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Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,233 ratings  ·  96 reviews
This book displays the striking creativity and profound insight that characterized Freire's work to the very end of his life-an uplifting and provocative exploration not only for educators, but also for all that learn and live.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 25th 2000 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (first published 1996)
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Jordan Mosley
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I cannot lie. This book was truly excellent. Paulo Friere never disappoints me. With this book, I was able to re-evaluate what revolutionary ethics are in education and what not to do when teaching. He explicitly talks about respect is the underlying thing to true critical education. Respect comes in many forms: listening, accepting what is not your opinion, knowing you are not complete and the other person in not complete and trying to become better. In a democratic learning space, you have to ...more
Zak Shareef
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: educators, parents, philosophers
I wish I could have met Freire. This book is profoundly inspiring. The book would have been better if he'd fleshed out several of his philosophical principles more fully. The ambiguity of his usage, particularly of the term "the subject", leaves more room for interpretation than I'd prefer when someone is making points that are so important for the contemporary world. For those of us with experience in the American education system, Freire's theories on education read as a near fantasy. The free ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anytime I read a book on pedagogy I am reminded of (and scared by) the immense responsibility that being an educator brings. It makes me question my reasons for teaching what I teach, how I teach it and what I want students to experience, learn and contribute to the classroom and the wider community.

I have not read Freire’s earlier (influential and groundbreaking) book Pedagogy of the Oppressed but this book on Pedagogy of Freedom drew connections between activism and education and the role of a
May Ling
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I mistook this for a different book that had been recommended. Still, found it very interesting.

Most people that read this are educators, but I agree with those that feel that it is relevant even outside of education. Likely sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, philosophers, and business individuals should also consider it.

The themes most relevant to me were these:

1) The idea that education is a form of conditioning, no matter what we think. The idea that there are certain topics
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Liberating and assuring, this book is certainly a must-read for all future educators. It should be read by all workers in educational practices, especially those who wish to make a change in the world. If all the educators and parents are aware of our role in developing “critical consciousness” in all learners (including ourselves), our students can prepare themselves to become life-long learners and world leaders for the better future.

It also reminded me of the ethical responsibility as an edu
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This would be a good introduction to Freire's work. He describes a true education as one that values the individual and teaches critical thought as opposed to one that merely transfers information and masks opinion as fact. He goes on to describe the former as the best way to combat the dehumanizing effects of neoliberalism and the latter as a tool for its perpetuation.
Aug 12, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: all teachers
Shelves: education
useful for the "Dead poet society" type teachers.
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: education practitioners
Shelves: favorites
another GENUIS! so inspiring.

educational pedagogy
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
'I cannot be a teacher if I do not perceive with ever greater clarity that my practice demands of me a definition about where I stand. A break with what is not right ethically. I must choose between one thing and another thing. I cannot be a teacher and be in favour of everyone and everything. I cannot be in favour merely of people, humanity, vague phrases far from the concrete nature of educative practice. Mass hunger and unemployment, side by side with opulence, are not the result of destiny, ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I recently finished another book on Franklin Roosevelt which detailed his death shortly after his fourth inauguration and Truman's ascent to the presidency. In his address, Roosevelt, challenged American citizens to be "citizens of the world, members of the human community." This was my first thought upon reading this work by Freire. Each page is like a constant reminder/challenge to teachers regarding how to ensure that our pedagogy enables us to teach students to be just what Roosevelt envisio ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's pretty much always better to be reading Freire than to not. This book is very lively, and it was published after he died. Contains beautiful prose and poetic statements about human life, change, growth, courage, and freedom. A nice follow-up to Pedagogy of the Oppressed, particularly regarding a sticking point (about the banking method of education from ch. 2 in P of O) that Freire really clarifies here. This book, however, is not as rigorous and as obviously philosophically complex as P of ...more
Esmé J
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
“I teach because I search, because I question, and because I submit myself to questioning.”

Freire introduces an important theoretical intervention into the project of education. His passionate case against a "a banking style" of education is very convincing and I would probably recommend this book to every teacher out there - progressive and traditional alike.

Unfortunately, Freire does not offer very much concrete advice to educators who hope to enact his brand of pedagogy of freedom. His words
Dayna Smith
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had to read this for a Master's Class. I can't say I would recommend it.
Jun 26, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2013-14
Pedagogy of Freedom in my opinion, revolves around Freire's statement: "The condition of becoming is the condition of being." The book discusses the relationship between education and this idea that human beings are, or at least naturally ought to be, in a perpetual process of development and coming-into-being. Freire asserts that the educative process ought to be one in which learners are not presented with the world as is, following a "banking" model of education that creates a static picture ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first Freire, somehow, even though I made it through a two-year teaching program, date a teacher, and work in youth development. This is one to return to; a work on the ethics of human dignity and the right to growth for both children and adults. It's an affirmation that the struggle for a more just society is not only imperative but also *possible* and that change can and does happen when we labor daily and do not despair. It's also high on the "to-read-again-before-fatherhood" list for a fe ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
An invigorating, challenging, pithy look at education - a book I wish I read at the beginning of university rather than at the end. It took me a little while to figure out how to read it, but once I got the hang of it I learned so much. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in the ethical and political dimensions of teaching and learning.
Gabriel Bvc
Jun 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Blame capitalism for existence of misery. What a joke. I may agree with a few points, quite like the idea about an open dialogue with students. However, the imposition that it should be done through Freire's personal opinion and ideology, makes this book only interesting for left-wingers, not for teachers and society as whole.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
My third Paulo Freire book and my forth read on critical pedagogy over the last couple months. I enjoyed Pedagogy of Freedom more than his landmark Pedagogy of Oppression. Solid book, although dated in some areas. If you love philosophy and education, I recommend anything by Freire.
Dominique Brown
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast Fruitful Read

As an educator this text offers an alternative to the soul-sucking popular narratives out there and provides a thoughtful pedagogical vision about the possibility of education to transform students and educators alike.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phew. This book wasn’t an easy read, but i managed to get through it. Freire’s writing resonates and relates to student affairs in ways I couldn’t imagine.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
One of the foundational textbooks for my program. I found this book gave me alot to think about and consider, especially challenging beliefs. An interesting read.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Freire always lifts me up!
Joao Luis
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Classical and basic book on education for everyone that works in this area.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I honestly liked this better than Pedagogy of the Oppressed and I found it even more useful and relevant.
I think everyone should read this right now.
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it first came out. The last of Freire's books to be written while he was still alive. (The posthumous, Pedagogy of Indignation, was pieced together from disparate individual texts.) It was great to read this again after so many years. In this book, Freire addresses teachers, reflecting on the practice of teaching within the larger questions of ethics and authentic democracy. I don't think I really appreciated the book when I read it the first time but after years of teachin ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Freire's work is a necessary read today not just for teachers but administrators as well. He challenges teachers to be more reflective and to be willing to try and fail in the process of growth (something again that not just teachers but admins who often are stuck in old rhetoric can also learn from.) He argues, "I believe that if we are going to overcome the crises that at present assail us, we must return to ethics" (117).

Thus, Freire's work challenges progressive teachers to become more refle
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
This was the last book that Freire wrote before his death in 1997 and in fact the English translation was only 2/3 complete when he died. This book was written in preparation for a seminar at Harvard Graduate School of Education that Freire and Donaldo Macedo were gong to teach.(An interesting historical note is Macedo's discussion of Harvard's decision to cancel the seminar even though Macedo had proposed an option). As such the book deals with ethics of teaching reiterating all of Freire's bas ...more
Dec 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literacy-comps
In Pedagogy of Freedom (1998), Paulo Freire builds on his theories of critical pedagogy to promote the autonomy of students and to critique and fight against neoliberalism and its cynical stance toward the future (22). He is adamant that an act of teaching must also involve an act of learning (Chapter 2). He also expands on his notions of the unfinished human, stating that "this unfinishedness is essential to our human condition" (52), and that the future is made through trial and error (54).
Boni Gantile
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very thought provoking about self awareness of the teacher or the leader during the engagement process with the student, the underliying philosophy of education system, and the ethics of teaching and learning. The social awareness and the need to develop critical enquiry as part of learning process as opposed to simply absorbing and memorising are emphasised as critical. The difference between the emphasis of status of of banking system approach versus the critical enquiry approach reveals the d ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Education should be a constant state of inquiry. Further, if teachers are to position themselves this way, then we must behave similarly. Students need to see that we too are learning and questioning. It is unethical to behave otherwise. It is our ethical duty to stand opposed to a system we do not believe in, instead of mindlessly conforming. I do not blame capitalism, as Freire seems to, but I do believe that we have an ethical responsibility to fight for education as social.
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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

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