Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

When I first read the title of the book, Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage, I thought of an equal education system where lessons are taught, and not just dictated. A world where textbooks are no longer our only respected source of information and talking is no longer our only form of communication. I thought of a society where citizens do not just exist, but actually live. We get involved and intervene because we believe change is possible. Paulo Freire goes above and beyond to open our eyes, minds, and hearts, urging us to get involved, and paving the way for us to do so.

In the introduction, Freire discusses the aspects of “Alternative High.” He states, “Possessing a modest degree of autonomy, teachers use such materials as newspapers, magazines, and books rather than texts drawn from the board-prescribed reading lists” (Freire, 2001, p. 3). I believe textbooks should be used to an extent to gain important knowledge. I don’t believe they can teach us about society and the world we live in. Involving outside sources as these teachers do will open the children’s eyes to what is really going on in the world today. Not what happened in 1914 during World War I, or how Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1942. Yes, these pieces of history are important, and very interesting to learn about. However, it will not teach our students how to exist and survive under government. Freire also states in the introduction how society has lost its tolerance for even kid pleasures, subordinating themselves to business by imaging schools in the modalities of the factory or the large corporate office (Freire, 2001, p. 6). The government sets these rules and regulations in order to try to discretely prepare individuals to live in the working class. They try to condition us to become a follower rather than a leader, and eventually become a robot to society.

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In Chapter 1 of Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage, Freire begins to discuss the ethical responsibility held by teachers and those preparing to become teachers. “We should devote ourselves humbly but preservingly to our profession in all its aspects: scientific formation, ethical rectitude, respect for others, coherence, a capacity to live with and learn from what is different, and an ability to relate to others without letting our ill-humor or our antipathy get in the way of our balanced judgment of the facts” (Freire, 2001, p. 24). I could not agree more with this quote from Freire. I believe that many teachers lose sight of their ethical responsibility because they become absorbed by the curriculum which they are told to abide by. Nevertheless, teachers are not the only ones who possess this ethical responsibility. I believe we as students should also acquire these same principles. Just because we are not teachers does not mean we cannot take part in contributing to an improved government and educational system. We need to be involved and engage in our own learning.

In Chapter 2 of Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage, Freire continues to emphasize on teacher preparation and the process of learning. According to Freire (2001), “to teach is not to transfer knowledge but to create the possibilities for the production or construction of knowledge” (p. 30). I feel like this means that as a teacher, you cannot simply state facts,or place a textbook in front of students to read and consider that to be learning. Students have to retrieve the information, process it, and find a way to relate it to their own lives to retain it. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to help pave that path for them and see them through the process until the very end. Nonetheless, as the saying goes, it takes two to tango.Just like the name of this chapter, there is no teaching without learning. Students have to be open and willing to consume the information and receptive to possibilities.

After reading chapter 3 of Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage, I started to question my position in the world. Am I one of those people like in the movie “The Matrix?” Am I a subject of history or an object of history? I can imagine I am not the only one who has asked themselves these questions. Especially if you have read any of Freires writings. After contemplating these thoughts, I went on to think about how I could intervene in what happens in the world. Freire stated, “My role in the world is not simply that of someone who registers what occurs but of someone who has an input into what happens. I am equally subject and object in the historical process” (Freire, 2001, p. 73). I tied this back to chapter two when Freire used the practice of cooking as an example of educational practice. “Cooking presupposes certain kinds of knowledge regarding the use of the cooking stove. How to light it. How to turn the heat up and down. How to deal with the possibility of fire. How to balance the ingredients in a harmonious and pleasing synthesis. With practice newcomers to the kitchen will confirm some of the things they already know, correct others that they do not know so well, and gradually open up the way to become cooks” (Freire, 2001, p. 29). This is exactly how we should interpret our government and education system. We should manipulate our findings to make them work for us. We need to use what we already know, correct what we weren’t sure of, and open up the way to change.

By rahul