Politics of Liberation: Paths from Freire

Politics of Liberation: Paths from Freire

Politics of Liberation: Paths from Freire

Politics of Liberation: Paths from Freire

Synopsis

This book consists of a collection of original essays on the work of Paulo Freire, based on diverse experiences of First and Third world contexts. All of authors argue that Paulo Freire is the cornerstone upon which a new vision and strategies of liberation can be built. The book offers a broad interpretive base addressing Marxist and post-socialist, modern and post-modern, hermeneutical, feminist and post-colonial perspectives.

Excerpt

Donaldo Macedo

As the capitalist ‘banking model’ of education generates greater and greater failure, many liberal and neo-liberal educators are looking to Paulo Freire’s pedagogy as an alternative. No longer can it be argued that Freire’s pedagogy is appropriate only in Third-World contexts. For one thing, we are experiencing a rapid Third Worldinization of North America where inner cities resemble more and more the shantytowns of the Third World with a high level of poverty, violence, illiteracy, human exploitation, homelessness and human misery. The abandonment of our inner cities and the insidious decay of their respective infrastructures, including their schools, makes it very difficult to maintain the artificial division between the First World and the Third World. It is just as easy to find Third Worldness in the First World inner cities as it is to discover First World opulence in the oligarchy in El Salvador, Guatemala and within many other Third-World nations. The Third Worldinization of the North American inner cities has also produced large-scale educational failures that have created minority student drop-out rates from 50 percent in the Boston Public Schools to over 70 percent in larger metropolitan areas like New York City.

Against this landscape of educational failure, conservative educators, by and large, have recoiled in an attempt to salvage the status quo and contain the ‘browning’ of America. These conservative educators have attempted to reappropriate the educational debate and to structure the educational discourse in terms of competition and privatization of schools. The hidden curriculum of the proposed school privatization movement consists of taking resources from poor schools that are on the verge of bankruptcy to support private or well-to-do schools. Private school choice is only private to the degree that it generates private profit while being supported by public funds. What is rarely discussed in the North American school debate is that public schools are part of the fabric of any democratic society. In fact, conservative educators fail to recognize that a democratic society that shirks its public responsibility is a democracy in crisis. A society that equates for-profit privatization with democracy is a society with confused priorities. A democratic society that falsely believes, in view of the Savings and Loan debacle and the Wall Street scandals, for example, that quality,

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