Reflecting on Pedagogy of the Oppressed Chapter 1

Reading Friere’s book has made me realize that much of my K12 education, along with a good bit of my undergraduate degree was, was based in more of a banking module of teaching than than open dialogue and critical discussion. In particular, I reflected on how my history courses tended to emphasize memorization over thinking critically about the events in history and what caused them (as well as emphasizing avoiding discussion of whether events could have been avoided or ended differently). I particularly liked the quotation that explained how in “any situation in which “A” objectively exploits “B” or hinders his or her pursuit of self-affirmation as a responsible person is one of oppression.” This could apply broadly to more than just teaching. Many situations in this current day and age either outright or implicitly oppress people in our society. It is funny to think that this book was published over 50 years ago and many of the situations that it criticizes are still the same.

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