“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire
I spent about an hour talking to a great educator Barbara Butjas
who has inspired me a lot in the past few months with her cheerful manner and passion for teaching. And the topic of our talk was the quote above. She encoraged me to write a post. I said that I wouldn’t because this quote brings out issues that I may not be ready to face. On the other hand, I feel like I need to put things out of my chest and make things clear about who I am as an educator. I have read Paulo Freire over and over again in the last few years as his work is the theoretical basis for lots of discussions in all Educational segments in Brazil. Reading his books though is mostly difficult because he was not a writer, he was a passionate educator that loved people and also a fighter (for me, not an activist but a fighter and the most clever one). One of the smartest thing I heard/read about Freire was that he decided to leave Brazil because he wouldn’t be able to continue to fight and contribute if he was actually dead or in prison. The decision to get away from our country sounds like someone fearing from his own life, but in fact he fought with what he had the best in him – passion for people and life, and that is why he engaged in such endevour. He made a strenuous effort to educate the minority, those in need to learn to see and think for themselves. Of course I know that there are through history a number of educators who fought with much passion for teaching, but Freire was the one who impacted me the most for reaching out for those who were just numbers for the government. He believed that knowledge was the key to free the oppressed and strived to find a method that were meaningful for their lives, and once they learned to read/write they’d become truly citizens and able to transform their reality.
“To see the world unveiled”
I realised at some point of my own endevours that it wasn’t just the poor that could not really see the world without the veil, and just reading and writing weren’t enough to transform reality. We need to dig into it. Pat’s on the back doesn’t do any good. If a person isn’t willing to listen and talk, exchange their thoughts, feeling and reactions honestly, share what they know and what they would love to, appreciate and be appreciated, the whole process of teaching and learning is pointless. And learning for life won’t occur. Neither for students, nor for teachers. Learning therefore for me is more than knowing, it is about empowering and transforming. And as it occurs in a dialogical process it must be the work of brain and heart because without love real dialogue does not take place.
Extract taken from Chapter 3 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed. You can read it here:
Presence of Mind in the Process
of Learning and Knowing:
A Dialogue with Paulo F reire
By Pepi Leistyna – (2004)
So, don’t be afraid to enter in dialogues in order to investigate reality.
WE can only unveil the world if we do so.
I solely believe in that.
And I invite you to freely post your thoughts on my blog and question my reality or my perception of it.
You are all most welcome. Like I said, I’m not looking for pats on the back, but CANDOR.
CANDOR is a new word I learned during the Live Course at ItdI with JOHN F. Fanselow. Where more than learning about teaching, I learned about looking into reality without being judgmental. Lessons which deserve their own posts.