Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some Guiding Thoughts/Questions on Freire

In response to a few people who mentioned they would like to focus more specifically on our readings, their meaning(s), and their relevance, I have attached a few thoughts/questions related to the first two chapters of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed".  You do not need to answer these for class, but they might bring some focus to your reading:

First, Freire is offering us a very clear example of dialectic thinking.  In dialectic thought, any idea or "thesis" is understood in relation to an opposing idea or "antithesis".  Knowledge is gained when one is able to move beyond what seem to be contradictions between the "thesis" and "antithesis" towards a "synthesis".  In Freire, we see repeated references to various dichotomies.  For example:

Oppressor - Oppressed
Object - Subject
Theory - Practice

In each of these examples, Freire seeks a synthesis that brings us to a new level of understanding.  When reading these two chapters, try to pay close attention to the ways Freire attempts to synthesize these various dichotomies.

Oppressor - Oppressed
What does Freire mean in saying that a dichotomy between Oppressor and Oppressed leads to the dehumanization of both?
What can be done to "synthesize" this dialectic?  Why is this "synthesis" so difficult? (hint, he discusses this for the first several pages of Chapter One)

Object - Subject
This dialectic is very closely related to the ways we name the world, and involves the relationship between our thoughts and our actions (see p. 56).  Freire denies the idea that we have access to a purely objective world, just as he denies the idea that our subjectivity can be separate from the world.  In short, the objective world and the self are in a dialectic relationship.
What does Freire's object-subject dialectic (p. 32) suggest about HOW we might transform the conditions of oppression?  What is "praxis" and how does it attempt to resolve a dichotomy between theory and practice?
Why/how does 'banking-education objectify the world?  How can problem-posing challenge this objectification?

Freire claims that "problem-posing education affirms men and women as beings in the process of becoming-as unfinished, uncompleted beings in and with a likewise unfinished reality"? (p. 65).  What do you think is the significance of understanding ourselves as incomplete or unfinished beings and how does this help us synthesize the oppressor - oppressed dialectic?

Some terms commonly associated with Freire:
Banking Education 53-57
Problem-posing 60,63
Dialog 47,49,
Praxis  33-35,47,60
Conscientization 48,49,60,63

"Any situation in which some individuals prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence....  to alienate humans beings from their own decision-making is to change them into objects (p. 66)."


  1. I am surprise others also needed your guide....
    Thank you so much!!