Review: Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Pedagogy of the Oppressed Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For those not in the realms of education or social justice, you may not have stumbled upon this book. But for those interested in such subjects (as well as politics, cultural studies, criminal justice, etc), then this is one of those essential classics. Freire's theoretical and complex book may come in well under 200 pages, but it's still an intellectual journey. Reading and processing it reminds me of reading Foucault's History of Sexuality Volume 1; I might have had better luck learning the native language it was published in and then trying to read the book. It's dense but particularly chapter's two and three (there are only four chapters), I found to be the most useful. Basically, Freire explains a way to reconsider how teaching and learning is done at a time and in a place where teaching was entirely one-directional and more part of a system of regulating minds than encouraging actual growth. His writing is sometimes a bit to etherial and he could do better with more grounded examples or clarifications throughout, but as a work that makes an educator think about how he or she will look to those seeking education, this book will change one's philosophy of education.

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