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Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  11,327 ratings  ·  682 reviews
First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass a ...more
Paperback, 30th Anniversary Edition, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published 1970)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessica
Nov 14, 2007 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pedagogues, the oppressed, starry-eyed young people, singles trying to pick up activists
If you're into really sincere hippie guys, read this on the subway. They will swarm.

Warning: they'll swarm even if you're not into them, so keep an "Atlas Shrugged" jacket handy!

Actually, this book contains one of my guiding-light passages:

"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" (85).

In my fascist sta
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Teacherhuman
Just finished my annual rereading of this book. Again, teachers in inner-city America, teachers on the plains, teachers in rural America--read or reread this book now. With attempts to oppress our students inside the classroom with more and more standardized crap, this is more than ever a must-read.

My original review:
Here is one of those books I think they oughtn't let a teacher in front of a secondary classroom without having read. Even the most affluent of our students in contemporary public
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Ruben
This is one of those books you have to masticate and digest rather than swallow without chewing. Freire makes a salad of education, dialogue, poverty, consciousness, and liberation. He shares how the powerful have historically dehumanized much of society through subtle yet oppressive means via the aforementioned themes. One of his most outstanding lines of reasoning derives from coming alongside of the poor as the starting point in authentic dialogue paving the way for true education and ultimat ...more
Mike
I feel like its a cliche just rating it here at all, as if doing so stakes a claim to being progressive. I haven't read this text in some time, and although It did affect me when I did, I just worry that 5,000 people on the left have rated this book, and many of them will go into classrooms with the best of intentions only to recreate or reinvent oppression when they just can't understand why their students "don't get it" or "resist the liberation we're trying to give them."
I once applied for a
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Lisa
The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessive class, they suffocate in their possessions and no longer are; they merely have. For them, having more is an inalienable right, a right they acquired through their own "effort", with their "courage to take risks". If others do not have more, it is because they are incompetent and lazy, and worst of all is thei
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Christine
I just finished reading Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It was life altering, as I knew it would be, and pointed the way forward clearly to how we can begin the revolution. If our aim is, as loving humans, to eradicate homelessness, poverty, racism, classism, and sexism, our revolution must be educative and cultural. Educative meaning that it is a process of reflection, critical thinking, and dialogue; cultural meaning that it must act decisively on our ways of being and inhabiting soc ...more
Chad
This was a chore to read. Either the original writing is in a style lacking art or the translation from Portuguese either has issues or the translator lacks.

Beyond what makes for an unpleasant read, many of the ideas in the book are obviously for another time and place (1960's Brazil) and presenting an idealogy that has not only failed miserably in every attempt but has actually seen some of the most oppressive regimes in history (Soviet Union, Khmer Rouge, North Korea, Maoist China and more).
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Amy
This book has been on my reading list for the past year based on great recommendations on Goodreads; I’m happy to say that it lived up to the hype. I started to get hooked reading the introduction by Donald Macedo. His use of the term “culturally schizophrenic” resonates with me because it reminds me (a little bit) of how I felt as a woman, working in engineering, in the Navy. I felt compartmentalized, like the different parts of my world did not connect. I don’t think it was exactly the same fe ...more
Marwa Assem Salama
لأني لم أعد أجد قشعريرة النشوة عند سماع الهتافات أو رؤيا المسيرة ....ويوما بعد يوم يصرخ فيّ صوتا أرجو له الإعدام : بربكِ ما نفعها الدماء إن كانت فقط معراجاً لمانحها إلى فردوسٍ لا يشكو ازدحام، وهوةً لسافحها إلى جحيمٍ يشتهي المزيد؟؟...ولو قامت بمثل ذلك فقط ألفُ ثورة وثورة ...ما الضامن لكِ بأن ما سنراه في المستقبل ليس من هذا الحاضر ببعيد؟؟...وكأنها كانت تساؤلات مريرةً أيضا هي ما دفعت (باولو فيريري) لأن يعيد هنا تعريف الثورة والثائر ...يقلبه بالأذهان رأسا على عقب...فلا يرتجي منك راحة الهادر بالحق قو ...more
Zanna
Mar 02, 2014 Zanna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Zanna by: Tinea
Perhaps I have been reading in the wrong order. I’m very familiar with the idea of dialogic pedagogy, mainly from my PGCE and reading Radical Education and the Common School, which is about liberatory education for children and young people as well as adults (as Freire points out, this idea of education is lifelong, all-encompassing, and positions teachers as learners and learners as teachers). I fervently believe that this idea of learning is the golden key shining in our hands towards a world ...more
Megan
Mar 22, 2007 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially educators.
A must-read for anyone engaged in education, as well as all those involved in grassroots social change. How does one teach others, particularly those who have been oppressed in our society, without at the same time becoming merely another outside force of domination? How do those who are oppressed escape oppression, without merely joining the ranks of the those currently in power and responsible for the oppression? Freire, one of the first to truly address these questions, handles them capably, ...more
Craig
I read this book in Portuguese after my friend read it as part of her reserach for her masters in English. She had described her problem with "the ontological vocation to be more fully human" as it is phrased in her translation. This translation, I believe, is less literal than it needs to be, and it emphasizes a particular humanist project that would postition the opressed as not having a constituent humanness. The Portugeuse would have it "sua ontologica vocacao de Ser Mais" which I would tran ...more
Malcolm
Writing a review of this is a challenge in part because the book has had such a powerful effect on my approach to education, and as such to everything I do as a University teacher. I come back to it regularly to remind myself that the topical fads in pedagogy (such as the claims made for student centred active learning, so hip in British HE in the late 2000s and early 2010s) are not as new as many of their protagonists claim. In many cases thay are a politically diluted version of a more deep se ...more
Brett
In my opinion, this is nothing short of the most important book written in the 20th century, and perhaps in the second half of the last millennium. It correctly recognizes the tension between oppression and liberation as a journey rather than a singular conflict, and acts as an unparalleled navigational tool on that journey.

Much is often said of the books second chapter, and indeed, that was my introduction to the book (in a writing course at Columbia). The criticism of the "banking style" educa
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abclaret
This book represents a huge disappointment, because it could have been brilliant in its totality.

In a nutshell the book is about the methodology/means of libertarian education. How traditional teaching methods implicitly reproduce dominant ideology and instill passivity in their subjects. The means by which this is subverted, Freire suggests, is by rejecting teacher-student centred teaching, assessing and pushing the boundaries of learners conciousness through problem-posing. This develops educa
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مـــــــروة
تحاملت على نفسي لكي أكمله، التنظير في الكتاب يفوق الوصف مع فقر شديد في اﻷمثلة الموضحة، باﻹضافة إلى اﻹعادة واﻹزادة لنفس اﻷفكار في كثير من المواضع، أعتقد لو أنني قرأت كتاباً عن هذا الكتاب يقوم بعرض ما جاء به لكان أفضل، بعض الكتب تكون أفضل حالاً إذا قرأت عنها بدلاً من أن تقرأها.

الكتاب ليس عن التعليم كما يوحي اسمه، بل يشمل معنى أوسع وهو نشر الوعي بين أفراد الشعوب المقهورة التي ترزح تحت طغاتها، أجاب الكاتب عن عدة أسئلة في هذا الصدد وطرح أفكاره من واقع تجربته، فباولو تم نفيه من البرازيل إلى شيلي لمعار
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Chris
I don't get this book. I found it to be an overacademic hard to read book about making education less academic and more accessible.
Ahmad Ardy


Untuk aku membaca buku ini usai pembacaan young muslims guide in modern world, ia telah melucutkan rasa pesona-takjub aku kpd pemikiran2 leftist sedikit sebanyak (dlm pada yg sama, buku2 mustafa mahmud juga turut menyumbang).
Dari muka surat pertama, pembaca akan mendapati cara-gaya penulisan kiri yg tipikal; dengan penggunaan2 istilah2 spt revolution, oppressed, oppressor, subjugation, superstructure, praxis.
Tambahan2, perkataan2 ini tidak digunakan secara superfisial, malah korang akan perasan
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Michael
Jul 27, 2014 Michael marked it as read-part
Shelves: politics, sociology
The memory of this book is somewhat painful for me. I was assigned to read it in my first year in college, failed to do so, and tried to fake my way through the Seminar. I’ve suppressed the memory of exactly what it was I said that brought the entire class to an embarrassed halt, but I know it hinged on my not knowing what the word “pedagogy” meant (pro tip: it has almost nothing to do with “demagogy”). Since I’ve never really read it through, I’ll forego giving it a star rating.

Looking at it no
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Mary
I don’t think I’m selfless enough to throw my lot in with the masses in the way Freire recommends. I’m not really willing, and I’m not able to forget the fact that I do come from a position of privilege. I think I’m more pessimistic, like Memmi, about the ability of anyone to be a “good colonizer,” but I like the idea that this kind of revolution liberates the oppressors as well (44). That’s not to say I don’t find the whole ideal appealing. Abandoning a position of power and becoming a facilita ...more
Sheris225
Encountering 'Pedagogy of the Oppressed' in my twenties, I felt the world shift and open while reading this admittedly challenging book. Mr. Freire introduced me to the following thoughts plus others: the means are the ends. How we we teach is as important as what we teach. In fact,the process itself can change the outcome - which in an education context can play an indoctrinating or self-enlightening role. Most exciting of all, I learned about the powerful benefit of people finding the tools to ...more
Emily
Actual life-changing social theory. It's not so much that he says what we don't know as that he says what we do know, in a way that is challenging and loving and that challenges us to love:

I am more and more convinced that true revolutionaries must perceive the revolution, because of its creative and liberating nature, as an act of love. For me, the revolution, which was not possible without a theory of revolution—and therefore of science—is not irreconcilable with love. On the contrary: the rev
...more
Natalie
This was amazing. Aside from a few weird pages comparing animals to humans in chapter 3, I found everything in this book incredibly valuable.

His audience is Leftists. This book does not try to convert people to believing in the need for change. It is like an instruction manual for those who wish to see it come about. He describes in detail the causes of so many problems. He criticizes and directs Leftists. His critiques are spot-on. He settles so many mental issues I've struggled with myself, a
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Dan Kugler
Yet it is--paradoxical though it may seem--precisely in the response of the oppressed to the violence of the oppressors that a gesture of love may be found. Consciously or unconsciously, the act of rebellion by the oppressed (an act which is always, or nearly always, as violent as the initial violence of the oppressors) can initiate love. Whereas the violence of the oppressors prevents the oppressed from being fully human, the response of the the latter to this violence is grounded in the desire ...more
Alex
a classic philosophical work stressing the importance of education and cultural action in revolutionary movement building. articulates many of the basic ideological building blocks for self-conscious revolutionaries, urging them to side with the oppressed, and speak with them, rather than for them.

however i think the movement has moved on from the idea that there is a "revolutionary leadership" which is separate from "the people", or "the oppressed", and which must fight for THEIR freedom. inste
...more
Lulu
This infinitely quotable book confused me at the beginning. First, I thought it was about politics. Then I thought "no, its definitely about education." After that, I exchanged the theme for oppression and social classes. A hundred pages in I reverted back to education.


Towards the end, I realized:

-Its a sociology book and as every sociology book that has ever been written, its about individuals surviving each other.


-Education can be used to minimize gaps between the social classes and the desp
...more
Peck
Freire observed and captured the essence of the systemic oppression of the political elite in his country and region - an observation that has great relevance to all polities. I feel the pain of the peasants while reading and yet Freire gives hope through his problem-posing system of education that the wool can be removed from the eyes of the peasants and they can find voice to protect and assert their cultural identity.

Revolutionary!
Jessica
I've seen white people use concepts from this to whitesplain to people of color about oppression (yes, seriously). So, while it's been helpful in breaking down some mental structures I've been taught and making me more aware of external structures I operate in, I am very aware that it doesn't replace actual dialog and open observation. It's just one step in an ongoing quest, but a step I'm very glad I took.

Now, on to Fanon!
Elisa
Brasiliassa järjestetään paraikaa maailman seuratuin urheilutapahtuma, jonka avajaisissa kolme Brasilian eri etnisiä ryhmiä edustavaa nuorta vapauttivat rauhaa symboloivat kyyhkyset käsistään yläilmoihin. Valtamedia jätti huomiotta Brasilian eteläosissa maaomistuksesta taistelevan guaraní-kansaan kuuluvan Werá Jeguaka Mirim’in esiin nostaman banderollin, jossa luki ”demarcação já! ”, jolla viitataan ilmeisesti nimenomaan São Paulon alueen intiaanien tilanteeseen. Alkuperäiskansan oma ääni sivuut ...more
Zach
Jun 11, 2007 Zach rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mother
I read Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time in Russian Literature for kids, and my good friend told me to read Frieres Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Paulo Friere's is better at descriptions of the uneducated and uses less flowerly language than Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time. Both are suitable novels on the uses of knowledge.
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The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire is among most the influential educational thinkers of the late 20th century. Born in Recife, Brazil, on September 19, 1921, Freire died of heart failure in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 2, 1997. After a brief career as a lawyer, he taught Portuguese in secondary schools from 1941-1947. He subsequently became active in adult education and workers' training, and became ...more
More about Paulo Freire...
Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage Education for Critical Consciousness (Impacts) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Impacts) Teachers as Cultural Workers (Edge, Critical Studies in Educational Theory) Literacy: Reading the Word and the World

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“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” 388 likes
“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people--they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.” 198 likes
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