Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Chega Freire campaign in Brazil

Perhaps hardly surprisingly Brazil has been seeing a political reaction against the liberation pedagogy of Paolo Freire – a campaign known as Chega Freire ('Enough of Freire'). Examining this, American professor and activist Antonia Darda has also to defend Paolo Freire against a charge of plagiarising. In doing so she emphasises a very important point that should be more explicitly accounted when considering the origins and development of Conductive Education –
it is important for us as human beings living together in the world, to remember that no ideas are truly the sole property of any one person, as Western capitalism's marketing influence on knowledge production would have us believe. Instead, we are constantly influenced by other's people words and ideas – those we may cite in academic contexts and those we may not. There are, moreover, many instances in which people in different parts of the world, engaging similar conditions, may arrive to similar ways of engaging these conditions. For example, both Freire and Vygotsky share many similar ideas, but Freire had never read Vygotsky until he was in his mid-sixties because Vygotsky's texts were not translated into Portuguese. This is especially not unusual in the area of literacy or education, in that we, as human beings, are far more similar than many wish to believe, particularly with respect to the process of learning from our environment.

One may speak of overlap, correspondence, parallels etc between the approaches of L. S. Vygotskii and his school, Reuven Feuerstein's work and that of András Pető, along with those of many less celebrated figures, and along the way perhaps make some pretty wild assumptions about mutual influences. Note parallels by all means, both in substance and in the 'politics' – and most certainly look for potential benefits from understanding and even incorporating ideas and practices from those who follow other pedagogic paths to transform lives and development, for whatever reason this is needed.
If one truly comprehends Paulo Freire's pedagogical perspective, one would readily know that his work was not about a method of learning to read and write, but rather an approach to understanding the ways in which a liberatory pedagogy of literacy can create a space for critical reflection, empowerment and transformation among people who have been oppressed and excluded from political participation. 
Earlier mentions of Paolo Freire





Darder, A. (2015) Countering the 'Chega Freire' campaign in Brazil: our mancipatory struggle continues, Truthout, 22 April

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