Daniel Schugurensky's text offers a coherent and accessible account of Freire's educational thought, looking at its contribution to educational theory and practice and exploring the legacy of Freire for contemporary education and the relevance of his thought for today's students.
With a substantive new introduction on Freire's life and the remarkable impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come.
With the contemporary resurgence of authoritarian political and cultural forces throughout much of the world, Freire's theologically-grounded affirmation of radical democracy, social justice, historical possibility, and the absolute dignity of the human person remains as vital and relevant as ever.
The author outlines and assesses a number of key critiques of Freire's modernism, concentrating in particular on questions pertaining to the problem of pedagogical intervention. He responds at some length to C.A. Bowers, one of Freire's most important and persistent critics, and finds fault with behaviorist, stage-based accounts of consciousness raising. The Freirean concept of conscientization is reinterpreted in light of the postmodern notion of multiple subjectivities. From this book, Freire emerges as a complex educational figure: a thinker and teacher deeply committed to the universalist ideal of humanization, yet also wary of some of the exaggerated certainties of modernism. His work, for all its flaws and contradictions, remains highly influential and stands opposed to technicist and neoliberal tendencies in recent educational reform initiatives.
When Guinea Bissau on the West African coast declared independence in 1973 the rate of illiteracy in its adult population was ninety percent. The new government faced the enormous task of educating its citizens. With Freire as collaborator and advisor the government launched a huge grass-roots literacy campaign and this book is Freire's memoir of that campaign. Those familiar with Freire's work will identify his ongoing insistence on the unity between theory and practice, mental and manual work, and past and present experience. This is essential reading for anyone interested Freire's revolutionary ideas on education and the transformative power they hold when applied to society and the classroom.