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Unpacking Freire

Sharaai's picture

“Money is the measure of all things, and profit the primary goal. For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more – always more – even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them,  to be is to have and to be the class of the “haves”.

When reading through Freire, I couldn’t help but agree with so many of the ideas he was presenting. I found myself underlining like mad and sharing some awesome quotes with my roommate as soon as I would come across them. He’s got a lot of amazing ideas with many possibilities within them but these possibilities are something I want to attempt to unpack some more, whether it be as a class or on an individual basis. When it comes to these types of readings (so much going on at the same time with so much possibility), I feel like I lose myself in the ideas rather than finding anything concrete.  With Freire,  unpacking brings up more interpretations and possibilities. For this reason, I find Freire so helpful and insightful in so many areas which also leads to my sense of confusion.  

But when I came across the quote above, I couldn’t help but find some concrete to relate it to; lack of funding in many schools.  In my praxis last semester, the principal was very optimistic about her school’s programs but not so much when it came to the funding. With Special Education, it feels like more teachers and programs are needed but the funding just doesn’t allow it.  In this quote, I cannot help but think of the students as the oppressed but I have a hard time pinpointing an oppressor.

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L13's picture

Issues of Money

I was also drawn to this quote. But rather than focusing on the issues it brings up surrounding the oppressor and the oppressed I was struck more by the commentary it offers about money. I agree that it is hard to find and pin point who the oppressors are and it would seem almost easy to find the oppressed as it is would seem like many people have fallen victim of budgetary problems within the education system. That being said, for me - extending these ideas of money and how money problems almost directly create an oppressed community - it also draws on questions of realism. In class we talked about how students who were struggling might feel better if the teacher reached out to them by maybe going to the students sports game. I wonder if this could equally happen for all students that are struggling? Do teachers have the time or the means to do this given the time that is needed to create lessons plans and grade in situations where money might be an issue? For me, the Freire reading really brought up some difficult questions surrounding oppression and how to realistically face that oppression.