A Glimpse on the Pedagogy of the Oppressed By: Alfonso Martinez


Some quick insight on Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, and its critical view on the current way the educational system we have in place is ran. From his standpoint he points out it’s lack of certain important elements in its structure. The first being the methods being utilized by teachers in order to teach the students, he properly names it the “banking method”, in which the teacher unloads mass information onto the student’s head and the student is expected to absorb as much as possible then tested on how much they remember. The problem with this way of learning is that not all students are receptive to this type of teaching. Everyone has their own perception on life, experiences and different attributes in which they learn and process information, so why is everyone expected to learn the same and come up with the same product? Another big problem with this is the value of what is being taught, not all the information given is relevant to every student and not all of it is applicable to their different lives. Freire argues that while the information is being induced to the student by the teacher the importance of the material is not being covered or taught in a matter in which it can be used and applied to in life, which Freire also states as simply giving them useless numbers and facts that offer no power to the student but to pass through the system. A system which rewards only if one can adapt to and if not, you are being treated as a failure and cast aside with everyone else who does not fit in. He argues that students are being taught about life in a matter that perceives it to be a motionless never changing scenario in which one must adapt to its “natural balance” instead of them being the ones who decide what it should mold up to and what they receive from the world. Causing those who have failed the system that is in place to serve those who were lucky enough to succeed through it and keep a cycle going. Freire offers another method, in order to deviate from this course we must apply a problem posing environment in which students and teachers alike must work together in order to teach and learn. Running education in this manner allows both the teacher and student to take into consideration what each individual knows and what they don’t, in order to find the best possible solution or answer to their imposed problem. This way the teacher and student are required to inquire not only their own personal experiences and knowledge but those of others. If we want to continue to evolve and grow as a society we must teach and learn from each other and not ignore other’s ideas to materialize our own into the world which is too vast and mysterious to do so. In hopes of being a future educator this book has shaped my perception on my own education and education as a whole.