Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reading Response for 1/31 (Freire text), Group A

jcb2013's picture

For my first reading response (on the first half of the Freire, Pedagogy of the oppressed text) I took a broader look at the text, instead of picking a specific passage.  Therefore, I will be responding to the first half of the text as a whole. 

            Having read Freire excerpts in previous classes I was prepared for ‘Pedagogy of the oppressed’ to be a dense text.  In reading the first half I was confused by his argument in relation to his text.  It appeared almost hypocritical.  Freire spends the first few chapters discussing the relationship between the oppressed, and the oppressors, the relationship between teachers and students, and finally the purpose and characteristics of dialogue. 

While Freire is clearly writing with the purpose of educating, and re-educating society, I find that reading his text is very much exclusive to a large percentage of people.  I question his intended audience, his actual audience, and how “approachable” this text seems to those he labels the “oppressed,” or even an average student. This text is very well known within the field of education, and from what I’ve seen somewhat controversial because of Freire’s arguments. While I generally agree with what he argued in the first half of the text (i.e. the banking method is not effective, the relationship between the teacher and students should be a two-way learning/teaching method, etc.) there were multiple points/pages in the text that I struggled to get through and understand.  While I can’t say whether this is Freire attempting to create opportunities for critical thinking, “Only dialogue, which requires critical thinking, is also capable of generating critical thinking” (pg. 92), or whether his writing style requires its readers to have a higher intellect (that I very well may lack). 

In my opinion, if someone such as Freire is arguing for the improvement of societal relations, dialogue, and education his text should be more accessible (in terms of understanding).  The way, in which this text is written, I feel would very much exclude a large number of people from comprehending or even reading the text.