In reading Paulo Freire’s uplifting and idealistic book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, first printed in 1970, problem arises is whether such a radically changed educational system is even conceivable. According the person I interviewed, a teacher with many years of teaching knowledge in many countries, the answer then is not particularly optimistic. Paolo Freire’s radical and humanistic view of education is definitely light year’s removed from what actually occurs in most classrooms around the world. In the lower amounts, education often amounts to little more than rote memory to prepare pertaining to standardized tests, with managers mainly worried that all their ‘numbers’ look great.
Higher education offers devolved in career working out for big organization interests, and albeit has become a business itself. Practically non-e from the creativity, humanization or liberation that Freire writes regarding so smoothly really exists in most educational systems all over the world, which merely turn out more cogs intended for the machinery. There may be some truly imaginative and humanistic teachers, although they usually wrap up frustrated, tired and cynical because of the characteristics of the program itself.
Pertaining to Freire, the worst type of teaching may be the banking notion of education, through which students happen to be passive and alienated note takers of any information the teacher delivers. This has been the standard type of education system in many of the world through history, mirroring the severe and paternalistic socio-economic interactions in the world outside of the classroom. In fact , the schools and universities will be preparing students to take their very own place in the machine without questioning it.
Freire claims that teachers can work “for the liberation of the people—their humanization—or for domestication, their domination. ” They can possibly create a college degree system in which all individuals in the classroom happen to be “simultaneously instructors and learners”, realizing that “knowledge emerges just through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impertinent, continuous, hopeful query human beings go after in the world”, or simply uphold the status quo (Freire 72). He also demands that “the teacher are unable to think on her students, nor can she impose her thoughts on them” (Freire 77).
Ruling elites merely wish to use the training system as part of the apparatus of “domination and repression”, to maintain order, nevertheless real education should be groundbreaking and deliberately set out to “transform” the world (Freire 79-80). Exist teachers whom actually have confidence in this major mission for education? Can it be even conceivable within the present system? The length of time does it take pertaining to teachers who had been young and idealistic to become frustrated? The following are excerpts from a job interview with ‘Dr.
W. ‘–a university mentor who has taught in various countries around the world for twenty-two years: Question: Have you ever go through Paulo Freire’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed? Dr . T: Yes, areas of it. Over time, I’d state I’ve become fairly knowledgeable about his general theories. Issue: Do you consider the educational devices you have known as oppressive?
Dr . W: I possess experienced a large number of educational systems around the world, including a number i would regard since extremely oppressive. For example , I’ve taught in Asian and Middle Eastern countries wherever primary and secondary school-teachers regularly punch, punch and beat students…hit them with twigs and so on. For the most part, those systems are based on marque memorization while Freire described, and the students are not actually allowed to issue the teacher: they are firmly passive.
Primarily, the students are only being prepared to get standardized checks, not to develop creativity or perhaps imagination, which becomes clear when they reach the university level. At that time, they have turn into used to dealing with teachers just like little tin gods, even though I suppose that prepares these people for the kind of bureaucratic and managerial salaried positions the majority of them will be expected to fill in contemporary society. Question: Isn’t that likewise the case while using American education system? Isn’t it typically geared toward opportunities in the capitalist economy?
Doctor W.: Definitely. The American education system is also a school system, and this is already the truth in principal and second schools. My personal first task was like a student teacher in a senior high school in Nyc. The kids from working category backgrounds were generally monitored into ‘general” classes” that had been not organizing them for higher education, when those through the middle class were. I’ll never forget the first class We ever trained, with a group of sullen, non-responsive working school kids, caught up in a cellar classroom that did not have windows, trained by people that didn’t much care whether or not they learned anything or not really.
These youngsters knew that, too. These were not stupid, although the system certainly treated them because of this. They understood they were being prepared for careers as technicians and cashiers. And this had not been an inner city school, though, where the American class and caste program reveals by itself at its most brutal.
Query: Caste system? Dr . T.: Yes, in the usa, we have a lengthy history of education segregated by simply color, with the worst schools always getting reserved for minority groups. Evaluate any urban city public college system today with all those in the white-colored suburbs, or perhaps with costly private universities for the upper classes, and you should see the difference in about two just a few seconds. For the poor and fraction groups inside the inner towns, the professors and establishments are much even worse than in suburbia, as is the housing, health care, nutrition and so on.
Conditions in these ghettoized colleges and areas are not that much better via those in developing countries…the types of places Freire was talking about in his books. In individuals countries, the oppression is extremely real certainly, and the learners are being prepared for lives as peasants, workers or just part of the marginalized economy and society, like kids in America’s inner city schools. All those institutions happen to be programmed for failure. Problem: But you never taught in inner city educational institutions like individuals?
I mean the types of schools which can be like prisons, with police on duty, metal detectors and things like that? Dr . Watts.: No, my career continues to be mostly at the university level, and the pupils I’ve acquired were comparatively privileged by standards on this world—middle school or prestige. In the Middle East, I trained students from royalty and the aristocracy who had huge allowances every month, and in Asia My spouse and i once taught students who also arrived in limos with their individual drivers.
I wouldn’t say that they were exactly the oppressed people Freire was describing. Alternatively, I trained at a university inside the former Soviet Union had been about 60% of the students were about scholarships and came from fairly modest skills. A lot of people acquired also been hit hard by collapse from the economy when the Soviet Union ended.
We even had a former neurosurgeon who wound up working like a janitor on the university, making about $150 a month. The whole medical and general public education system was so far gone that she might make more money like that. Question: So that you basically begin to see the education system as being bumpy, designed to continue to keep people inside their place generation after generation? Dr . Watts.: Yes, that’s been typically my knowledge.
I think it’s designed to ensure that the kids of the owners and the ruling class will stay at the same level as their parents, while the children of the central class is going to continue to manage and dispense the system for these people, and the kids of personnel will continue to be typically worker bees, although a number of might be allowed up into the middle course. Question: Thus in all your numerous years of experience, you never skilled education as being liberating in the manner Freire identifies? Dr . W.: Absolutely by no means.
The system is set up to do the other and it will generally weed out professors who will not conform to its requirements, except if they are guarded by tenure. Most instructors just go along and get along, never rocking the boat since they are relatively powerless themselves and simply need the salary. Moreover, father and mother of middle class and upper class learners do not desire anyone to end up being liberated, although expect youngsters to adapt the system—to insure that the family keeps its class position. Problem: So given this reality, is there any way you can imagine that a really liberating education system could possibly be established?
Dr . W. (laughs): I think to do what Freire was talking about would require a revolution. Obviously, then, Dr . W. was a case of somebody who had become cynical about the education program after long years of experience. He admitted that he had once been aged idealistic and may even have believed some of Freire’s ideas, although over the years he had found that there was seriously no significant way to set them into practice beneath the current system.
In addition , this individual thought that college students simply proceeded to go along with this program because that was what their father and mother expected, specially when they were paying out private universities and universities to provide certain services. These were most definitely certainly not interested in making students more humanistic, rebellious or asking of power, but just to prepare all of them for careers and to ‘get ahead’ in every area of your life. Only in rare cases in American background, such as the 60s during the time of the Vietnam War, counterculture and city rights actions did pupils actually come to issue the dominant values of society over a mass level.
That has definitely not been the case in recent decades, at least not really in the United States, nor in most different countries that Dr . W. had skilled. He had arrive to regard education being a business, manage by bureaucrats and entrepreneurs for a profit rather than to motivate critical pondering or humanistic values among the students. Hardly ever would rebels and non-conformists challenge this technique, except in very unusual historical circumstances. WORKS CITED Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy on the Oppressed.
NEW YORK: Continuum, 2150. Interview with ‘Dr. Watts. ‘ by author, Feb 4, 2010.
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