Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Chapter 4 Reflections

One element of chapter four that I found interesting was the discussion around revolution. Freire includes a quote by Lenin that says, “without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement” (pg. 125). The idea is that a revolution can only be achieved with reflection AND action. Not only that, but the oppressed must place more than a reactionary role in order for the revolution to truly occur. It is not enough for leaders (the oppressors) to be the thinkers and the oppressed to be the doers. Applying this to the classroom, this could very much look like a professor just doling out assignments and students responding by mimicking back what they have learned in class from the professor. As the oppressed in this situation, they are not truly participating in either reflection or action, just what they are being allowed to do by the professor (oppressor). Freire makes an interesting point along this line. He mentions how if this does happen not only are the oppressed being denied their revolution, but the oppressors are as well. Even oppressors who are trying to be part of the revolution, if they do not engage in dialogue, still retain characteristics of the dominator therefore they cannot be truly revolutionary. Trying to carryout a revolution for the people is just as hard or about the same as trying to carry out a revolution without the people. Freire emphasizes that “dialogue with the people is radically necessary to every authentic revolution” (pg. 128).

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