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Theory’ and ‘Practice’ in the sociology of Paulo Freire

4

5

HMSO, 1963, App.Two(A), Annek K.

6

Cited in Danie1s and Schouten, op. cit., pp16ff.

The same conclusion has been drawn from the
observation of constant pass rates in the British
GCE (a-level) over the years despite a tremendous
increase in numbers of candidates. Cp. John
Pearce, School Examinations (Macmi11an, London,
1972, p103): ‘The occurrence of constant pass
rates with large increases in entry, however,
suggests that the pass-rates are determined as
much statistically as by performance.’

7

Robbins Report, Appendix 2A, Part 4.

Examination Strain at Manchester University,
mimeo, Manchester, 1966. Cp. Powe11 and ButterWorth, op. cit.,2-6, and E. Gaudry and C. D.

Spie1berger, Anxiety and Educational Achievement,
Sydney, 1971, ppl18ff.

9

I. Kande1, ‘Examinations and their substitutes in
the united States’, cited in Cox, Universities
Quarterly, 1967, p304.

10

Edgworth, cited in Cox, op. cit., p295.

11

Hartog and Rhodes (with Cyri1 Burt), The Marks

of Examiners, 1936.

12

Powel1 and Butterworth, op. cit., pIS.

13

op. cit., pp.17-18.

Cp. Dona1d Mclntyre,
‘Assessment and Teaching’, in D. Rubinstein and
C. Stoneman (eds.), Education for Democracy,
2nd ed., 1972, p168.

14

C. B. Cox and A. E. Dyson (eds.), The Black
Papers on Education, London, 1971, p72.

15

Cox and Dyson, op. cit. p76.

16

Powe11 and Butterworth, op. cit., p24.

17

Cox and Dyson, op. cit., p76.

18

Didaskolos, 1970, p275.

19

Cox and Dyson, op. cit., p72.

20

R. J. still, Psychological Illness Among Students
in the Examination Period, Leeds University,
mimeo, 1963.

21

Proceedings of the British Student Health
Association Conference of July 1968,p161;Cp Still,
op. cit., and The Mental Health of Students,

22

Conway, The Practitioner, June 1971, 0795.

23

N. Ma11eson, A Handbook on British Student Health
Services, 1965, p62.

24

Conway, loco cit.

Leeds University, mimeo, 1966.

25

still, The Mental Health of Students, plO.

26

op. cit., pp68ff and The Lancet, 1959, i.p225.

27

Examination Strain at Manchester University;
Cp. A. Ryle, Student Casualties, 1969.

28

Da1ton, The Lancet, 1968, ii, pp1368ff.

29

Cp. Powe11 and Butterworth, op. cit., p3.

30

R. G. Carpenter, British Journal of Preventive
and Social Medicine, 1959, i, pp165-72. Cp.

Ry1e, op. cit., pl05.

31

A. Rook, British Medical Journal, 1959, i,
pp599ff.

32

Carpenter, loco cit.

33

Cf. the research finding ‘that the type of
personal development produced through schooling
and relevant to the individual’s productivity
as a worker in a capitalist ente~prise is
primarily non-cognitive.’ H. Gintis, Harvard

6

34

Coleman, Report on Equality of Opportunity in
Education, Dept. of H.E.W., Washington, 1966.

Cop. Jencks et ai, op. cit.; A. Morrison and
D. Mclntyre, Schools and Socialisation, Penguin,
1971, pp13.

35

Cox, Universities Quarterly, 1967, p334.

36

Edwards, The Observer, 6 June 1971.

37

‘Students cannot help but see behind the friendly
interest of an unassuming tutor the remorseless
judgement of their Finals.’ P. Marris, The
Experience of Higher Education,,~uoted in
Powel1 and Butterworth, op. cit., p23.

38

Cox, Universities Quarterly, 1967, p355.

39

op. cit., p24.

40

Pearce, op. cit., p5l.

41

Quoted to me by Mike Matthews.

Cp. Dale,

Universities Quarterly, 1959.

8

Educational Review, 42(1), 1972), p86cp. Gintis,
Americal Economic Review, May 1971; and C.

Jencks et ai, Education and Inequality, NY, 1972.

D. A. AlIen, Universities Quarterly, 1970.

(quoted in A. Powe11 and B. Butterworth: Marked
For Life, London, 1972, plO).

ITheo..y’and
I p ..acI ice’ in
Ihesociology
of Paulor..ei..e
Dennis Oleeson
Our education is fraught with problems, the
most prominent of which is dogmatism .•. the
children learn text-books and concepts which
remain merely text-books and concepts .••
The method of examination is to treat the
candidates as enemies and ambush them.

Mao-Tse TUng
Paulo Freire’s writings represent a stark reminder of
the problems facing the Third World, whilst at the
same time raising questions for ‘The First’ concerning its commitment to growth and opulence. The
importance of his work rests in a refusal to accept
as given commonly accepted dogmas and myths which are
uncritically intepreted to explain the nature of
social phenomena. Freire’s recent pUblications
Pedagogy of the Oppressed 1 and Cultural Action for
Freedom2 have created more than a mere ripple of
interest in audiences of teachers and students
already critical of existing practices and policies
in education.

This article represents an introduction examination of certain main themes emerging from Freire’s
writings, and is intended as background material for
those students and teachers who, after reading this
brief account, may wish to pursue his work more
deeply.

Background
Freire was born in 1921 in Recife, North Eastern
Brazil, an area populated by peasants and redundant

craftsmen impoverished by continual droughts and
land ‘reforms’. Today, the construction of the
Trans-Amazonica road, hailed as a necessary ‘political
assertion’, as was the building of the new capital
Brazilia, has meant a vast resettlement together with
its incumbent problems for many of the peasant population of the north-eastern region. For others, the
only escape has been to find work on the construction
route where they have become part of a proletarian
labour force living in the impermanent shanty-towns
of the Amazon. As a boy in the late twenties, and
early thirties, Freire’s comfortable middle-class
family status was shattered by the depression, and
he was plunged into an unaccustomed milieu of poverty
and disorder which has strongly influenced and marked
the character of his work. His writings must be seen
within the context of the Third World where the
eternal circles of colonisation, neo·-colonialism and
foreign ‘aid’ create a dependency of the Third Worla
on the First. Such reliance, Freire argues, creates
a dependent and alien consciousness among the masses
which robs them of the opportunity to intervene and
make decisions for themselves. His work represents
an attempt to construct methodologies for subverting
the vicious circles which create and maintain conditions of poverty and illiteracy. Freire’s methodology so strongly influenced literacy campaigns in
the North Eastern Region that his work came to
represent a threat to the government and he was later
imprisoned after the coup in 1964, and subsequently
exiled to Chile. In Pedagogy of the Oppressed,
Freire observes’

one does not expect dialogue
from a coup.’

Main postulates
Freire integrates an educational with a political
debate, rather than submerging one as a subsidiary
to the other. The imagery in his writings suggests
an analogy between an ‘invaded’ nation and an
‘exploited’ learner, who are similarly defenceless
and dependent upon those who abuse their own monopolistic access to power. Two main postulates are
advanced by Freire: first, that all men are potentially
capable of active transformation of their own
environments, and secondly, that to achieve freedom,
men must actively struggle against those typifications
or stereotypes made of them by their oppressors.

Freire criticises colonialism, neo-colonialism and
Western Education in that they create myths which
explain poverty and suffering in the Third World as
being ’caused’ solely by over-population, famine,
drought and disease, rather than by political
oppression, cultural and financial ‘invasion’ and
violence. Such myths, he argues, are perpetuated by
foreign aid, the media, religious and educational
programmes which explain underdevelopment in terms of
backwardness or primitiveness, innate inferiority and
lack of resources. Certain self-fulfilling policies
and prophecies emanate from such explanations through
the processes of politics, education and social policy
whereby the stereotypes concerning ‘how such people
ought to be treated’ become reproduced. Freire
points out it is within processes which define people
as ‘culturally deprived’, that they become treated as
such.

Freire’s criticism of educational policy in the
Third World raises radical questions concerning
policy makers’ notions about the illiterate peasant
or slum dweller who is defined as diseased, ‘marginal’

or culturally deprived. An Adult Education programme
which is based on such myths not only insults the
adult, writes Freire, but also re-defines his role
as ‘misfit’. Policy which fails to consider the
individual as a human being is ‘necrophilic’: it
merely treats man as a dead object, devoid of choices
and capabilities. However, despite Freire’s immediate
concerns with the Third World, Schaull reminds us
that ‘ ••• we may discover that his methodology as
well as his educational philosophy are as important
for us as for the dispossessed in Latin America.

Their struggle to become free subjects and to

participate in the transformation of their society
is similar in many ways to the struggle not only of
blacks and Mexican Americans, but also of middleclass young people. ,3 Similarly in Britain such
groups of people as immigrants, adults, and young
students are exposed and at risk to official typifications which are based on notions of ‘who they are’

and what they ‘need to know’. Categories such as
the culturally deprived, the ‘mature student’, the
‘married woman’ or the ‘bright child’ spring easily
to mind and are well documented in major government
reports. Freire argues that education is the basic
starting point of liberation, and although the
contexts of the First and the Third worlds may be
different certain important questions and issues are
of a similar nature. Freire underlines his argument
by challenging us to make a distinction between
‘ •.. education as an instrument of domination and
education as an instrument of liberation. ,4

‘Banking education’

Freire criticises traditional ‘narrative’ forms of
edu~ation as oppressive and likens them to a system
of ‘banking’. He suggests that education which
follows this mode’ … becomes an act of depositing
in which the students are the depositories and the
teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating
the teacher issues communiques and ‘makes deposits’

which the students patiently receive, memorise and
repeat. This is the ‘banking’ concept of education,
in which the scope of action allowed to the student
extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing
the deposits .•. oppression – overwhelming control is necrophilic; it is nourished by love of death, not
life.’S His critique of Banking Education rests in
the view that the teacher as ‘narrator’ encourages
a one-way dependence of the student upon the teacher.

The memorising and regurgitation of ‘facts’ creates,
and maintains, a gulf between teacher and taught.

Freire argues that such a process is ‘anti-dialogical’

and therefore anti-educational on the grounds that
dependency presents a contradiction and an obstacle
to authentic free thinking and real consciousness.

Freire maintains that Banking Education rnereiy
reflects the consumption-production ethics of capitalism, which equate teaching and learning with such
terms as deposits, investment, input and output.

Meszaros writing of the ‘problem’ of leisure in
capitalist societies reveals another side of this
Banking process: ‘The only form of accountancy known
to capitalism is a narrow monetary accountancy, while
seriously tackling the problems of ‘free time’ (not
idle leisure1 requires a radically different
approach. ,6 To subvert this narrowness Freire
advances the simple formula of dialogue, in which
teachers and students may collaborate in exploring
together new questions, possibilities and alternatives.

He suggests that narrative education is restricted in
that it is essentially anti-dialogical, creating
a passive model of the student which robs him of the
opportunity to experiment and share his world with
others. Maxine Greene points out that Freire’s
writings pose an illuminating critique of traditional
and ‘absolutist’ perspectives on the curriculum, which
posit a notion of knowledge as ‘out there’ and external to the student. Such traditional conceptions of
the teacher and student imply that the teacher
merely initiates or inducts the passive student into
the ‘agreed’ worthwhile pursuits. Greene suggests
that the student ‘ .•• must feel himself to be a
knower – rather than a passive receiver of someone
else’s preconstituted aefinitions of what is worth
while’. If curriculum is solely concerned with
depositing ••• it becomes an alien and alienatin
edifice, a kind of ‘Crystal Palace’ of ideas .•. ‘

Furthermore Freire maintains that the student who is
robbed of the opportunity of being creative becomes
trapped in a ‘Culture of Silence’.

~fuen a learner is defined as a passive object, a
context is created wherein he becomes perceived as
not only dependent, but also ‘mute’ in the face of

1

7

$

‘superior’ knowledge and power. Freire describes
this predicament as the ‘Culture of Silence’ in which
large numbers of people become trapped in the
processes of their own ‘defined’ ignorance. Within
such a context, Freire claims, it is impossible for
the dispossessed who are forced to mimic the dictates
of their paternal overlords, to have authentic voices
of their own. Furthermore, he suggests, where man
is conditioned to fear freedom in a state of utter
dependence on his exploiters, there can be no autonomous or true consciousness. However, this is not
entirely a_passive theory of socialisation as one
might suppose, because as Freire points out, men may
be trapped in the poverty of their environment but it
is within the contradictions of such traps that the
seeds of radicalism emerge.

Sartre explains this
quite simply: ‘The settler has only recourse to one
thing: brute force when he can command it; the native
has only one choice between servitude and supremacy.,B
Freire reminds us that centuries of exploitation have
left the oppressed with an internalised view of power
based on the sadistic models of their oppressors. He
maintains that the oppressed house the oppressor within
themselves because they know of no other model of power
Furthermore, he is at pains to point out that if revolutionary change is to be anything other than the mere
replacement of one oppressive elite by another, a
radical pedagogy must be achieved wherein models of
power are based on love rather than hate.

It is only
within the framework of such a pedagogy, Freire argues,
that the reproductive processes of necrophilic power
may be subverted. The culture of silence or the fear
of freedom will persist as long as oppressors live
within the consciousness of the oppressed, and therefore a truly revolutionary pedagogy must incorporate
a recognition of this face in order to succeed.

Freire is critical of so called Left Wing movements
which have risen to power on the back of the peasants
and subsequently become oppressive themselves. He has
little time for empty words and slogans. How might
then, the Culture of Silence be subverted?

‘Conscienlizalion’

At the root of Freire’s philosophy and deeply embedded
in the concept of the Culture of Silence of the
oppressed, is the notion of ‘conscientization’ which
is a methodology for subverting the Culture of Silence through cultural action. Conscientization is a
human process of dialogue within the immediate social
context of the illterate which enables the individual
to transform himself in relation to his fellows and
hence to act critically towards himself and society.

Freire argues that men, unlike animals, are able to
intervene in reality by objectifying their experiences
in time, space and culture. When consciousness
becomes fragmented, like that of the oppressed, men
are denied access to each other in their collaborative
search for a picture of totality.

It is in the
interest of the oppressor to maintain fragmentation
of consciousness and, Freire argues, where he unwittingly allows men to collaborate in dialogue, he
invites revolution. Freire writes: ‘Because men are
historical beings, incomplete and conscious of being
incomplete, revolution is as natural and permanent a
human dimension as is education. ,9
The literacy programmes initiated by Freire in
slum areas and villages reveal more clearly the
meaning of conscientization. Here, Freire posits
alternative definitions of the activities of teaching,
learning, reading and writing.

Such definitions
follow the codification of sociological aspects
extracted from the learners’ immediate environment
which are readily identifiable through the sharing
of common cultural experiences. A real or concrete
context therefore provides the focus of debate for a
discussion group or ‘cultural circle’ of learners.

For example the word slum (Favela) may be taken as a
basis for an investigation of man’s existential situation in such conditions. Through the processes of
sharing and challenging one another’s views, theories
and opinions, the learners construct a meaningful

picture of a slum environment. Freire refers to this
example as: ‘The slum reality as a framework for the
objective facts which directly concern slum dwellers. ,ID
The cultural circle analyses the coded phenomenon
(for example, a photo, slide or picture of a slum
scene), and discusses critically its implications.

The activity of reading or writing will not commence
until several hours of discussion have been completed
in which the coded object has been analysed deeply in
relation to its place in the social, political and
economic context of the learners’ experiences.

Similarly, the analysis of a commonplace tool such as
a plough would include the consideration of such
questions as: who uses this instrument and for what
purpose? By whom and for whom? Where do such workers
and their families live? How much do they earn and
where do their children work? What do the wives of
the ploughmen work at, and why etc? I~ other words
the concepts ‘slum’ or ‘plough’ become meaningful
within the immediate contexts of the learner’s life
experience rather than words to be remembered, spelt,
pronounced and recorded as if they were ‘out there’

and removed from the learner.

Freire refers to this
stage as the ‘theoretical context’ which calls into
question the placement of phenomena in the social
environment whereby obvious or taken-for-granted
assumptions can be made problematic. The importance
of this stage, Freire argues, is that: ‘The deeper
the act of knowing goes the more reality the learners
unveil for what it is, discarding the myths that
envelop- it. ,11
It is at this important stage that
the existing code is broken down, de-!coded and reconstructed more realistically in relation to its
contextual position. For example, within the cultural circle, certain patterns or particular themes
will emerge from discussion concerning distinct and
typical examples of slum living or peasant farming.

It is through the discovery motive in learning to
read and write that the dispossessed become able to
formulate their own views of the world based on
critical knowledge rather than naive opinion, and to
question the validity of the typical or given nature
of their situation.

A crucial pre-condition for such a process occurs
only where students and teachers collabora~e and
share their experiences in a dialogically open situation. Through de-coding, Freire writes, ‘ .•. the
learners gradually, hesitatingly and timorously place
in doubt the opinion they held of reality and replace
it with a more and more critical knowledge. ,12 Once
an image or picture of the work has been evoked
through dialogue the word Favela itself is introduced
dnd then broken down into syllables. Freire writes:

‘This is the decisive moment for learning.

It is the
moment when those learning to read and write discover
the syllabic composition of words in their language.’

(For a more complete elaboration of this process see
the appendix to Cultural Action for Freedom).

Schaull
suggests that peasants experiencing such forms of
learning achieve hope and a new awareness of selfdignity. He has recorded some of their comments:

‘I realise now I am a man, an educated man’, ‘We were
blind, now our eyes have been opened’,
‘Before this
words meant nothing to me, now I can make them speak’.

Freire advances the view that there is more to
the processes of learning to read and write than the
mere memorising, defining and identifying of words
solely as representativ~ of objects or abstractions.

Many school children, for example, are taught to
relate words to objects before they have understood
the nature of the relationship involved, and often
punishment follows the failure to conceptualise such
links.

It could even be argued that a similar
pattern is evident in the educational experiences
of university students. Learning to read and write
or teach and learn must therefore take on greater
meaning, Freire argues, than the traditional processes
of identification and memorising of letters and
objects for both students and teachers.

He suggests
that ‘ .•• this is as obvious as affirming that a man
learns to swim in the water, not in a library. ,13
Such a perspective represents an alternative to what
has previously been referred to as Banking forms of

education wherein man is defined as a passive
receptacle rather than an active protagonist.

Phenomenological implications
A phenomenological perspective emphasises a need to
return to the nature of phenomena in everyday life,
that is, to contexts as they are immediately and intersubjectively experienced by members of society. The
phenomenological perspective in Freire’s work rests
in his attempt to derive meaning from theory and
practice within the life experiences of the poor, that
is, sharing and understanding the meanings which they
give to their predicaments.

It is from such understanding that Freire derives his methodology of conscientization which attempts, through dialogue, to
subvert the culture of silence.

Freire’s writings carry us back to the phenomenon
of reaching and learning, and make problematic the
nature of this apparently obvious activity.

He
examines obvious or taken-for-granted assumptions
which, for many, have become accepted as secondnature, and explores alternative ways of ‘looking’.

One is reminded of Gouldner’s statement concerning
reflexive thinking, which might easily apply to
Freire’s work: ‘A reflexive sociology embodies a
critique of the conventional conception of segregated
scholarly roles and has a vision of an alternative.

It aims at transforming the sociologist’s relation
to his work,~4
Three main factors could be identified as examples of reflexive thinking in Freire’s
writings. First, he does not accept uncritically,
as given, the currently accepted explanations,of
,
phenomena; second, his writings emerge from hlS commltment to sharing the world of the ‘dispossessed’, and
finally his conception of ‘alternatives’ are constructed within, and through, the action-reflection context of the methodology of conscientization. Roger
Dale argues, ‘Phenomenologists see man not as a mere
passive recipient of his world but an active interpreter and constructor of it. The phenomenological
sociologist must therefore seek to elucidate the
processes whereby actors generate and maintain their
view of the social world. ,15 What emerges from such
a persper~;ve, in Freire’s work is not the navelgazin 1 of J.dle self-indulgent solopsism but rather
the il ‘;istence that teaching and learning must be a
shared experience as opposed to ‘ •.. a situation
where one knows and others do not; it is rather the
search by all, at the same time to discover something
by the act of knowing … ,16
The importance of Freire’s contribution to the
sociology of knowledge rests in his timely introduction of an altecnative concept of man – man standing
on his own feet as an active enquirer, rather than
a passive receiver of the ideas of others.

He believes
that all men are capable of sustaining a critical
relationship with their environments, and that through
reflection and action they will be able to de-mystify
and de-ideologise oppressive knowledge. From the
concept of a dialogically shared inter-subjective
world, Freire advances a methodology of cultural
action for freedom, that is ‘ ..• the way in which we
attack culturally our own culture. It is to take
culture as always problematic and to question it
without accepting the myths that ossify it and ossify
us.,17 For these reasons conscientization, as a
reflexive process, is a ‘painful business’, because
it demands not only our commitment but also a radical
re-examination of self in relation to others. Freire
acknowledges the phenomenological orientations in his
work when he says: ‘The more one acquires conscientization (conscientizasizes oneself) the more one discovers reality, the more one penetrates the phenomenological essence of the object one has in front of
oneself in order to analyse it.,I8

Critique
The intention of this brief critique is to point to
issues and questions in Freire’s work which would not
seem to have been fully elaborated upon.

Underlying much of Freire’s writing runs a strong
vein of liberalism which places great emphasis on the
power of real education as a rationalising force
opposed to arbitrary forces of exploitation.

Jerez
and Hernandez argue that Freire’s writings represent
a lil:;l’ral perspective similar to that of the
Jeffersonian model of man, as a civic participator,
actively involving himself in school, club, union,
work or church. 1 9 For these reasons it would seem
unclear why Freire’s work has become associated with
the ‘de-schooling movement’. His ‘ideal type’ model
of co-operative man involving himself, with others,
towards building a democratic society is more likely
to support formal education than to oppose it.

Indeed it is through the integration of mass involvement and problem posing perspectives in education
that Freire attempts to achieve the dawning of a
radical pedagogy.

It is Freire’s belief that educational processes
are crucial in developing a revolutionary consciousness among the masses which is most open to debate.

This is a central focus of his thesis and yet he fails
to provide adequate elaboration of certain key
questions associated with it. For example: what does
he mean by ‘authentic’, ‘true’ or ‘real’ ,consciousness? To what extent can knowledge be anything other
than ideological? How can Freire be sure that
conscientized revolutionaries will not become
oppressors themselves? To what extent can radical
‘literate’ peasants untrained in guerrilla tactics
and wlthout organised military strategies be capable
of resisting government troops? What kinds of
political, industrial and agricultural policies
should radical Third World governments adopt in order
to survive? It is through consideration of such
questions that Mao has succeeded in his writings,
where Freire has merely skimmed the surface. Though
it might be naive to expect answers to these questions it would seem necessary to indicate that Freire’s
thesis tends to simplify the complexities of the
problems involved.

In overlooking these issues Freire exposes himself to certain criticisms.

It is not clear how far
social change can be achieved through ‘probJ-em·
posing’ education.

Literacy campaigns led by intellectuals and radical stUdents may themselves unwittingly create a new oppressive cult of conscientizing
colonisers.

Indeed, the methodology of conscientization as a radical force will have little effect on
those not predisposed towards radicalism.

Similarly,
oppressive regimes could make equal use of Freire’s
methodology to achieve exactly opposite ends. Furthermore, certain Left Wing groups might not view education
as the most desirable starting point for change in that
Freire’s methodology is not only a slow moving process
but also reflects a form of liberal ‘revisionism’.

Freire points descriptively to problems but oversimplifies his explanation in a highly repetitive
style, which raises two further questions. First,
could he be accused of indulging in those very
activities he most abhors, that is, using empty words,
sloganising and mystifying: and second, as a corollary to the first point, is he himself in danger of
becoming a cult figure?

Conclusion
The essence of Freire’s thesis rests in a faith in
man’s potential to transform and transcend himself and
his environment in dialogue with others. Coutinho
writes: ‘In other words ~he characteristic of the
human species is its repeatedly demonstrated capacity
for transcending what is merely given, what is purely
~etermined’.

Freire’s writings demand a re-examination of cultural processes and taken-for-granted
~ractices which have historically and culturally
trapped man, and violently intimidated those who have
dared to speak out. 20 The value of Freire’s work
lies in the emphasis he places on the hitherto unexamined political nature of education, which has
important implications for not only the Third, but
also the First World. Freire’s work demonstrates

9

great faith in the power of education as a liberating
force as opposed to an agent of domestication.

However, to achieve this end, the dispossessed
require their own pedagogy.

It is through such
suggestions and through positing other models of
teaching and learning that Freire advances radical
alternatives to existing narrative forms of education.

His thesis may indeed be interpreted as
utopian.

However, those who reject Freire’s perspective in that it is naive and unrealistic, might
perhaps consider the substance of the nature and
faith upon which their own optimism and idealism
rests.

For to argue that his views are acceptable in
theory ‘but not in practice is to admit one’s own
failure to exercise control over such relationships.

scientization”, , translated by Manuel Vaquerizo,
in Hard Cheese, 1971, Liverpool Free Press.

5

Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

6

I. !1eszaros, Marx’s Theory of Alienation, Merlin,
1971.

7

M. Greene, ‘Curriculum and Consciousness’, Teachers
College Record, Vol.73, No.2, December 1971.

8

Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Preface’ to Franz Fanon’s
The Wretched of the Earth, Penguin, 1967.

9

10

Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Cultural Action for Freedom.

11

‘A Few Notions about the word “Conscientization”‘.

Notes

12

Ibid.

‘1y thanks to Edwine Connell for her help in preparing
this paper.

13

Cultural Action for Freedom.

14

A Gouldner, The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology,
Heinemann, 1971

Mao quotation from Jerome Ch’en, Mao Papers, London,
0xford University Press, 1970, pp2l-2/

15

R. Dale, ‘Phenomenological Perspectives and the
Sociology of the School’, Educational Review
(socio.logy and teaching) vo1.25, No.3, June 1973.

1

p. Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin,
1972.

2

P. Freire, Cultural Action for Freedom, Penguin,
1972.

16

‘A Few Notions about the word “Conscientization”‘.

17

Ibid.

18

Ibid.

19

C. Jerez and I. Hernandez, unpublished paper,
1971, University of Chicagn, ‘Analysis of
Cultural Action for Freedom.’

20

J. Da veiga Coutinho’s preface to Cultural
Action for Freedom.

Richanl Schaull’ s foreword to Pedagogy of the
Oppressed.

P. Freire,

,)

‘A Few Uotions about the word “Con-

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Cont. from page 15
ilgainst economic breakdown; a ';arranty that everything
precious Vill be looked after for the future.

A
revolutionary oppositionist culture is necessary,
:lOt in the sense of a number of subscribers to New
Left Books or Radical Philosophy, but in the sense of
a materially subversive movement with positive open
bonds of socialist friendship and solidarity. For
this reason at least, it seems to me very important
that the left does not over the coming ~2riod go right
over to an exclusive and opportunistic preoccupation
with wages, but promotes, develops and spreads
socialist forms of struggle, forJ1″,s which already
have an obvious ‘spontaneous’ basis. After all, the
mere erosion of bourgeois morality is compatible with
lumpen cynicism – a passive precondition of fascism.

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