Rethinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis

Rethinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis

Rethinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis

Rethinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis

Synopsis

This collection of essays by Third World activists highlights two major world changes which, they argue, have been neglected by Freire and his many followers: the Third World grass-roots cultural resistance to economic globalisation, and the ecological crisis.

Excerpt

The title of this collection of essays by Third World activists,Rethinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis, highlights two major world changes overlooked by Freire and his many followers: the Third World grassroots cultural resistance to economic globalization and the ecological crisis. The essays by Third World activists are important for a number of reasons. First, their criticisms of Freire's pedagogy are based on their attempts to combine consciousness raising with literacy programs in such diverse cultural settings as Bolivia, Peru, India, southern Mexico, and Cambodia. They discovered that Freire's pedagogy is based on Western assumptions that undermine indigenous knowledge systems. The field testing of Freire's pedagogy, which was carried out by local activists who were both personal friends of Freire and spoke the local languages, stands in sharp contrast to how Freire's ideas are presented in English-speaking universities and by professors in Third World universities who have received advanced degrees in Western universities. That is, the Third World activists recognized the colonizing nature of the cultural assumptions underlying his pedagogy, whereas the Western professors with only a reading knowledge of his writings continue to think of them as universally valid.

A second major limitation with Freire's ideas, reproduced in the writings of his followers, is that he ignored until just before his death the cultural implications of the ecological crisis. Recently, Moacir . . .

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