Freire Paulo

Freire Paulo

(1921-1997) radical educationalist. His best known work Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated into English in 1972. Freire used learning to facilitate the development of consciousness amongst oppressed and marginalised groups. Though he did not propose a singular set of pedagogical methods to achieve this, the goal of PRAXIS remained constant throughout his work. He believed that effective learning and the development of critical thinking led students to engage with the world around them and the various subjugatory structures that might confront them. Despite the fact that much of Freire's work took place in his native Brazil, and in developing countries, some contemporary Western educationalists have sought to apply his ideas in economically and politically peripheral areas, such as deprived inner city communities (see SOCIAL EXCLUSION). He has influenced adult educators in the non-formal sector in the UK, and his ideas have also informed some of the more radical notions of CITIZENSHIP. Though Freire's work is widely respected, it has been subjected to some criticism, particularly his understanding of oppression. For example, a person may be oppressed in one sphere (e.g. that of work), but may simultaneously be the oppressor in another (e.g. to his wife or family). See also SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION and PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH.
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