Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Paulo Friere (1996)

This text argues that the ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of the whole economic, social and political domination. The book suggests that in some countries the oppressors use the system to maintain a "culture of silence". Through the right kind of education, the book suggests, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models and based on the actual experiences of students and on continual shared investigation, every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self, and the right to be heard.

"Friere's classic book seeks to understand the way that the form in which education is offered can have a profound impact on the effect which that education has. His work comes out of the experience of running literacy classes for peasant people in Latin America. What he found was that traditional types of educational practice reproduced passivity and disinterest, and reinforced in those people's eyes the idea that they could never acquire an education. He sought to offer a different kind of education where the process of learning was linked with an understanding of the dynamics of power and oppression. For Friere education was about the process of "becoming fully human" and coming to a consciousness of the world around you. He found these methods to be extremely successful, as have many educators working with socially marginalised groups who have entered education. At a time when large numbers of "non-traditional" students are entering the 'new university' sector in the UK, this book, offers an important resource to teachers and students alike. Though it has been several years since it was first published, it deserves to come into its own yet again." - Review written in 2004 by Mr. S. Cowden (published on


Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Penguin Education)

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