Pedagogy of the Oppressed
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Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968 Spanish).jpg
Spanish edition, 1968
AuthorPaulo Freire
Original titlePedagogia do Oprimido
TranslatorMyra Ramos
PublisherHerder and Herder
Published in English
LC ClassLB880 .F73

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Portuguese: Pedagogia do Oprimido), is a book written by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, first written in Portuguese in 1968. It was first published in English in 1970, in a translation by Myra Ramos.[1] The book is considered one of the foundational texts of critical pedagogy, and proposes a pedagogy with a new relationship between teacher, student, and society.

Dedicated to the oppressed and based on his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. In the book, Freire calls traditional pedagogy the "banking model of education" because it treats the student as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge, like a piggy bank. He argues that pedagogy should instead treat the learner as a co-creator of knowledge.[2]

The book has sold over 750,000 copies worldwide.[3]


The book was first published in Spanish translation in 1968. An English version was published in 1970, and the original Portuguese in 1972.

Since the publication of the English edition in 1970, Pedagogy of the Oppressed has been widely adopted in America's teacher-training programs. A 2003 study by David Steiner and Susan Rozen determined that Pedagogy of the Oppressed was frequently assigned at top education schools.[4][failed verification]


The work was strongly influenced by Frantz Fanon and Karl Marx.[]

Friere's work was one inspiration for Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. [5]


Pedagogy of the Oppressed is considered groundbreaking because it is one of the first pieces of literature to challenge the education system.[6]

Donaldo Macedo, a former colleague of Freire and University of Massachusetts Boston professor, calls Pedagogy of the Oppressed a revolutionary text, and people in totalitarian states risk punishment reading it.[2] During the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the book was banned and kept clandestine. Ad-hoc copies of the book were distributed underground as part of the "ideological weaponry" of various revolutionary groups like the Black Consciousness Movement.[7]

According to Diana Coben, Freire was criticized by feminists for use of sexist language in his early work, and some text in Pedagogy of the Oppressed was revised for the 1995 edition to avoid sexism.[8]

In 2006, Pedagogy of the Oppressed came under criticism over its use as part of the La Raza Studies program at Tucson High School. In 2010, the Arizona State Legislature passed House Bill 2281, enabling the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction to restrict state funding to public schools with ethnic studies programs. Tom Horne, who was Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time, criticized the program of "teaching students that they are oppressed."[9]

In his article for the conservative City Journal, Sol Stern writes that Pedagogy of the Oppressed ignores the traditional touchstones of Western education (e.g., Rousseau, John Dewey, or Maria Montessori) and contains virtually none of the information typically found in traditional teacher education (e.g., no discussion of curriculum, testing, or age-appropriate learning). To the contrary, Freire rejects traditional education as "official knowledge" that intends to oppress.[10] Stern also writes that heirs to Freire's ideas have taken them to mean that since all education is political, "leftist math teachers who care about the oppressed have a right, indeed a duty, to use a pedagogy that, in Freire's words, 'does not conceal--in fact, which proclaims--its own political character.'"[11]

A 2019 article in Spiked (magazine), a British Internet magazine focusing on politics, culture and society claims that, "In 2016, the Open Syllabus Project catalogued the 100 most requested titles on its service by English-speaking universities: the only Brazilian on its list was Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed."[12]

See also


  1. ^ "About Pedagogy of the Oppressed". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b Freire, Paulo (September 2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed (30th anniversary ed.). New York: Bloomsbury. p. 16. ISBN 9780826412768. OCLC 43929806.
  3. ^ Publisher's Foreword in Freire, Paulo (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, p. 9.
  4. ^ "Skewed Perspective - Education Next". Education Next. 2009-10-20. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Augusto Boal (1993). Theater of the Oppressed. New York: Theatre Communications Group. ISBN 0-930452-49-6, p 120
  6. ^ "PAULO FREIRE | Encyclopedia of Education and Human Development - Credo Reference". Retrieved .
  7. ^ Archie Dick (2010) "Librarians and Readers in the South African Anti-Apartheid Struggle", public lecture given in Tampere Main Library, August 19, 2010.
  8. ^ Coben, Diana (April 1998). Radical Heroes: Gramsci, Freire and the Poitics of Adult Education. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 0815318987. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ Lundholm, Nicholas (2011). "Cutting Class: Why Arizona's Ethnic Studies Ban Won't Ban Ethnic Studies" (PDF). Arizona Law Review. 53: 1041-1088.
  10. ^ Stern, Sol. "Pedagogy of the Oppressor", City Journal, Spring 2009, Vol. 19, no. 2
  11. ^ Stern, Sol. "'The Ed Schools' Latest--and Worst--Humbug", City Journal, Spring 2006, Vol. 16, No. 3.
  12. ^ GARCIA, R T. "The culture war over Brazil's leading intellectual". Retrieved 2019.


  • Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2007.
  • Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary ed. New York: Continuum, 2006.
  • Rich Gibson, The Frozen Dialectics of Paulo Freire, in NeoLiberalism and Education Reform, Hampton Press, 2006.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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