Paulo Freire


Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy

Author Quotes

For them, having more is an inalienable right.

I cannot be a teacher without exposing who I am.

A fact which is not denied but whose truths are rationalized loses its objective base. It ceases to be concrete and becomes a myth created in defense of the class of the perceiver.

Critical perception cannot be imposed.

For us, to learn is to construct, to reconstruct, to observe with a view to changing?none of which can be done without being open to risk, to the adventure of the spirit.

I feel it is necessary to overcome the false separation between serious teaching and the expression of feeling.

A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle.

Critical reflection on practice is a requirement of the relationship between theory and practice. Otherwise theory becomes simply "blah, blah, blah," and practice, pure activism.

Founding itself upon love, humility, and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between the dialoguers is a logical consequence.

I interpret the revolutionary process as dialogical cultural action which is prolonged in 'cultural revolution' once power is taken. In both stages a serious and profound effort at conscience--by means of which the people, through a true praxis, leave behind the status of objects to assume the status of historical Subjects--is necessary.

Almost never do they realize that they, too, 'know things' they have learned in their relations with the world.

Curiosity as restless questioning, as movement toward the revelation of something hidden, as a question verbalized or not, as search for clarity, as a moment of attention, suggestion, and vigilance, constitutes an integral part of the phenomenon of being alive. There could be no creativity without the curiosity that moves us and sets us patiently impatient before a world that we did not make, to add to it something of our own making.

Freedom is not the absence of limits. What I have sought always is to live the tension, the contradiction, between authority and freedom so as to maintain respect for both.

Although the teachers or the students are not the same, the person in charge of education is being formed or re-formed as he/she teaches, and the person who is being taught forms him/herself in the process?There is, in fact, no teaching without learning.

Dialogue cannot exist without humility.

Hope is a natural, possible, and necessary impetus in the context of our unfinishedness.

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?

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Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy