Paulo Freire


Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy

Author Quotes

The oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle.

There are innumerable well-intentioned bank-clerk teachers who do not realize that they are serving only to dehumanize.

To simply think about the people, as the dominators do, without any self-giving in that thought, to fail to think with the people, is a sure way to cease being revolutionary leaders.

Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning.

In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing.

It ought to be an integral part of our teacher preparation to discuss the qualities that are indispensable for our teaching practice, even though we know that these qualities are created by that practice itself.

One might say they failed to perceive the untested feasibility lying beyond the limit-situations which engendered their needs.

Revolution is born as a social entity within the oppressor society.

The exercise of my teaching activity does not leave me untouched. No more than I could be out in the rain with no protection and expect not to get wet.

The oppressors develop a series of methods precluding any presentation of the world as a problem and showing it rather as a fixed entity, as something given--something to which people, as mere spectators, must adapt.

There is no such thing as teaching without research and research without teaching.

To speak a true word is to transform the world.

Why not establish an intimate connection between knowledge considered basic to any school curriculum and knowledge that is the fruit of the lived experience of these students as individuals?

In the process of the ongoing education of teachers, the essential moment is that of critical reflection on one's practice.

It would be a contradiction in terms if the oppressors not only defended but actually implemented a liberating education.

One of my major preoccupations is the approximation between what I say and what I do, between what I seem to be and what I am actually becoming.

Right thinking is right doing.

The exercise of the art and practice of teaching (a specifically human art), is of itself profoundly formational and, for that reason, ethical. True, those who exercise this art and practice do not have to be saints or angels. But they ought to have integrity and a clear sense of what is right and just.

The participants begin to realize that if their analysis of the situation goes any deeper they will either have to divest themselves of their myths, or reaffirm them. Divesting themselves of and renouncing their myths represents, at that moment, an act of self-violence. On the other hand, to reaffirm those myths is to reveal themselves.

There is no valid teaching from which there does not emerge something learned and through which the learner does not become capable of recreating and remaking what has been taught.

To teach is not to transfer knowledge but to create the possibilities for the production or construction of knowledge.

Without [silence], communication withers.

In their turn, good listeners can speak engagedly and passionately about their own ideas and conditions precisely because they are able to listen.

It's in making decisions that we learn to decide.

One of the essential tasks of the teaching process is to introduce the learners to the methodological exactitude with which they should approach the learning process.

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Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy