Paulo Freire said that education can be construed as an exercise of domination if it manipulates the naivete and innocence of the students. This kind of pedagogy tends to use authority heavily so that the students would learn to accept such authority without challenging it. They become subservient to the interests of the authorities who have the power over the educational system. Freire’s (49) idea is that education can be used, and has been used by oppressors to enforce their rule over their subjects.
Freire develops his ideas by looking at the history of colonization, particularly the relationship of the colonizers and the colonies and how the educational system was established in the colonies. Understanding the context of Brazil as a former colony is crucial in understanding the development of Freire’s ideas. Freire described the banking approach to education, treating students as empty bank accounts that will have to be filled with the ideas fed to it by the teachers.
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Freire considers this approach as dehumanizing to both the teachers and the learners. Instead of the banking approach, the author advocated for a world-mediated and mutual approach to learning. This means that individuals can be educated through their interactions with each other and with the world. In this process, people are considered incomplete and they can strive to completeness through education (Freire 80). For Freire, education is a tool for shaping more than just the person but the whole society as well. This process is called conscientization.
Freire’s approach to education echoes much of the ideas of critical theorists who believe, together with Marx that theory and education have to be used to change society for the better . Freire’s Approach to Education and Teaching Freire’s approach to education is not didactic. Instead of focusing only on rote learning and taking what the teachers say at face value, he puts a primer on interaction and on the experiences of the learners. For a teacher to become effective, he or she has to be integrated into the worldview of the students and not disconnected from it.
Freire effectively highlighted the importance of the role of the teacher and how the teacher should present help the student go through the learning process. Freire’s approach helps teachers vary their teaching methods from being simply dispensers and givers of information to that of a facilitator and mediator in the learning process of the student. This type of pedagogy works best for teaching people who already have knowledge about the world and how who have an understanding about their role in it. For younger learners, however, such approach may not be very effective because of their lack of experiences.
Furthermore, the worldview of younger students is still being formed. This means therefore that younger learners would still need to depend on the authorities in their lives for their early learning and education. Although at first, it would seem that the banking approach would be at work in this process. Yet, the educational approach should not be divorced from the overall cultural context and social realities of the society where the learners belong to. This not mean, however that education should degenerate to rote learning, memorization and mimicking of the ideas of the educators (Ladson-Billings 163).
The Purpose of Education, Society and Political Power Freire recognized the power of education in creating change in the society. For him, education is not only about learning but also a power that can be used for social change. Therefore it is not only a tool of oppression; it can also work for the empowerment of disenfranchised members of the society. Education can be used effectively for helping people learn about their situation from their own point of view so they can become more aware of what their rights are and how they can improve their lives, their rights and how they can use their own resources for their empowerment (Giroux 65).
Freire wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed with colonialism and political and cultural freedom in mind. Yet, his ideas have been taken by educators all over the world in order to educate people concerning the importance of interaction and the application of education in their own contexts. His ideas have now been extended and applied in a number of learning contexts and environment. As the process of education continues to be scrutinized all over the world, the validity of Freire’s ideas will be seen as applicable in a number of ways.
This time, such application will not be in the realm of colonialism and political freedom, but rather it can be applied in the overall process of educating individuals so they can be trained as knowledgeable and responsible members of their respective societies. Education is an important power that not only developing countries would find useful but developed countries as well in developing their own citizenry.
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Paulo Freire and Education. (2016, Dec 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/paulo-freire-and-education-essay