Education is appropriately viewed as the key to providing opportunity to assist people and communities emerge from oppression and marginalisation. The requests Palms Australia receive from such communities for qualified and experienced educators to mentor local teachers are more than for any other occupational group. Global Educator can help us consider appropriate pedagogical approaches.
Like many educators Paulo Freire imagined a just world and believed education empowered people to achieve it. It seems fitting that our first edition provides a brief background and link to his work, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed“.
Who was Paulo Freire?
By his wife Nita Freire as translated by Cesar Rossatt
Paulo was born into a life of poverty in the small town of Jaboatao, near the capital city of Recife, Brazil. Returning to his birthplace to study after a separation caused by his parents’ decision to move in a naive attempt to escape the world’s capitalist crisis of 1930, Paulo constructed his own life forged in a constant struggle and absolute ethical conduct.
Taking advantage of a scholarship to pursue his studies, he fulfilled his dreams of acquiring knowledge, and of applying this knowledge for the service of a political utopia based on his efforts and tenacity, abnegation, and determination. His ethical seriousness, along with generosity and hope, constitute the most identifiable attributes of Paulo as a human being, qualities that were deeply forged in his childhood and adolescence.
Paulo developed power, but a different power than the kind so many struggle for. Paulo’s power was centered on his liberating praxis unconditionally in favor of the oppressed in any form, shape or nature, and not only in the power of his ethical discourse, delivered in well-constructed, lucid and adequate words. His power to learn, to comprehend, to discern, to reflect, to convince, to struggle, to denounce, and to engage was always at the service of his humanistic dream: that all men and women, without exception of colour, class, religion or gender, be allowed to participate in constructing and living in a democratic society.