Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper "Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire" is an inspiring example of a book review on education. This essay presents a summary of the book “ Pedagogy of the Oppressed” authored by Paulo Freire. Brief statements are outlined that present the main points in the four chapters of the book in a concise form. An inquiry is also made into the broader issues that Freire develops concerning the relationship between the oppressors and the oppressed and teaching methodologies or pedagogies. Chapter 1 In the first chapter of the book, Freire explains the concept of humanization.

Freire emphasizes the idea that individuals demonstrate such qualities towards themselves as well as towards other individuals. Freire points out that for one to be able to acknowledge ‘ humanization’ , an individual also needs to recognize dehumanization. In dehumanization, an individual’ s humanity is taken away (Freire, 2005). In this case, an individual becomes oppressed. On the other hand, for oppressors to exist, continual control over the oppressed has to exist. Freire further suggests that oppressors who take away one’ s humanity are in away also dehumanized (49). Freire seeks further to portray oppression as a system where both the oppressed and the oppressors are subject to the forces of oppression.

Here, he discusses the significance of the view that the oppressed are not capable of reversing the roles of oppression in a bid to realize the full manifestation of humanity (Freire, 2005). Freire refers to this notion as “ human completion. ” He further explains that there is an inherent phenomenon for the oppressed people to assume the role of the oppressor after a revolution. In Freire’ s view, this is the entire framework of the oppressed that exists within the oppression frameworks (Freire, 2005; 56). Freire explains that oppressors are not capable of engaging in ‘ false charity” where they utilize the economic influence to promote oppression.

The author postulates that ‘ true charity’ is concerned with fighting causes that facilitate false charity (Freire, 2005; 45). For the stressed to be relieved of their own bondages, they have to partner with the oppressed in the fighting. Freire says that solidarity demands that an individual experiences the situation of those with whom an individual is ‘ solitary’ (Freire, 2005; 49).

To free oneself from the chains of oppression is a difficult pursuit of the oppressor as well as the oppressed. In both cases, individuals have to discard ingrained ideologies of viewing people as objects and not necessarily human entities. Freire explains that solidarity demands that both the oppressed and the oppressor form a coalition to form a strong force (Freire, 2005; 54). Freire further suggests the key issues necessary for the oppressed to be freed. He emphasizes that pedagogy has to be created with the oppressed rather than for them.

Freire notes that the key issue is that the oppressed have to take part in establishing or developing the pedagogy of their freedom. He observes that provided that the oppressed perceives the process of liberation through the framework of how their situation is presently organized, they will not be able to contribute to the development of pedagogy for change (Freire, 2005). Freire suggests two stages (libertine and the humanist pedagogy) that the oppressed have to take part in.


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Boyce, M. (n.d.) Teaching critically as an act of praxis and resistance. Retrieved:

Brouse, C., Basch, C. & Wolf, C. (2010). "Using Concepts From Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening in an Urban Minority Population." Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice 4(1): 77-85

Carrol, J. (2000)."Freire's Message for Social Workers: Looking Back, Looking Ahead." Journal of Community Practice 8(1): 21-29

Freire, P. (2005). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 30ed. Translated from the original Portuguese (1968) by Myra Bergman Ramos New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group

Kahn, R. (2006). "Paulo Freire and Eco-Justice: Updating Pedagogy of the Oppressed for the Age of Ecological Calamity." Paulo Freire Institute Online Journal 1(1): 1-8

Rossi, R. (2013). "The Field Education as the Pedagogy of the Oppressed." American Journal of Rural Development, 2013 1 (4), pp 75-80.

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