Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

by Paulo Freire

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This seminal text argues that the perceived passivity of the poor is the direct result of economic, social and political domination. The book suggests that in some countries the oppressors use the 'piggy bank' system - treating students as passive, empty vessels - to preserve their authority and maintain a culture of silence. Through cooperation and dialogue, Freire suggests, the authoritarian teacher-pupil model can be replaced with critical thinking so that the student becomes co-creator of knowledge. Crucial to Freire's argument is the belief that every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop an awareness of self, and the right to be heard.