Theoretical contributions of Paulo Freire

“There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."—Richard Shaull, drawing on Paulo Freire[3]

Paulo Freire contributed a philosophy of education that came not only from the more classical approaches stemming from Plato, but also from modern Marxist and anti-colonialist thinkers. In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) may be best read as an extension of, or reply to, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961), which emphasized the need to provide native populations with an education which was simultaneously new and modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (not simply an extension of the culture of the colonizer).

In Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), Freire, reprising the oppressors-oppressed distinction, differentiates between the two positions in an unjust society, the oppressor and the oppressed. Freire makes no direct reference to his most direct influence for the distinction, which stems back at least as far as Hegel in 1802, and has since been reprised by many authors including EngelsMarxLeninGramsci,Simone Weil and others.

Freire advocates that education should allow the oppressed to regain their humanity and overcome their condition. However, he acknowledges that in order for this to take effect, the oppressed have to play a role in their own liberation. As he states:

No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption (Freire, 1970, p. 54).[4]

Likewise, the oppressors must also be willing to rethink their way of life and to examine their own role in the oppression if true liberation is to occur; "those who authentically commit themselves to the people must re-examine themselves constantly” (Freire, 1970, p. 60).

Freire believed education to be a political act that could not be divorced from pedagogy. Freire defined this as a main tenet of critical pedagogy. Teachers and students must be made aware of the “politics” that surround education. The way students are taught and what they are taught serves a political agenda. Teachers, themselves, have political notions they bring into the classroom (Kincheloe, 2008).[5]Freire believed that “education makes sense because women and men learn that through learning they can make and remake themselves, because women and men are able to take responsibility for themselves as beings capable of knowing — of knowing that they know and knowing that they don’t” (Freire, 2004, p. 15)[6]

Banking model of education

In terms of actual pedagogy, Freire is best-known for his attack on what he called the “banking” concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. He notes that “it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads men and women to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power” (Freire, 1970, p. 77). The basic critique was not new — Rousseau’s conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from tabula rasa (which is basically the same as the “banking concept”). In addition, thinkers like John Dewey were strongly critical of the transmission of mere facts as the goal of education. Dewey often described education as a mechanism for social change, explaining that “education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction” (1897, p. 16).[7] Freire’s work, however, updated the concept and placed it in context with current theories and practices of education, laying the foundation for what is now called critical pedagogy.

Student-teacher dualism

More challenging is Freire’s strong aversion to the teacher-student dichotomy. This dichotomy is admitted in Rousseau and constrained in Dewey, but Freire comes close to insisting that it be completely abolished. This is hard to imagine in absolute terms, since there must be some enactment of the teacher-student relationship in the parent-child relationship, but what Freire suggests is that a deep reciprocity be inserted into our notions of teacher and student. He goes so far as to say that “Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously students and teachers” (Freire, 1970, p. 72). Freire wants us to think in terms of teacher-student and student-teacher – that is, a teacher who learns and a learner who teaches – as the basic roles of classroom participation. Freire however insists that educator and student, though sharing democratic social relations of education, are not on an equal footing, but the educator must be humble enough to be disposed to relearn that which s/he already thinks s/he knows, through interaction with the learner. The authority which the educator enjoys must not be allowed to degenerate into authoritarianism; teachers must recognize that “their fundamental objective is to fight alongside the people for the recovery of the people’s stolen humanity”, not to “win the people over” to their side (Freire, 1970, p. 95).

Culture of silence

According to Freire, the system of dominant social relations create a culture of silence that instills a negative, silenced and suppressed self-image into the oppressed. The learner must develop a critical consciousness in order to recognize that this culture of silence is created to oppress.[8] Also, a culture of silence can cause the “dominated individuals [to] lose the means by which to critically respond to the culture that is forced on them by a dominant culture.”[9] Social domination of race and class are interleaved into the conventional educational system, through which the “culture of silence” eliminates the “paths of thought that lead to a language of critique[10]

Huey P. Newton was a co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, an organization FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once called “the greatest internal threat to the security of the United States.” He spent four years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter of an Oakland police officer before his conviction was overturned in 1971. This powerful documentary features an exclusive interview by filmmaker John Evans with Newton during his incarceration, wherein Newton discusses his goals as a revolutionary, including self-determination for African-Americans, full employment, decent housing for the poor and disenfranchised, an end to police brutality, and an end to the Vietnam War.

March 1st, 2012: National Day of Action For Education
We refuse to pay for the crisis created by the 1%. We refuse to accept
the dismantling of our schools and universities, while banks and
corporations make record profits. We refuse to accept educational re-
segregation, massive tuition increases, outrageous student debt, and
increasing privatization and corporatization.

We call on all students, teachers, workers, and parents from all
levels of education —pre-K through higher education in public and
private institutions— to mobilize on March 1st, 2012
across the country. Our action will tell those in power that the resources for
high-quality education exist for all. The amassed wealth of corporations and the rich can fully fund public education, reverse the budget cuts, tuition hikes, and
attacks on job security.

The students of Vassar College and the Dutchess County will not stand by and watch this attack on the right to education. Students around the country, including many Vassar students, will graduate with thousands of dollars of debt and dim
job prospects. Students at public institutions are the first to face tuition
hikes, austerity, and debt when corporations are prioritized over education. Budget cuts are resulting in the closure of public elementary, middle, and high schools—jeopardizing the future of young people. We at Vassar will stand in solidarity against these
injustices, on and off our campus. Faced with these challenges,
students will make their voices heard.

We have the momentum, the numbers, and the determination.
Education is not for sale. Let’s make our voice heard and take back our schools.

Grassroots Alliance for Alternative Politics, Vassar Young Democratic
Socialists, Democracy Matters, Rebuild the Dream

(via March 1st Day of Action for Education Transformation Blogger March #occupyeduM1 « Cooperative Catalyst)

Today all over the country students, educators, parents and community members are taking part in  Day of Action for Education Transformation. There are many ways to support this day of action. One way is to make your voice heard online. Today we will be collecting blog posts and twitter/facebook status message and pictures and posters in support of this day of action for education. Please joins us in a Blogger March, our collective vision and collective voice for real education transformation is important and powerful!

Here are a few ways you can take part:

  • Please join us by making your voice heard at Occupy Education and submitting a picture of why and how you are Occupying Education! 
    • Submit your Occupy Education Pictures here Please share with us your stories of powerful learning in community. Take a picture of yourself holding a sign that highlights a few ways you are transforming education and/or share the countless, unique ways you help to keep democracy alive in public education. If you are a student, tell us what helps you learn best. Tell us what would make learning more meaningful for you. If you are a parent, tell us what kind of learning environment you want for your children. Tell us what schools should be focusing on. Below that, write “I occupy education.” or “I occupy my classroom” If you don’t show your whole face, please show at least part of it. Please have your note be hand written. Please do your best to be concise. Reclaim your voice in education transformation.
    • here are a few examples
  •   Share your voice via a blog post and make public why you Occupy Education!
  • Topic ideas:
    • Reclaiming Our Voice In Education!
    •  Student Voice (why it is important)
    • What kind of learning environment do you want for yourself, your students, or your children?
    • How do you put the public back in Public School?
    • How do we provide space for democracy in the classroom?
    • Is school an environment for democracy?
    • or anything you feel relates to education and the occupy movement? Submit the links here or email them to Coopcatalyst@gmail.com
    • Please use the hashtag #occupyeduM1
  •  Please Join us at Occupy Education on Tumblr,Facebook and Twitter!
  • Add I occupy education or I march for education…. on your status and keep them up today.
  • Contact your School Board, your Congress person, your local DOE, email Arne Duncan, or others and tell share with them your vision of education transformation.
  • Bring up education at your workplace, or school, or class, or any place your gather today.

As we stand up to rally on the steps of city hall or at the Department of Education, or at school board meetings or state capitals, let us rally for a Transformed education, for a positive vision of learning, for education and learning that matters.

Let’s use our energy and our coming together to OPT IN to what we want our education to look like, and start to collectively move both locally and nationally towards these visions.

What is your positive vision for a transformed education?


Berkeley, 1964. 

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all….


if i can’t be there, i can at least share this on all forms of social media 

Quarry Plaza, UCSC (by coal dubya)


(UCSC was built specifically so that there would be no one central protest-able administrative area[hahn and kerr are laid out so weird you aren’t sure where the “entrance” even is WTF?]. Instead we have quarry plaza, a huge open space dedicated to commerce. SIGNIFICANT BULLSHIT.)


Published on Sep 15, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss Jamie Dimon’s collateral transformation desk feeding the multitude of banksters with five quadrillion in infinitely leveraged toxic derivatives and two Treasury bills of a bankrupt nation. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Joshua Mellors of SocialJusticeFirst.com about financial suicides and the government and banking policies that cause it.

Follow Max Keiser on Twitter: http://twitter.com/maxkeiser

Watch all Keiser Report shows here:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL768A33676917AE90 (E1-E200)
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC3F29DDAA1BABFCF (E201-current)

Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT

RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 500 million YouTube views benchmark.

Occupy Education Rally, UCSC Quarry Plaza, 11/9/11

speakers are saying good things but are preaching to a very devout choir. it is operating as a “protest” as defined in the dictionary.

someone handed me a well-printed sign for something about banks. another person gave me a sticker that said 99% in spanish. burner bro hula hooping. 3 cops monitoring the whole thing. i would guess at least 250 people there as a low estimate.

i hung around for about 45 minutes waiting to hear a MIC CHECK?!?! WHAT SHOULD WE DO NOW? but when they started the dance performance on stage i realized =(

 it is likely that this group will be satisfied by marching downtown, hearing speakers, chanting, and maybe starting a dance party somewhere along the way.

Global Chat Meeting - July 15th
Formulating the CALL to ACTION for the

All interested and identifying with the struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education and for free emancipatory education anywhere on this planet are invited to participate in this chat meeting to continue coordinations for the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE [Oct. 18 + Nov. 14-21] together! For this chat meeting the main focus will be on the formulation of a CALL to ACTION. During the previous chat (July 1) participants decided to set up a pad to collect aspects one wants to see reflected in the Call. Consider to contribute ahead of the next chat meeting.

During previous chat meetings participants from around the world already agreed on a common timeframe for the strike and some basics regarding the framework. Furthermore they agreed to use the international joint statement as the basis for the Global Education Strike.

event page on facebook

::: How to join the Chat :::

July 15th (sunday) – noon EST, 4pm UTC, 6pm CET, 9.30pm IST
(to check what time 4pm UTC is for you: www.timeanddate.com)

Chatroom: irc.telecomix.org
=> enter #ism + your nick

Agenda proposal:

TOP1: Round of introduction


TOP3: NEXT steps

TOP4: OPEN space

*This is just a proposal. Therefore the agenda items can be changed based on your comments and suggestions. Just leave a comment below or express your suggestions at the beginning of the chat. ——-

The chat will be at these times for the specific regions:

Argentina: 1pm
Australia (Canberra): 2am (July 16th)
Bangladesh: 10pm
Brazil (Rio De Janeiro): 1pm
Bulgaria (EET): 7pm
Cameroon (DTZ): 5pm
Canada (Quebec): noon
Central Europe (e.g. Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Croatia…; CET): 6pm
Chile: 1pm
Colombia: 11am
Costa Rica: 10am
EST (U.S.A., Canada, Eastern Standard Time): noon
Egypt: 6pm
Ghana: 4pm
Greece: 7pm
Guatemala: 10am
Haiti: noon
India: 9:30pm
Indonesia (Java): 11pm
Israel: 7pm
Jamaica: 11am
Japan and South Korea: 1am (July 16th)
Lebanon: 7pm
Liberia: 4pm
Malaysia: midnight
Mauritius: 8pm
Mexico (Mexico City): 11am
Morocco: 4pm
Nepal: 9:45pm
New Zealand: 4am (July 16th)
Nigeria: 5pm
Pakistan: 9pm
Palestinian Territories: 6pm
Philippines: midnight
Portugal: 5pm
Puerto Rico: noon
Romania: 7pm
Russia (Moscow): 8pm
Senegal and Sierra Leone: 4pm
South Africa: 6pm
Sri Lanka: 9:30pm
Taiwan: midnight
Thailand: 11pm
Togo: 4pm
Turkey: 6pm
Uganda: 7pm
Ukraine: 7pm
UK: 5pm
Uruguay: 1pm
Vietnam: 11pm
Zimbabwe: 6pm


Published on Sep 15, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews

In this edition of the show Max interviews Yanis Varoufakis from yanisvaroufakis.eu. He talks about the latest developments on Greek economic crisis and the total deterioration of Greece’s economy and society. Yanis Varoufakis is a political economist, author and an active participant in the current debates on the global and European crisis and the author of The Global Minotaur. He is also a Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens as well as Economist-In-Residence at Valve Corporation.

Watch this video on our Website: http://www.presstv.ir/Program/261690.html
Follow our Facebook on: https://www.facebook.com/presstvchannel
Follow our Twitter on: http://twitter.com/presstv


Published on Sep 15, 2012 by ChrisMartensondotcom

Global financial markets are awash in hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of derivatives. By some estimates, the total amount exceeds one quadrillion.

Derivatives played a central role in the 2008 credit crisis, as they had a brutal multiplying effect on the magnitude of the carnage. As a bad asset was written down, oftentimes there were derivative contracts written against it that resulted in total losses 10x greater than the initial write-down.

But what exactly are derivatives? How do they work?

And have we learned to treat these “weapons of mass financial destruction” (as Warren Buffet colorfully coined them) any more carefully in the aftermath of the global financial crisis?

Not really, claims Janet Tavakoli, derivatives expert and president of Tavakoli Structure Finance.

But the danger behind derivatives doesn’t lie in their existence, she stresses. They play and important and constructive role in a healthy financial system when used responsibly.

But when abused, derivatives can create massive damages. So at the root of the “derivatives problem”, Tavakoli stresses, is control fraud - the rampant unchecked criminal action by influential players on Wall Street. (This is the same method of fraud we’ve explored in past interviews with Bill Black and Gretchen Morgenson). Derivatives contracts are too often constructed in favor of these parties, who if they end up on the losing side of the trade, are able to socialize their losses. Until we address this root problem of corruption, says Tavakoli, derivatives (as well as other securities: stocks, bonds, etc) will continue to subject investors and our makets, overall, to unacceptable risk.

Coordination: first Global Education Strike in history!

Tue, 10/04/2012 - 09:35 — Mo

~ Coordination ~
Resisting the increasing Commercialisation of Education and fighting for 
Free Emancipatory Education together

★ ★ GLOBAL CHAT MEETING: July 15th (sunday)★ ★

WHY strike together GLOBALLY?

People worldwide are struggling against:

  • Massive staff cuts and budget cuts
  • Increasing privatisation and commercialisation of education
  • De-democratisation within schools and universities
  • Hikes in (tuition) fees
  • Increasing pressure to perform
  • Increasing influences of ‘private economic actors’ on teaching and research


Let’s connect and unite in the struggle for FREE EMANCIPATORY EDUCATION!

To fight for alternatives and resist such effects from the current economic system together, participants of previous global chat meetings believe it is time to call for a first coordinated strike at educational institutions across the world in history.

To strengthen the struggle on the local and regional level, this coordination would encourage a desperately needed public discussion on the actual purpose of education for the individual as well as for the society at large.

It would also point out the global dimension of the struggle and therefore put greater emphasis on the actual roots of the problems we are all experiencing.

Latest updates in connection with the global coordination efforts:During previous global chat meetings participants agreed on the following so far:

  • After setting up a poll and discussions on the International Student Movement (ISM) platform activists from Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, Marburg, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Zürich and some parts of Italy and Spain decided to call for a Global Day of Action for Education onOctober 18th and a Global Education Strike from November 14-21st!!
  • The idea encompasses having strikes at as many educational institutions as possible, simultaneously during these 7 days. It is understood and foreseen that the situation is different at each location; not everyone will be able to strike for the entire week, or sometimes not even a few days. Be it a strike, a rally or any other types of actions in the context of the Global Education Strike, the most important aspect is the COMMUNICATION on the global level!!
  • Why a common framework?
    The common framework currently consists of three elements: a statement, symbols and slogans.
    It supports COMMUNICATION. The statement describes the basic common ground for the global coordination. Symbols/Slogans enable everyone to visually link any activities with the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE when communicating on the local and to the global level. Of course all the elements of the framework should be treated as suggestions.
    ~ Joint Statement
    It was agreed to use the international joint statement - currently endorsed by almost 100 groups in 40 countries worldwide - as the basis for the Global Education Strike. In addition to this statement a Call to Action will be discussed during the next chat meeting on July 15th.
    ~ Slogans

    Following a poll and various chat meetings it was agreed to use RECLAIM EDUCATION #1world1struggle as the 'main slogan’ as part of the common framework for the Global Education Strike. The slogan primarily serves as a communication tool. So in case individuals or groups don’t like the 'main slogan’, they might as well just choose another one, although participants encourage the use of #1world1struggle at the end of each slogan as a commonality.
    pad was created to translate the slogan(s) into many languages. (feel free to contribute) 
    During the last chat meeting the same pad was also used to share thoughts on the current website and ideas for the new one + wiki.
    ~ Symbols

    Participants of previous chat meetings like the symbols used during theGlobal Weeks of Action for Education in Nov. 2011: 


    Another suggestion was a 'customized’ version of the red square.
    Nonetheless all are asked to contribute suggestions. The symbol should be easy to draw and be easily recognisable. Simply send suggestions to the global mailing list or tounited.for.education@gmail.com.

    Participants agreed that a CALL to ACTION explaining why a GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE is necessary and encouraging people worldwide to get involved is a good thing. It was agreed to focus on this during a chat meeting on July 15th.
    All identifying with the content of the international joint statement are encouraged to post aspects they want to see reflected in the CALL to ACTION inside this pad before the next chat on July 15th.
    new website + wiki is currently being set up by an activist involved with uproot.it. This will support the exchange of information and make this whole process much more user-friendly and interactive.
    To facilitate networking a pad was initiated collecting contacts on the ISM platform. This should be useful if people seek to connect with activists in a certain region.
    In the meantime all identifying with the aims of the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE are encouraged to make use of the global ISM mailing list as well as the pads mentioned above.
    Some participants like to use the hashtag #1world1struggle in esperanto as the main hashtag: #1mundo1lukto.
  • next chat meeting
    The next chat meeting to coninue the coordinations together is scheduled for July 15th (sunday) - 4pm UTC -> ism-global.net/chat_july15 (main focus: CALL to ACTION)
    All identifying with the content of the international joint statement are invited to participate.

How to share your thoughts and stay connected:

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send an email to the global mailing list or contact united.for.education@gmail.com.

~ one world - one struggle ~

Arranging date/time for Global Chat Meeting on Future of ISM platform › Fri, 25/05/2012 - 14:45 — Ouma-desobey

Tunisian Activist

I am a Tunisian activist, and a free education is definately one of my goals. With my group ’ desobedience movement’, we are currently preparing for the global action day and how to to make it succeed especially with the current situation of the country. Good luck everyone!

Working Families e-Activist.

From GOTV municipal election activities to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Teamster members on the picket line at Redburn Tires, working families are warming up for aSUMMER OF SOLIDARITY across the state of Arizona. 

Join us for a press conference on July 26 in Tucson and July 27 in Phoenix as we announce “Arizona’s Worst Politicians”. 

Then help get out the vote in Phoenix and Tucson municipal elections with phone banks and neighborhood walks. 

And don’t forget the striking workers at Redburn Tires in west Phoenix. Join them on the picket line and show your solidarity.

Make a difference- mark your calendars and plan to attend the WE ARE ONE events, activities, and celebrations in your area.

Take a stand - join the fight to protect workers rights. 

Thank you, Working Families e-Activist.

Rebekah Friend
Executive Director, Secretary/Treasurer
Arizona AFL-CIO