Paulo Freire

Paulo
Freire
1921
1997

Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy

Author Quotes

The more we sit in front of [the television] . . . the more we risk being confused about the real nature of the facts.

The task of revolutionary leaders is to pose as problems not only this myth, but all the other myths used by the oppressor elites to oppress.

This is the road I have tried to follow as a teacher: living my convictions; being open to the process of knowing and sensitive to the experience of teaching as an art; being pushed forward by the challenges that prevent me from bureaucratizing my practice; accepting my limitations, yet always conscious of the necessary effort to overcome them and aware that I cannot hide them because to do so would be a failure to respect both my students and myself as a teacher.

We should devote ourselves humbly but perseveringly to our profession in all its aspects: scientific formation, ethical rectitude, respect for others, coherence, a capacity to live with and learn from what is different, and an ability to relate to others without letting our ill-humor or our antipathy get in the way of our balanced judgment of the facts.

I teach because I search, because I question, and because I submit myself to questioning.

It is also false to consider seriousness and joy to be contradictory, as if joy were the enemy of methodological rigor.

Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.

Organization is not only directly linked to unity, but a natural development of that unity. Accordingly, the leaders' pursuit of that unity is also an attempt to organize the people, requiring witness to the fact that the struggle for liberation is a common task.

The basic thing, starting from the initial perception of these nuclei of contradictions (which include the principal contradiction of society as a larger epochal unit) is to study the inhabitants' awareness of these contradictions.

The object of a dialogical-libertarian action is not to 'dislodge' the oppressed from a mythological reality in order to 'bind' them to another reality. On the contrary, the object of dialogical action is to make it possible for the oppressed, by perceiving their adhesion, to opt to transform an unjust reality.

The teacher presents the material to the students for their consideration, and re-considers her earlier considerations as the students express their own.

This is the sense in which I am obliged to be a listener. To listen to the student's doubts, fears, and incompetencies that are part of the learning process. It is in listening to the student that I learn to speak with him or her.

Welfare programs as instruments of manipulation ultimately serve the end of conquest. They act as an anesthetic, distracting the oppressed from the true causes of their problems and from the concrete solutions of these problems.

As a strictly human experience, I could never treat education as something cold, mental, merely technical, and without soul, where feelings, sensibility, desires, and dreams had no place, as if repressed by some kind of reactionary dictatorship. In addition, I never saw educative practice as an experience that could be considered valid if it lacked rigor and intellectual discipline.

Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and its people.

Hope is not just a question of grit or courage. It's an ontological dimension of our human condition.

As long as they live in the duality in which to be is to be like, and to be like is to be like the oppressor, this contribution is impossible.

Discovering himself to be an oppressor may cause considerable anguish, but it does not necessarily lead to solidarity with the oppressed.

How can I be an educator if I do not develop in myself a caring and loving attitude toward the student, which is indispensable on the part of one who is committed to teaching and to the education process itself.

As the oppressor minority subordinates and dominates the majority, it must divide it and keep it divided in order to remain in power.

Education as the exercise of domination stimulates the credulity of students, with the ideological intent (often not perceived by educators) of indoctrinating them to adapt to the world of oppression.

How can the oppressed, as divided unauthentic beings, participate in the pedagogy of their liberation?

At a certain point in their existential experience, the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction toward the oppressor and his way of life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration.

Education does not make us educable. It is our awareness of being unfinished that makes us educable.

How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation?

Author Picture
First Name
Paulo
Last Name
Freire
Birth Date
1921
Death Date
1997
Bio

Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy