Books : reviews

Paulo Freire.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Penguin. 1970

The thought and work of Paulo Freire, one of the world’s leading educationalists, has had a fundamental impact in the field of education and on the overall struggle for national development in Third World countries.

In this landmark account, first published over twenty years ago, Paulo Freire argues that the ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of the whole situation of economic, social and political domination. By being kept in a situation in which it is practically impossible to achieve a critical awareness and response the disadvantaged are kept ‘submerged’. In some countries the oppressors use the system of education to maintain this ‘culture of silence’, while in others the advance of technology has condemned many people, particularly the less well off, to a rigid conformity. Through the right kind of education, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models and based on the actual experiences of students and on continual shared investigation, every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self which will free them to be more than passive objects responding to uncontrollable change. As Freire presents it, each individual wins back the right to say his or her own word, to name the world.

This new edition has been modified to reflect the connection between liberation and inclusive language. Inspirational and ground-breaking, this revolutionary work continues to stimulate and shape the thought of educationalists all over the world.