Paulo Freire

Paulo
Freire
1921
1997

Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy

Author Quotes

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.

Without a minimum of hope, we cannot so much as start the struggle.

One of the gravest obstacles to the achievement of liberation is that oppressive reality absorbs those within it and thereby acts to submerge human beings’ consiousness. Functionally, oppression is domesticating. To no longer be prey to its force, one must emerge from it and turn upon it. This can be done only by means of the praxis(practice): reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.

While both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives [today], only the first is man’s vocation. This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed by that very negation. It is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression and the violence of the oppressors; it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed for freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity... This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to “soften” the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their “generosity,” the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this “generosity,” which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. This is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source.

Creativity needs to be stimulated, not only at the level of student’s individuality, but also at the level of their individuality in a social context. Instead of suffocating this curious impetus, educators should stimulate risk taking, without which there is no creativity.

Reading does not consist merely of decoding the written word or language; rather, it is preceded by and intertwined with knowledge of the world. Language and reality are dynamically interconnected. The understanding attained by critical reading of a text implies perceiving the relationship between text and context.

Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information.

What if we discover that our present way of life is irreconcilable with our vocation to become fully human?

Any situation in which some individuals prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence. The means used are not important; to alienate human beings from their own decision-making is to change them into objects.

To teach is part of the very fabric of learning.

The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is him/herself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow.

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

Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy