Paulo Freire

Paulo
Freire
1921
1997

Brazilian Educator and Theorist of Critical Pedagogy

Author Quotes

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?

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?

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