With this backdrop on educational philosophies where were prevalent at the time, also the work of Paulo Freire in the “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” was a new take on the purpose of education and its philosophy. Freire wrote that we need above all to have faith in human beings. We all need love and must be convinced of the fundamental effort of education is to help with the liberation of its people. It’s never for their domestication.
In retrospect and in comparison with other educational Philosophers. And the views and concepts proposed by Freire were counter-revolutionary for its time. Previous works and extensive research and touring by John Dewey had solidified the role that a democratic society and community plays in providing the “foundations ” for his influenced “pragmatism approach to education” which he coined as “instrumentalism” whereby “experimentalism” and freedoms were associated to the learner, to connect to the zone of proximal development and previously learned experiences too, provide the ” most effective learning” experience for the learner in context.
Dewey in his book titled “School and Society” wrote, “Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.” That was not how it appeared in China, where teachers and learners should be on an equal footing. Teachers should consider themselves learners.” The context for learning was important, and education and democracy were inextricably linked. Dewey had a huge impact on Chinese education during this time and, in the minds of leading comparativists (e.g., Gu, 2001), he heads reinforced reformist impulses of the May Fourth (1919) science and democracy movement.”(Mitter, 2004; as cited in Boshier and Yan, 2007.
Dewey and Confucius had mirrored one another in philosophies, and invariably on issues of morality beliefs had definitely varied widely. The nature of the government in Dewey’s beliefs is best founded on democracy. Whereby empowerment of individuals to set their own direction and adapt to changes in social structure. This Confucianism follows a fixed structure, a hierarchy of responsibilities to an exemplary individual, ruled by a “virtuous emperor”. Those are least restrictive toward “growth and development” which were phrases. Dewey had often used in his writing when reflecting on the importance of “the democratic learning environment ” so as to enable the most effective “instrumentalist ” and experiential learning experiences for the learner.
You must be convinced that when people reflect on their domination, they begin in their first step of changing their relationship with the World. (Freire, 1970). For Freire his work illustrated the social injustices waged against certain “socio-economic” groups of the oppressed, to elevate the elite and the privileges they enjoyed including a premium education. Freire’s attempt to help the oppressed to fight back to regain their lost humanity, and to achieve full humanization. He believed in those oppressed people forming an educational system that empowered them, utilizing the principles of critical pedagogy to become freer.
The approaches cover the educational philosophies:
- And inquiry-based learning.
Freire’s work encouraged the oppressed to look into educational ways to highlight the injustices in “centralized” systems of the World and innovate ways, to break up the status quo. Essentially critical pedagogy is a theory and a teaching philosophy that invites educators to encourage students to critique structures of power and oppression. (Litcharts.com, 1980).
How to best Implement Critical Pedagogy in Class.
From my experiences in teaching ESL and moving from the philosophies of essentialism and perennialism to the more active approaches in learning through progressivism, “experientialism” constructivism, and social reconstruction I can identify with many of the concepts posited by Freire, particularly in regards to the incorporation of Integrated STEM and STEM hands-on project work. Traditionally the sciences weren’t very practical with many texts and theories & equations geared to Euro-centric learning, with limited exposure to the scientific breakthroughs achieved in the World by different ethnic groups.
The majority of scientific resources, as in other themed subjects I have used in my STEM classes were traditionally stereotypically focused on a Euro-centric background. however, in our STEM lessons & curriculum, we have ensured a wider & diverse multicultural learning experience that ensures, the works, theories, and experiments of people of different nationalities and locations in the World, are inclusive. Our STEM materials have embraced the social problems of a wide variety of different locations throughout the World, and how we can improve, or solve these social injustices, utilizing STEM & Integrated Science. This approach very much aligns with the precepts and ideals of Freire.
Freire also believed stoically that the following integrations through a learning environment would inspire learners to create positive change in the World as opposed to merely following a form of “indoctrinated learning”.
Freire’s pedagogy work use in Classroom.
In our STEM classes, we inherently concur with most of Freire’s ideals in that we firmly believe because the integrated sciences can be used to achieve balance and help to create equitable change and stop the exploitation of groups of peoples and their resources. We include a very multicultural whole of “student approach” to our STEM lessons and workgroup activities.
In class, we also actively ensure the following.
- Challenge yourself.
- Change the classroom dynamic.
- Present alternative views.
- Change your assessments.
- Encourage activism. (The Ed Advocate.org, 2009)
Pros & Cons of Freire’s Work
The obvious one is his work allows the educator to offer, “Banking” and the other is problem-posing in education, which is integral to STEM education. “Banking” is basically the teacher sort of assuming that students are indifferent and therefore teach what they decide is best. However, the proof it could be, “Indeed the interest of the oppressor lies in “Changing the consciousness of the oppressed. (Freire, 1980 chapter 2 pg. 74) The potentially positive thing about banking is that students, given this information, can take it and cultivate it into something greater than what they learned.
It allows students to understand relationships and have the potential to be more creative. Freire writes of the good that comes from this in stating, “Their response to the challenge evokes new challenges. And gradually the students come to regard themselves as committed”(Freire, chapter 2 81). A major pro of this is that it allows the freedom of education rather than teachers just saying one thing and everyone having to assume it is correct. It allows students to “transcend” themselves to be better.
CON of this approach
The major CON is that it is essentially teaching students things that are already decided, & pre-emptive and not allowing them to reach their full potential educationally. (M. Bass Blog, 2017)
Freire notes, “The capability of banking education to minimize of annulling the students’ creative power and to stimulate the credulity serves the interests of the oppressors. Who care neither to have the world sealed nor to see it transformed” (Freire 1980, chapter2 73). Banking therefore can limit a student’s overall potential and growth. into something greater than what they learned.
Overall I can see that Freire’s work has some critical components that can be integrated and formative in allowing a “diverse” and multicultural and active learning experience, particularly in integrated STEM. They are some drawbacks in how eliciting and pre-emptive in nature the teaching experience can be. I however feel that the benefits far out way the drawbacks. Particularly in the culture of the world today, with education seemingly becoming more politically “charged ” and oppressive I definitely can see benefits and positive outcomes with utilizing the best practices of Freire in educating in an active learning situation such as with integrated STEM.
Bonnie, M. (2010, April 30). Two key theories in education: Confucius and John Dewey. Academia. https://www.academia.edu/1120169/Two_Key_Theories_in_Education_Confucius_and_J
Faryadi, Q. (2015). An Islamic perspective of teaching philosophy: A personal justification. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education, 5(6), pp. 49-60. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED574266.pdf
110.Blunt’s Blog (2017). Retrieved from. http://molly110.blogspot.com/2017/02/pros-and-cons-of-chapter-2-paulo.html
Mc Lcaren.) (2017) Paulo Freire A Political Encounter. Retrieved from. https://condor.depaul.edu/hstein/Shor.pdf
Petrovic, J. E., & Mitchell, R. M. (2018). Comparing reflections on philosophies of indigenous education around the world. In Indigenous Philosophies of Education around the World, pp. 249-263. Academia. https://www.academia.edu/35861136/Introduction_to_Indigenous_Philosophies_of_Education