratified” (Zúñiga, 2003, 635). The book can help those from a privileged background understand the oppression of others.
By introducing topics of oppression, oppressive behaviors, and even diversity into schools, children can learn at an age during which they are still impressionable the problems with oppression and why liberation for groups of people within their own society is necessary. Acknowledging that oppression exists in many societies and establishing a difference between what it means to have privilege and to have power can allow younger people to break the cycle of oppressive behavior. “A key to the continued existence of every system of privilege is unawareness, because privilege contradicts so many basic human values that it invariably arouses opposition when people know about it…” (Johnson, 2006, 613). Parents are entitled to raise their children how they see fit, but by providing an unbiased universal education in schools, children are able to have a more open-minded outlook that can determine how they interact with and treat people. By setting a higher standard for education and the way different educational and teaching tools are implemented, teachers can garner an improved idea of how they should interact with their students.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed has content that can be applied to anyone’s everyday life. Because of the universal approach Freire takes explaining concepts of education, teacher-student and oppressor-oppressee relationships, acquisition of liberation and freedom, and oppressive techniques, many people can relate these topics to their own personal experiences. If topics presented in the book or simply the book itself were published in a way for all ages, regardless of their education level, to understand, conceivably the message Freire intended to put across could have been understood by more people. Overall, I would recommend the book. Specifically I would encourage those struggling with the idea of oppression in modern society to read the book. I feel more prepared to enter a field where my actions can influence a tremendous amount of impressionable, young students. Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a book that could monumentally influence the teaching world and provide modern citizens with the resources and knowledge to put an end to the continuing cycle of oppression.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire’s: How the Education Structure Has Taken Away True Humanity
In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paolo Freire explores the deep-rooted, bank-clerk structure of education and the way that it deprives people of true humanity. While promoting the main idea that our education system follows an oppressive “banking method,” Freire discusses what it is to be human and have full consciousness, neither of which is gained through the education systems in place. Education in Freire’s eyes is not merely about learning in the classroom, but rather an “authentic liberation – the [true] process of humanization,” (79) that students carry into the world. In the system currently in place, students are constantly dehumanized in education, leading them to become more dreadful and robotic, rather than prosperous. What seems to be a flaw in the way education is given and received actually relates to a broader idea of wholesomeness, creativity, and the pursuit of “people’s historical vocation” (85) of humanization and the barriers that students face that prevent them from ever fulfilling this vocation.
Freire’s primary points surround the idea that our education model has adopted a system where teachers give deposits, and students merely receive them without any critical analysis or thinking, thus never allowing them to evolve and grow as individuals. He argues that “the more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are,” (71) in the eyes of teachers and society. In a sense, students are trained to become robots, completely deprived of their humanity, but never realizing this as this very robotic phenomenon is glorified in our society. The emptier students are, the better they are able to be “filled” with the information “deposited” into them by their teachers. This very notion prohibits students from ever thinking for themselves, because if they already have individual ideas, they will no longer be able to retain information they are fed. Thus, the only way to thrive in such a society is by being empty, lacking individuality and worst of all – complying to their dehumanization.
From Freire’s viewpoint, education is meant to create. Whether it is the creation of new ideas, individual perspectives, or a new world, the knowledge gained from education is meant to allow people to think critically and as a part of the world around them. The point of such an education is to help people view and understand the world “not as a static reality, but reality in process, in transformation”, (83) which simply does not happen in the bank-clerk method. The aforementioned dreadful process of “depositing and filing” has a simultaneous effect on students’ personalities, as “it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation and knowledge,” (72) as they receive more outside information from their educations, or oppressors. Before they are thrown into this system of education, students have desires, curiosity and abilities to critically think. However, the horrific structure of education rids them of that the more they are introduced to the material in class and the methods through which they are supposed to show their understanding of that material. They have information robotically thrown at them, and their job is to eventually, throw it back, but this time, in the form of tests or quizzes. Instead of evolving and growing as human beings through education, they face the opposite effect.
Aside from the inherent conditioning of students that occurs in our education system, Freire also argues that there is an economic exploitation of students by their oppressors. The dehumanization he talks about branches from a power complex of oppressors who “use their ‘humanitarianism’ to preserve a profitable situation” (74) of students who will never see a creative world because they won’t have enough productive knowledge to create one. The “profitable situation” in this case is the powerful role that the oppressors posses, one through which they can constantly condition students to become more and more lifeless, and never allow them to truly pursue their true vocation. Furthermore, by enclosing the students’ personalities and potentials for creativity in a constant cycle of “filling” and “depositing”, the oppressors can ensure a world where they are always at the forefront of the education system, and in turn, the most economically compensated in their fields without allowing for new generations to leave the cycle of oppression to become one of the oppressors.
The way that the students are conditioned and taught creates an atmosphere not unlike the one of a slaughterhouse. The students are trained, they are taught to do things in a certain manner that is beneficial to their oppressor, without any individuality. Freire uses the term “domestication” (75) when describing the style of education imposed on students. They are talked about as pets, or animals, that are being trained for their inevitable failure in their pursuit of their true vocations – humanization.
Through the juxtaposition of “biophily,” the connection human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life versus “necrophily,” the yearning for deadness, Freire further unveils the implicit desires that educators inherently hold to condition students to “become lifeless and petrified” (71). The obvious need for power and control in teachers are evident in their necrophilious desires that over time suppress any room for a development of biophily in students. The way of teaching is clearly oppressive and “oppression—overwhelming control—is necrophilic; it is nourished by love of death, not life (75). This very love of death speaks to the reasons behind the method adopted by the oppressors where slowly, they take the life, creativity and potential for transformation out of their students. The constant domestication students face ultimately takes away their individuality, and as educators are the ones that facilitate this process, they hold that necrophilious desire. Although it is not literally killing, they take away so much from their students that eventually, all the life is drained out of them. The list of practices of a teacher-student dynamic listed by Freire implicitly serves as a primary example of such a circumstance. (73)
All of the characteristics implied by the list for teachers show a great deal of power. Everything that occurs in a classroom is brought from the teacher onto the student. The student is merely the receiver of the action, and has no say in what is going on. In this way, they are dead on the inside and unable to think for themselves or make conscious decisions, and their passive nature in such situations in what allows them to thrive in this world with a “fragmented view of reality deposited in them” (73). The students will only ever know what the teacher tells them, and therefore, are slowly stripped of their identities and potentials to thrive in the world and become fully human. Thus, the education system in place is only well-suited for the oppressors, because the more the oppressed learn, the more passive they become and let themselves adapt “into” the world instead of “with” the world to grow from it (76). This idea of education being something that domesticates students speaks to the nature of the oppressors, who continue to domesticate students. However, in some cases, even the oppressors can be stuck in the cycle of domestication themselves.
Although highly critical of the educators/oppressors in this bank-clerk method of education, Freire does leave room for speculation on whether or not the intentions of the oppressors are actually to dehumanize. Freire’s ambiguity when discussing the intentions of teachers as “knowingly or unknowingly [dehumanizing their students as] there are innumerable well-intentioned bank-clerk teachers who do not realize that they are serving only to dehumanize” (75), is interesting as it carries a strong message about the deep-rooted nature of the education system currently in place. In some cases, it is not that teachers are trying to oppress and overpower their students for their own “profitable situations”, but rather that they, even as members of the educational community, do not understand the implicit consequences of the education system in place. They are not able to teach differently, because they don’t even see the problem in the bank-clerk method of education or they were never allowed the creativity and freedom to come up with different methods of teaching, as they only know how to teach in the way that they themselves learned. Not only does this create room for discussion of the teachers’ intentions, but also poses our education system as an institution that is rotten at the core. It is not that teachers are trying to manipulate students, but that even they are misguided in the way the education system should work through years of being domesticated in a system that does not benefit anyone. Through this constant cycle, the oppressed tend to oppress, never actually finding a way out of the system.
Although primarily criticizing the method of teaching in our education systems, Freire makes strong points about the way students’ lives are affected after they have been through the dreadful process of schooling. It is not that the schooling system is ineffective because it doesn’t allow for students to learn, but rather because it takes away their ability to learn from within and see themselves as individuals in the world with a voice and sense of power. It takes away their humanity, which Freire believes to be the most important aspect of life and pursuit of education. By allowing readers to understand the cycle, Freire almost achieves in his writing what he desires for our education system. He makes people think, use critical analysis skills, and ultimately, pursue people’s true vocation – humanization.
The Views of Paulo Freire and Jean Jacques Rousseau
Paulo Reglus Freire was born September 19th, 1921, he came from a poor family in Recife Brazil. Freire became familiar with poverty and hungry during the ‘Great Depression’. These experiences shaped his concern for the poor and hunger ultimately influenced his decision is to construct and enter the education field. Freire stated that poverty and hunger severely affected his ability to learn. This influenced his decision to dedicate his life to improving the lives of the poor. According to Paulo Freire that his experiences taught him the relationship between social class and knowledge. Freire published his first book in 1968, education as the practice of freedom and followed by his most famous book Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
His field consider to be a pedagogue and educational philosopher/ theorist and the most known influencer with radical education theories in the 20th century. His work has exercised influenced among progressive educators all over the world, in the context of emerging tradition of critical pedagogy issue-based earning and social constructivism. His impact upon peace education adult education, non-education and critical literacy thus regards to critical pedagogy perspectives of education. He called it the oppressed whereby, transforming their situation in life by thinking critically about reality and then take action. He believed that educational system played a central role in maintain oppression thus it had to be reformed in order for things to change for the oppression.
Freire is known for against on what he called the banking concept of education, this traditional form of education it is the job of the teacher to deposit in the minds of the students, viewed as an empty account, the bits of information that constitute knowledge. He notes that ‘it transforms students into receiving objects. The goal of banking education is to immobilize the students within existing frameworks of power by conditioning them to accept that meaning and are the sole property of the teacher. For example, in the classroom the teacher is called teacher-centred, this is where the teacher writes on the board notes and student just write the notes from the board. Students are not interacting with their classmates or no hands-on approach on the topic. In my experiences, at primary school level, my teacher was mostly a teacher centred, give notes on the board little amount of explanation. Most of the work where concrete rather than student-centred.
Freire’s strongly dislike the teacher-student separation. This split is admitted in Rousseau and constrained in Dewey, thus Freire stands firmly that it should be completely abolished. Advocate stated that this is impossible without enactment of the teacher-student relationship in the parent-child relationship, but Freire suggests is that a deep reciprocity be inserted into our notions of teacher and student. Freire wants us to think in terms of teacher-student and student-teacher, that is, a teacher who learns and a learner who teaches, as the basic roles of classroom participation such as group work, presentation, discussion and demonstration.
Problem-posing is a method of education suggested by Paulo Freire. Model on teacher and student become co-investigators of knowledge. In education, whole learning is driven by a problem that pop up from the life situation of the learners thus, learning always begins from a problem thrown up in the classroom. Students should be asked what they want to learn rather than teacher manipulating students and liberating teachers invites students to think which allows creativity. Freire’s stated that a student-centred system of learning that challenges how knowledge is constructed in the formal education system and in society. Student centred approach stands in stark contrast to conventional educational practice.
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), was born of upper-class parentage in the Protestant city of Geneva. His father, a watchmaker, was descendent from a Parisian family. The mother of Rousseau was of a morbid and sentimental disposition. She died at the birth of Jean Rousseau. He was an 18th century philosopher who later became known as a revolutionary philosopher on education and a forerunner of Romanticism. He believed that natural education promotes and encourages qualities such as happiness, action, and investigated childhood. He wanted children to be protected from societal pressures and influences so that each child could emerge and grow without any corruption.
Rousseau theory of human development, according to Rousseau there was one developmental process common to all humans. The differences from Locke’s tabula rasa was an active process deriving from the child’s nature, which drove the child to learn and adapt to its surroundings. He believed that children are allowed to develop naturally without constraints imposed on them by society they will develop towards their fullest potential, both educationally and morally. This natural development should be child-centered and focused on the needs and experiences of the child at each stage of development. He published in his famous work Emile published in 1762.
His own conclusions from his own experience as discovery learning, therefore all students are perfectly designed, ready to learn from their surroundings so as to grow into adults. Influence of corrupt society, they often fail to do. Rousseau disagrees on educational method which consisted of removing the child from society and alternately conditioning through changes to environment and setting traps and puzzles to overcome.
His point of view in education deals with more at the early childhood stage emerged as a child-centered entity rich in unlimited, sensory-driven, practical experiences. Active participation in hands-on, drawing, measuring, speaking, and singing also emerged as a result of Rousseau’s viewpoint. In Today world, Rousseau’s theory is a dominant force in early childhood education. Ideas of education programmes where young people can adapt and are motivated to learn from their environment and experiences. Rousseau argues that function of the educator needs to be controlled considering age appropriate, developmental stage, the child should remain in complete ignorance of those ideas which are beyond his/her grasp.
The activities which naturally from the needs of life form the curriculum at each stage. First come play and sports, which improve the body, bringing health, strength and growth. Then, the child engages in securing a livelihood, for example in Agriculture science, the child learns to handle the spade, hoe, hand shove and fork purpose to do crop production. These activities lead to counting, measuring, weighing and helps them gain experiences on the field to distinguish the purpose of each tools. Provide an environment for the child so that they can follow or innate in order for desire to learn. Restlessness in time being replaced by curiosity, mental activity being a direct development of bodily activity. The child learn things from experience, but also needs guidance at different stages in its life, can learn things by imitating, from society, where it helps the child to develop those social qualities are influences.
The environment develops opportunities for new experiences and expression for personal development even today as it did in the 18th century. We lived in an unstable society and it is impossible to control the student as it is difficult to manipulate the environment as Rousseau did, but parents are actively engaging the minds of their children in their earlier years to fashion them no matter the setting. Despite the challenges that exist today education aims at improving the morality and values as suggested by Rousseau.
In conclusion, Paulo Freire aspects on philosophy have been highly domainat in academic debates over ‘participatory development’ and development generally. Freire’s emphasis on freedom through interactive participation used as a rationale for the participatory focus of development, as ‘participation’ in any form can lead to empowerment of marginalizes groups. While oppression argue undemocratic, unequal nature of development any possibility of Freire emancipation, but hold on to to the ’empowering potential’ of development. He is mostly against the banking system concept in the classrooms, in which teachers deposit information to students as empty vessels. Students need to be involved in classroom participation in order for learning to take place while also teachers guided learning stated by Paulo Freire. Jean Rousseau theory of human development and how each stage contributes to the education system, students learn in different stages whereby learn through society around the child-centred entity rich in unlimited, sensory-driven, practical experiences. Active participation in hands-on, drawing, measuring, speaking, and singing also emerged as a result of Rousseau’s viewpoint. Most importantly Rousseau’s conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from the tabula rasa basically the same as the ‘banking concept” by Paulo Freire, were strongly critical of the transmission of facts on goal of education.
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Community Development and Youth Work Analysis and the Freirean Framework
In this essay I will be critically exploring how youth work and community development responds to issues of structural inequality and how it can also be obscured. I will be using the Freirean framework of analysis known as the Pedagogy of the Oppressed to support my research and my ideas analysis. I will also be relating back to module content and relevant literature of Community Development and Youth Work. Also, within this essay I will be exploring on the idea of the core values and the challenges they face.
Paulo Freire was an educator in Brazil, and he developed new ideas about education for the oppressed these were people who had been pushed to the side. Freire’s social condition didn’t allow him to have an education, but his experiences showed him the relationship between social class and knowledge. As Freire lived among poor rural families and laborers, this allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of their lives and of the effects of the socioeconomic factors on education. In his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), Freire, talks about the differences between the oppressors and the oppressed, he also talks about the discrepancies he saw between the two groups in an unjust society. Freire’s biggest statement education for critical consciousness was from his revolutionary method of education. This is where he said that the starting point in an individual’s life where the awareness of consciousness has been made is when individuals go through certain life experiences and one way this can be achieved is by defeating their obstacles.
Freire’s view on education was that everyone has a lot to say but not everybody has the chance to say something. This can be supported when he said, “There is no such thing as a neutral education process.” I agree with his beliefs because I think that this is an example of education in a statutory establishment VS Community Development and Youth Work. From my understanding I think this quote supports what Youth Work and Community development should be. Education can work in two ways it can be either formal or informal education. Formal education is classroom-based, provided by trained teachers and informal education happens outside the classroom and this is usually community development or youth work where it t becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the way in which men and women deal judgmentally with reality and learn how to deal with conflict and how to contribute in the change of their world. Freire said a space needs to be created for dialogue and this has been created in the form of Community development and Youth work. Youth work is concerned with the development of young people’s personal, educational and social progress. According to the National Youth Agency (NYA), Youth Work is a definite educational process that has adapted across a variety of settings to support young people’s growth. Services that are provided can vary depending on the culture and the needs of the individual and their community. Youth and community centres exist for this purpose, but these services are slowly reducing and closing. Youth work in the United Kingdom is a process where young people learn through experience about themselves and they are presented with both spontaneous and intended opportunities. It is an environment where young people feel comfortable to take part in informal education activities. Youth work aims to explore the individual’s values, beliefs, ideas and issues which then enables the young people to develop their voices.
The definition of Youth work itself can obscure structural inequality in Youth work because society sees this as a method to keep young people busy and off the streets as they are the ones at fault. But this is not the case in fact the structure of Youth work is the problem and it is not the young people/ youth who are to be blamed. Today’s Youth work does not meet the core values because it can sometimes fall into the teaching structure this takes away the power and control from the young person and causes there to be a lack of empowerment and trust. This relates to Freire’s opinion on what Education and Youth work should be this includes the choice to participate and voluntary engagement which allows the young people to feel empowered. Dialogue is very important, and it involves respect meaning that it should not involve one person acting on another, but rather people should be working with each other in order to achieve a goal and to help the development of each other. The National Federation of Educational Research report, 1996 states that “No amount of additional funding, curriculum planning or new facilities could compensate for youth workers who did not engage with young people in a way that they found acceptable” this shows that the most important thing that matters to the young people is communication, they just want to be heard. This also shows that young people just want to be worked with and they want to be empowered by being allowed to voice their opinions.The National Citizenship Service (NCS) is a government initiative which is a voluntary personal and social development programme for 15–17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland, funded largely by money from the UK Government. This method is a way that Youth work responds to the structural inequality of opportunity and inclusion. The method of this initiative is that it takes teenagers undertake a residential visit, usually to an activity centre for an outdoor education-style course in the countryside involving physical and team building activities. Methods like this allow Youth Work practise to be effective and beneficial for the young people this helps in making the point that youth workers need to “do things with” the young people rather than do things for them as this will hold more value to the young people as they have been able to contribute to the decisions that have been made for their development. This allows young people to find a sense of belonging and purpose.
Research conducted by Young (2005) noted that historically participation has been a consistent feature of Youth work all the major post-war government reports on youth work for example the Albemarle, Thompson and Fairbairn-Milson reports have all contained a commitment to participation. Roger Hart’s Ladder of participation identifies eight levels of participation in projects. This shows that Participation and Voluntary engagement plays a significant part in Youth Work Practise. He argues that genuine participation should not be confused with children’s dance and theatre activities where they act out according to the pre-determined roles by the adults.
As part of the programme participants undertake a residential phase where they obtain a taste of independent living and learning a variety of skills for their future. Participants plan and deliver a ‘social action’ project in their local community, often to raise awareness of or fundraise for a cause. The disadvantages of methods like this is that not all young people get the opportunity to go on the residential as there are limited spaces and it is a first come first serve basis. Surveys were conducted between two sample groups one was NCS participants who took part in the 2015 summer programme, and between a sample control sample of similarly aged young people who expressed an interest in participating on NCS but did not get a chance to take part on the summer programme.
Results showed that across participants, NCS leads to important improvements in social integration. On average, participants reported an increase in warmth towards people from different ethnic groups, an increase in positive mixing with other ethnic groups, and an increase in positive perceptions of cohesion in their communities. They also reported no increase in their frequency of negative mixing with people from different ethnic groups. However, behind these average impacts of NCS are critical differences in how participation impacts social integration for different groups of young people. Young people come on to the programme showing important gaps in their levels of social integration. For example, those who came on to the programme with lower levels of social integration to begin with; young people who faced more barriers to social integration in their daily lives; and young people who came from communities where social integration is weaker. The new reality of Youth work is the movement the New Labour Government made about focusing Youth Work towards a more targeted approach with the aims of meeting agreed outcomes when working with young people examples of this include Every Child Matters introduced in 2003 and Youth Matters which was introduced in 2005. Nowadays Youth work is about making the young people “job ready” and Youth work exists to keep the youth entertained and busy and I do not agree with that because. This method of work should be focusing on the youth work process, not the product which includes the targets and statistics. Youth work should be about teaching the young people life skills beyond that will help them in the future as mature individuals not just the skills of their job role. This relates to Freire’s description of how low-income students were largely streamlined through the education process with the goal of becoming respectful workers who would enter the workforce as passive individuals. Youth work can respond to structural inequalities like these as young people are encouraged to express their feelings and experiences, regain their sense of humanity and then take action to change circumstances. They are taught the skill of challenge and how to voice their opinions if they do not feel comfortable with the services or inequalities they are facing, this can be done with the use of having youth council panels, youth worker and young people catch up meetings and one-ones. Freire believed education was a political act that could not be separated from teaching. He defined this as the main principle of critical pedagogy. He said that teachers and students must be made aware of the ‘political views’ that surround education and that the way in which students are taught is through a political method. According to Kincheloe, 2008 teachers have political ideas they bring into the classroom and obey but the lack of attention in academic institutions around the world undermine the values of education and its role as a strength of social fairness. This can be supported by research that shows students in low-income neighbourhoods receive a lower of education than those students in wealthier areas. The study also found that this accounts for 37% of the reason as to why there are lower math scores and another reason for those low-income schools to have more underqualified or inexperienced teachers. Racism operates at a personal and institutional level and is a material and political power. Education discrimination can be on the basis of age, ethnicity, gender, race, economic condition, nationality, disability and religion. Education aims to transform oppressive structures by engaging people who have been marginalised, dehumanised, alienated and drawing on what they already know.
Within schools, tracking progression directs students towards different careers. Individuals say that this method helps minorities and women towards less rewarding jobs and others argue that tracking methods like this are needed within educational institutions to give gifted children the best preparation to excel and progress. This relates to Freire’s beliefs where he thought there needs to be a focus on issues that participants identify and on the problem and intellectual interest, and not on the investment everyone needs to be a learner and the teacher.
Participation comes in different ways this includes “giving the young people responsibilities, decision-making roles, action and engagement” (Ord 2007). This helps in making a difference in the lives of the young people. This will also challenge the concept of prompting critical questions and actions as this method will focus on helping people to be free from their limitations instead of teaching young people, students and communities to easily accept knowledge without question as sometimes information may be irrelevant or inaccurate. This method responds to structural inequalities in Community development and Youth work as it allows individuals to challenge the things they may not agree with. Schools can be seen to have quite specific aims and education is concerned with getting young people to read, learn and write. But at the same time teachers and professionals may find it difficult to draw boundaries around school and their activities as they have certain rules to follow and must try to influence their students in a positive way and by having on a deep and strong front. This is where Youth work comes into place where they respond to structural inequalities by informally teaching by being on the level of the young people and creating positive relationships with them. Educationalists need to connect their personal relationships with individuals to the political and economic reality. There is a power dynamic between teachers and students because it is seen that the teachers know it all and the students are a blank page.
This leads to structural inequality; structural inequality has been defined as a condition where one group of people is recognised of an unequal status in relation to other categories of people. The concept of structural inequality is based on privilege, created by institutions within an economy. There are powerful socialising agents that tell us how far and what we can achieve within the society. This includes factors such as health care, education and the media. The law, business practices, and government policies are also pointers on where individuals may stand in their community according to their status. An example of where structural inequality exists in the education society is where poor children must attend public schools due to the lack of being able to pay for education whilst the rich children can attend private schools. Before the 1950s, school exclusion was allowed by national law and during this period, females were guided towards home economics instead of math. This shows that people thought that maths was a subject for male students to study as they are the breadwinners of the family and females should stick to doing what they do best and look after the house in terms of cooking for their families and domestic cleaning.Community development is something that cannot be defined. Because to each different individual it may have different meanings and understandings to what community development is. This method enables people to work collectively to bring about positive social change. In practise community development recognises that some people, groups and communities are excluded and oppressed by the way structures and societies are formed. The Community development process is underpinned by a set of values on which practise is based these include Anti-Discrimination, Social Justice and Equality an example of this is Community development seeking to challenge this and ensure fairness for all citizens. Community development responds to structural inequalities such as homelessness and hunger by using models such as having foodbanks that are accessible to individuals who are going through difficult moments in their lives. Capitalism is built on the foundation of slavery from which it obtained its wealth and power. A foodbank is a non-profit, charitable organisation that distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough to avoid hunger. This method is essentially based on the values of human rights, equality, social justice and respect for diversity. Not only do they provide a solution to the problem of hunger, but it doesn’t require resources from the Government, and they can be viewed as evidence of increasing community spirit and of active, caring citizenship.
According to Freire, daily engagement with factors related to social pressures, how people may act towards each other forces dehumanisation and tends to interfere with our existence. This decreases the power of love as there is a lack of knowledge between individuals. Without the power of love on our side we are nothing but lost. Freire felt that love and kindness should be shown to those people who tolerate discrimination and rejection within societies as part of an educational process, rather than as an act of sympathy.
Community development is a long -term process and it starts from taking people’s own experience and allowing communities to come together to identify their own needs and actions which strengthens people’s voices this can be done through collective action and reflective practise. Other principles that underpin this method according to Freire includes having self-determination where people and communities have the right to make their own choices and decisions. People should be able to control and use their own powers and means to influence this is known as empowerment. An example of this when Black activists challenged the classical Marxist theory and said that the relationship between race/class, race/gender there needs to be recognised. (Gilroy 1987). It needs to be acknowledged that it is both a multi-racial and racist society where people are treated indifferently. One form of oppression is that the state policy act as an oppressive force on black people. One finding was that if “community work is going to be relevant to black communities then the resistance to racism needs to be addressed” (Ohri 1982). There needs to be a provision of the opportunities that encourages independent cultural groups. This was an approach used to show that oppressed groups, through collective action, can change their situation, which influenced the development of CD theory and practice.
Importance of Compassion and Understanding in Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Upon reading chapter 2 of Tattoos on the Heart and Pedagogy of the Oppressed, I came to realize that it not “things” that stunt us, but rather our own actions and thoughts. Boyle and Freire both gave emphasized that “dehumanizing” others and viewing them as an “abstract category” is where the biggest downfall of our ability to be compassionate lies. “Dehumanizing” others due to labels and our own conceptions affects our own actions, but it also affects the individuals whom we treat in this manner. Speaking for humanity, once we learn to see past the labels and prejudices we make for others, we can act with greater compassion and stop our negative ways of thinking that stunt us.
In Tattoos on the Heart, Boyle admitted to his own fault of “dehumanizing” another in the story of Carmen, the woman who struggled with heroin addiction. Boyle had known about Carmen’s notorious reputation, and when she approached him seeking guidance, Boyle viewed her as an “interruption” which would potentially cause him to be late to a baptism appointment. However, once Carmen sat in front of Boyle and shamefully regarded herself as a “disgrace” and her eyes began to tear, Boyle realized it was his own way of thinking that was at fault. Just because Boyle viewed Carmen in terms of her “bad reputation” and as a “interruption”, he had lost sight of her realness and the fact she was choosing to ask him for help.
Not only does labeling and dehumanizing others stunt our acts of compassion, but it also increases the odds that the cycle of doing so will continue. Freire’s quote, “The oppressor is solidary with the oppressed only when he stops regarding the oppressed as an abstract category and sees them as persons who have been unjustly dealt with, deprived of their voice, cheated in the sale of their labor — when he stops making pious, sentimental, and individualistic gestures and risks an act of love” strongly emphasizes the importance of viewing others with an open mind and heart. In Freire’s quote, the words that jump out to me the most are, “..risks an act of love”; how true that statement is! It can be incredibly easy to label others and view them on a lower level, but to stop our self-righteous thinking and look at the world from their point of view is indeed, a “risk” of love. It is “risky”, because it is an action that not many others take- and quite honestly- an action that we are afraid to take because we are not sure how we will be perceived if we care for those who are not usually cared for. But ultimately it is the risk worth taking; not only will a “risk of love” foster growth for our personal compassion, but it could also positively touch the individual who is unfamiliar with being treated as a worthy human being. By placing ourselves on the same level as another, we create an open environment for love and compassion, which can be given and received by both parties.
All in all, Boyle and Freire’s reading stressed the importance of seeing others for who they are- not the stereotypes we create for them. By treating others with more compassion and understanding, we enhance the quality of life for the individuals we interact with and ourselves.
My Reflection of Pedagogy of the Oppressed Book
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a book written by Paulo Freire. His book talks about the injustices of the ‘system’ and provokes thoughts on how to overcome those injustices. He also speaks about how to overcome being oppressed. To overcome this struggle, we must work with the oppressed, so they know how to fight for themselves. They have to learn how to work in the society that constantly pushed them down. In chapter one, Freire states that a “pedagogy formed with the oppressed” will be the best option. (48) Pedagogy is the practice of teaching, therefore, if the oppressed are taught how they are being oppressed and why that is, they will have the understanding of how to not be oppressed anymore.
I do want to be a teacher after I graduate, so this book has opened up my views on teaching. I believe that whatever lesson plans you are given, or are prepared for the day, should be flexible based on the students. I am becoming a teacher for students not because I want everyone to know how smart I am. I believe that a classroom should have all the students looking at the teacher but also give the students options to work in small groups. I want to have an open classroom is what I like to call it. To me, a teacher is there to guide you through the new information you are learning. All of the information isn’t new to everyone though, so teachers and professors should be able to learn from their students and be able to fluctuate their teaching plans for the day. Most of the time, teachers can’t change it themselves. In a systematic educational system, it can only be changed by the government. In an educational project system, they carry out education plans with the oppressed in order to organize them. In order to get any change in either of these systems, we must “reflect upon action for reform” (53). If there is any want to change the system at all, teachers and professors have to decide who to get involved. I would think that if you got both of the educational systems involved, the most change will happen, and it’ll be the most affective. If I was in the situation, I would get the opinion of my students to see where they want their education to lead to. I would ask if they want more in depth information leading to more of a student input conversation class, or if they would like me to just talk and teach.
I agree with a lot of Freire’s ideas in this book. He relates education to banking. He states explains that the banking system of education hinders a child’s growth. “Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; the individual is a spectator, not re-creator. In this view the person is not a conscious being (corpo consciente); he or she is rather the possessor of a consciousness: an empty ‘mind’ passively open to the reception of the deposits of reality from the world outside” (247). This is explaining how some teachers just throw information at students and don’t take into consideration to explain why this information is important. Most teacher student relationships are only teacher student relationships. They don’t go beyond the classroom into the real world. They should both care and relate to each other and how to go about learning and giving information and being able to put it into the real world beyond the classroom. Freire also explains that “knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other” (244). The best teachers can change up their lessons every year and be able to de-structure their class. This could also prose problems in the classroom. If the teacher is a push-over, then the class could turn into a mess. The teacher wouldn’t be able to control his or her students and no learning would get done.
In the end, I believe that Paulo Freire’s book was a great read for everyone who would like to be a future teacher. He explains how to react in situations when your class happens to be full of students who are being oppressed. He also hints at how to help them out of that situation and how to push them to be a great student and how to contribute to society.