ALP : The Adult Learning Project,

Paulo Freire

The work of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (1921-1997) is rooted in the idea that no education is neutral - it can be used to liberate people but also to oppress people and further limit access to opportunities, power or resources. In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a landmark text in educational theory, Freire spoke of praxis as "reflection and action directed at the structures to be transformed". Fundamental to Freire's educational philosophy is the notion of collective action, reflection and continuing struggle on the part of the oppressed to liberate themselves from all forms of domination.

Freire criticised what he termed "banking education" in which students learnt by rote and were seen as empty vessels to be filled with learning. He called for a liberating education based on dialogue between teachers and learners - a learning process that respected people as active and creative subjects. Rather than seeing the teaching of literacy as a technical transfer of skills, Freire argued, "Learners must see the need for writing one's life and reading one's reality".

Have a look at this short documentary (17 minutes) for more information on Freire and his process.

Click on the image above for a link to Living Adult Education, a book by Gerri and Colin Kirkwood about the Adult Learning Project and the application of Freirean methods in the Scottish context.

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