Paulo Reglus Neves Freire (September 19, 1921 – May 2, 1997) was a Brazilian educator and influential theorist of critical pedagogy. He firmly believes in the power of praxis: reflection + action. 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).

Other great Freire quotes:

"Pedagogy of the oppressed, a pedagogy which must be forged with, not for, the oppressed (whether individuals or peoples) in the incessant struggle to regain their humanity (Freire 1970, p. 48).

On problem-posing education: "In problem-posing education, people develop the power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation" (Freire 1970, pg. 83).

On dialogue: "Dialogue cannot exist, however,r in the absence of a profound love for the world and for people.... Love is at the same time the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself.... Because love is an act of courage, not fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause--the cause of liberation" (Freire 1970, p. 89).

On dialogue and hope: "Nor yet can dialogue exist without hope. Hope is rooted in men's incompletion, from which they move out in constant search--a search which can be carried out only in communion with others. Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it. The dehumanization resulting from an unjust order is not a cause for despair but for hope, leading to the incessant pursuit of the humanity denied by injustice. Hope, however, does not consist in crossing one's arms and waiting. As long as I fight, I am moved by hope; and if I fight with hope, then I can wait. As the encounter of women and men seeking to be more fully human, dialogue cannot be carried on in a climate of hopelessness. If the dialoguers expect nothing to come o their efforts, their encounter will be empty and sterile, bureaucratic and tedious" (Freire 1970, p. 91-92).


220px-Paulo_Freire.jpg
Paulo Freire


Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Freire