Paulo Freire & freedom

Thanks to Erik’s choice to read some of Paulo Freire “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” we had the chance to consider education as a practice of freedom versus education as a practice of domination.  Paulo Freire is one of the most important critical educators of the twentieth century.  He is considered one of the founders of critical pedagogy, and he envisions an approach to education that aims to transform oppressive structures by engaging people who have been marginalized and dehumanized and drawing on what they already know.  

How can we imagine a pathway to freedom when confronted with the profound complicity of an educational system that perpetuates the oppressive elements of society itself?  Freire believes that part of the purpose of education is to help children develop the ability “to ask good questions.” Teachers are at the frontlines of this struggle to open up a critical eye to the world, guiding new generations to think in complex and dynamic ways in response to a world foreclosed.  Yet the question remains, can education guide us in our journey towards liberation and freedom?  Perhaps the answer is no – not the education that we all know too well.  But there is always room for new approaches and practices, and so much “unlearning” necessary as well.  I am glad we took pause, reflected on the problem, and shared some stories of “gatekeeping” in the name of learning. We also took a moment to consider the idea of co-learning and co-creating as a strategy in light of the problem. To collaborate in a learning community in these ways starts to open up students beyond the prescribed learning outcomes that are so much the foundation for traditional “schooling”. So how do we squeeze new ways of thinking, doing, being, into our learning communities and cultures? As we move forward in our class together, I hope you will notice the ways in which we can redress the hidden curriculum together, and design for real empowerment.

Class Slides

The National Day on Writing Celebration

I am glad we took a moment to celebrate writing in our lives, together. The celebration will last all week, and there is an invitation to participate in a variety of events, including a webinar series on artificial intelligence and writing, as well as a Microfiction Anthology sponsored by the Kean University Writing Project. Make sure to check the @kean_wp instagram feed for more information!

Your to-do list:


hooks, bell. Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom. **Introduction & Chapter 1

Blog #6 Due before 10/23 – Reflection on hooks, (Intro & Chp 1)

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