Education and Liberation of the Oppressed

Paulo Freire ( 2000 ) in his book entitled “ Pedagogy of the Oppressed ” addresses the issue of a category system. A system of the rich person and have non, the former being the “ oppressor ” and the latter being the “ laden ” ( Freire, 2000 p.47 ) . This paper attempts to analyze the undertaking of educating and emancipating the laden young persons in Georgia. In making so we examine the thought of the laden and reflect on the function of schools in perpetuating the category system, in peculiar we look at the banking system. We besides discuss other tactics that are used by the oppressor to keep the position quo. These include: conquering, divide and regulation, use and cultural invasion. We will besides discourse tools that can be implemented in the schoolroom that will let our pupils to prosecute in critical thought and action what Freire refers to as practice. Last, we discuss the stairss necessary for a revolution to take topographic point. Once the revolution occurs, the educational spread that exists between the oppressed and the oppressor will be eliminated.

Education and the Liberation of the Laden

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Harmonizing to Freire ( 2000 ) , the oppressors have a vested involvement in keeping the position quo. He states that the oppressors use scientific discipline and engineering as their tool of subjugation. In today ‘s society, mathematics is besides a tool of subjugation. This is because mathematics is merely every bit much a gatekeeper as scientific discipline and engineering. In Georgia, all the colleges require mathematics for entryway, and occupations in scientific discipline and engineering Fieldss besides require a high degree of competence in mathematics. Freire ( 2000 ) argues, and we agree, that the laden frequently believe what is said about them, and as a consequence they display behavior that reinforces those stereotypes. They are frequently told they are “ good for nil, and are incapable of larning anything-they are ill, lazy, and unproductive ” ( p.63 ) . We believe that the internalisation of these stereotypes coupled with their oppressive position can make a sense of erudite weakness in the oppressed. If the pupils feel they can non consequence alteration, or that they have no power over their instruction, they might give up. Basically, they will non dispute themselves intellectually, and are more prone to drop out of school. This is apparent in the big spread between the graduation rate of minority pupils and white pupils in Georgia. Staple & A ; Dodd ( 2009 ) article on the high school graduation rate in Georgia observed that African-Americans graduation rate was 72.6 per centum and the rate for Hispanics was 69 per centum. Those rates showed betterment but still lagged behind Whites, who had an 82.1 per centum graduation rate, and the province norm. These figures are disturbing, but what ‘s even more distressing is the fact that many of our minority pupils who remain in school normally prefer more teacher directed direction. One manner to rectify that state of affairs is to integrate task-oriented activities in our lessons, instead than worksheets. That will guarantee that pupils are non being spoon Federals, but instead challenged to believe. This will besides assist alter the pupils ‘ position that the instructor is “ the 1 who has cognition and to whom they should listen ” ( Freire, 2000 p.63 ) .

The statistics mentioned before airss the inquiry: can minority pupils in Georgia perform at the same degree as white pupils or are they genetically wired to neglect? We would reason that minority pupils are to the full capable of executing at the same degree as white pupils. In fact, we believe that the bing societal and political constructions help to perpetuate the accomplishment spread between the minority pupils and the dominant group. In order to extinguish the accomplishment spread, the laden must first acknowledge that they are oppressed and seek their release through “ contemplation and action ” ( Freire, 2000 p.67 ) . Once the oppressed realize they are at a disadvantage because of their socioeconomic position, they can so mobilise and consequence alteration through buttonholing their Congressmans. In order for equal acquisition to take topographic point, equal chance must be given. It follows that the local authorities has a major function to play in bridging the educational spread between the races. First, by supplying the poorer schools with more support for better engineering and text editions, the authorities will be helping in shriveling the spread. Besides by enrolling and keeping extremely qualified instructors in these at hazard schools, the authorities will besides be leveling the playing field for these pupils.

Once the pupils are given equal entree to quality instruction the following inquiry that we need to inquire is, how do we educate the pupils in this oppressed group? Freire ( 2000 ) argues that instruction and release of the laden Begins with the pupils. They must believe they can transform their state of affairs in order for instruction to happen. He farther argues that this belief will stem from them holding positive function theoretical accounts within their ain group. Therefore pedagogues from within the oppressed community will play a important function in reshaping the heads of the young persons. A good illustration of this occurred when one of our group members was asked if her hubby is a drug trader because of the size of her diamond. This was a docile minute which she seized, as she was able to portion with them that her hubby was in fact a manager of a company. This was in contrast to their thought that in order to be black and successful, you have to be a drug trader, instrumentalist or an jock. This opened the door for duologue and critical thought, because the inquiry was asked of the pupils, “ why do you believe that manner, and is that a valid premise in visible radiation of the new information?

Banking System: The Role of Education

Freire ( 2000 ) examines the teacher-student relationship and its basically narrative character. Education is used as a method of subjugation by the oppressors, with all the control and power being in the custodies of the instructor. To him, pupils are treated like containers ( receptacles ) waiting to be filled with information by the instructor. This is similar to the more “ old school ” manner of learning used in some schoolrooms today. The instructor lectures the category for an hr and so the pupils are expected to retain the information. Make pupils larn in this mode? Harmonizing to Freire ( 2000 ) , the reply is no, and this is by design and one of the methods used by the oppressor to maintain the laden down. He compares the relationship to that of a narrative topic ( instructor ) and a patient or listening objects ( pupils ) . Students merely automatically memorise narrated content. Education is an act of lodging. Teachers merely lodge information into these receptacles and no acquisition is really taking topographic point. This pattern is called the “ banking construct of instruction ” ( p.72 ) . This method hinders the originative nature of pupils and the lone cognition they gain is that which the instructor gives them. This allows the oppressor to command what information is being passed from the oppressor to the oppressed.

Freire ( 2000 ) observes that:

“ But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves who are filed off through the deficiency of

creativeness, transmutation, and cognition in this ( at best ) misguided system. For apart from

enquiry, apart from the practice, persons can non be genuinely human. Knowledge emerges merely

through innovation and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, go oning, hopeful

enquiry human existences pursue in the universe, with the universe, and with each other. ” ( p.72 )

This quotation mark refers to the procedure of subjugation by usage of the “ banking ” construct of instruction. The information that is given to pupils is controlled and regulated so they are limited when it comes to their single creativeness. If the pupils are non allowed to make or believe independently from the system, we believe they will lose control of their ain hereafter. Considering and runing under the premise that “ cognition is power, ” pupils have merely the power that is given to them and go a pawn to the oppressors to be moved harmonizing to their liking. As mathematics pedagogues, we believe that it is our occupation to ease schoolroom discourses that involve more open-ended inquiries, so that pupils can see that there is more than one solution to a job. Integrating some history of mathematics constructs in lessons will besides be helpful, because pupils can see how others have tackled jobs in the yesteryear, and how through their critical thought and continuity they were able to detect the being of things they did non cognize existed, such as rational Numberss. They will besides hold an grasp for other signifiers of mathematics, and see how mathematics has practical applications in certain societies. This might take them to happen other applications of mathematics in their ain society.

Harmonizing to Freire ( 2000 ) , “ In the banking construct of instruction, cognition is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowing upon those whom they consider to cognize nil. Projecting an absolute ignorance onto others, a feature of the political orientation of subjugation, negates instruction and cognition as procedures of enquiry. ” ( p.72 ) . In Freire ‘s ( 2000 ) position, the instructor presents himself to the pupils as the knowing one and the pupils are wholly nescient. The banking construct limits the originative power of pupils and serves the involvement of the oppressors, who care neither to hold the universe revealed nor to see it transformed. Educators regulate the manner the universe “ enters into ” the pupils. The banking method allows teacher and pupil to go topics to the oppressive system. From experience we have learned that cognition is non something that is merely bestowed on the ignorant. We believe it can be constructed, discovered, created, or generated in a figure of ways.

For illustration, instructors can let pupils to research mathematical constructs through usage of student-centered activities, such as group undertakings and little group activities that allow for the exchange of thoughts, and usage manipulatives. For illustration in geometry, the instructor can utilize geo-sticks to learn belongingss of congruent trigons. Through building their ain trigons the pupils will detect the belongingss on their ain, and explicate their ain apprehension of the theories. With that said, we do non believe that pupils should be treated like nescient vass waiting to be filled by the “ all-powerful powerful ” instructor. We should let them to detect cognition, we should allow them show their creativeness and aid in their ain acquisition. The instructor should function as a facilitator of cognition and allow pupils to be originative and discover cognition. Using this method allows pupils to retain cognition and generalise it to other facets of their life. The oppressor does non desire this to happen because this would make a society of single minds, instead than pawns in an oppressive system.

Harmonizing to Freire ( 2000 ) , in order for this type of environment to come approximately, there must be release of the oppressed from the oppressor. He refers to this procedure as “ release of instruction, ” ( p.79 ) where the solution begins with the teacher-student contradiction. Teacher and pupils become simultaneously instructors and pupils. The instructors are able to larn from the pupils and the pupils learn from the instructors. These would make an environment in which the pupil finally is capable of commanding the sum of cognition they obtain and has some control over his or her acquisition. This can be achieved through leting pupils to journal their thought procedures as they are exposed to the new constructs. By reading the diaries, the instructor can be exposed to other ways of tacking the job, and may inquire the pupils to portion their different methods with the category. This produces a sense of pride and assurance in the pupils, who would no longer experience dependent on the instructor to confer cognition upon them. The pupils will experience free to make and larn and non be limited by any instructor, or any system. The pupils would finally go as capable and knowing as the instructor and hence would be afforded the same degree of regard as the instructor.

Tools of Oppression in the society

Freire ‘s political orientation is non limited to the field of instruction merely, but besides extends to the larger society. Harmonizing to Freire ( 2000 ) the equality and common regard between the oppressed and the oppressor is non apparent in our society because the oppressors have implemented certain techniques to forestall that from go oning. One such tool is that of anti-dialogue. By forestalling the oppressed from prosecuting in duologue, they eliminate the possibility of an rebellion and thereby guarantee their domination over the laden people. The writer points out several anti-dialogical actions. The first is Conquest. Conquest is taking and maintaining physical and psychological control over the laden. Freire ( 2000 ) argues that “ The vanquisher imposes his aims on the vanquished, and makes of them his ownership ” ( p.159 ) . He observes that myths being deposited are indispensable to the position quo. We find this rather dismaying as this applies to today ‘s society, where the top 1 % of the population in the United States controls 95 % of the wealth. One myth that has been deposited and is mostly accepted by our society is that, “ if you work hard you will be able to achieve the wealth of society ” ( p.139 ) . Other myths mentioned include ; the myth of diligence of the oppressors, the indolence and dishonesty of the oppressed, and the myth of natural lower status of the latter and high quality of the former. Of class, these myths exist in our current society and are perpetuated by and communicated through mass media mercantile establishments and the educational system.

Another oppressive action that the writer negotiations about is Divide and Rule. The oppressor uses division to maintain control over the oppressed. Two things come to mind — First, I think about how the laden group is categorized into different economic and societal categories, every bit good as divided by cultural groups. This separation has caused a deficiency of integrity and entirety in the minority community. There is non a entire position, but instead positions taken up by specific causes and groups. This deepens the rift in the minority community and maintain minorities divided, and therefore oppressed. Case and point, one of us grew up in an urban community where drugs and pack force were rampant. The ongoing flow of drugs into his vicinity has kept his vicinity divided and distraught. The impact on his vicinity has been lay waste toing. This is said because many black concerns left the vicinity thereby cut downing the occupation chances available for minorities. Another effect is that many minority pupils in his vicinity became gang members. Alternatively of beat uping as a community to drive the drug traders out, many in-between category households have moved to the suburbs to supply a better life for their households. This determination enabled the oppressor to utilize the divide-and-conquer technique to keep the oppressive position quo.

The following anti-dialogical action that the writer speaks about is Manipulation. Harmonizing to Freire, “ One of the methods of use is to insulate and inoculate persons with the businessperson appetency for personal success ” ( Freire, p.147 ) . Manipulation is accomplished when persons from the dominant categories make understandings or “ trades ” with persons in the dominated category to stand for the involvements of the oppressors at the disbursal of the laden. These persons are considered leaders by the lower categories and are influential. Freire describes these populist leaders as “ amphibious vehicles ” ( p.150 ) , people who interact with and have achieved a comfort degree with both elements of society. The oppressors use populist leaders to pull strings the people, frequently without cognition that he/she is being used. Authentic revolution can merely be obtained with leaders who serve the demands of the people and decline to be bought off by the elites. In other words, true radical leaders can non function two Masterss. This brings to mind minority interpreters today who are run alonging their pockets from large corporations to pull strings the people to purchase merchandises and be consumers of these corporations who do non engage minorities or put in the minority communities.

The last characteristic of anti-dialogical action is Cultural Invasion. Cultural invasion attacks the civilization of the oppressed. The oppressors mold the forms and beliefs and the manner of life of the oppressed. The laden no longer see an mentality of their ain but of an mentality of which the oppressors create. The writer says “ cultural invasion is on one manus an instrument of domination, and on the other, the consequence of domination ” ( p. 159 ) . Revolutionary leaders can non utilize methods that the oppressors use to rule or they become portion of the same subjugation.

Procedure of Liberation: Practice

In the procedure of educational release, Freire ( 2000 ) demands that societal and political organisation be dialogical and non autocratic. This is critical to the saving of reliable freedom at all times. In discoursing duologue, Freire ( 2000 ) describes two indivisible dimensions of duologue i.e. contemplation and actions ( practice ) . He sees this sort of duologue as a medium that the oppressed can utilize to name for action in humanising their state of affairs. He urges the dialoguers ( oppressed ) to prosecute in critical thought that invariably immerses itself in temporalty without fright of the hazards involved. He describes critical thought as thought that does non divide itself from action, ever comprehending world as a process/ transmutation instead than a inactive entity. He contrasts critical thought with naA?ve thought in which the mind settles for a normalized “ today ” ( p. 92 ) therefore making and helping subjugation.

In using Freire ‘s ( 2000 ) attack to today ‘s society requires that we foremost place with the signifiers ( frequently really elusive ) that subjugation takes. Banking constructs of instruction, but one of the illustrations of current instruction pattern that is anti-dialogical, produces a lesser community of pupils who opt for the right reply at all times alternatively of prosecuting in the procedure of seeking for solution. Eurocentric theoretical account of cognition is another signifier of elusive subjugation. Frankenstein & A ; Powell ( 1997 ) observes a Europocentric theoretical account of cognition widely taught in our schools. This theoretical account narrows our position of what is considered mathematically important and who is capable of having mathematical thoughts. This has so distorted excluded, marginalized and trivialized mathematical parts of the laden, adult females and work forces from other universe ‘s civilization. The Eurocentric theoretical account recognizes their mathematics as “ academic ” ( p. 26 ) mathematics. A civilization of silence so consequences where the laden settees for the position quo ; a state of affairs of development perpetuated by deficiency of consciousness, nihilism, apathy and even fright of freedom. The laden so find themselves submerged in their state of affairs and every bit long as they remain so “ they can non go engaged in the battle for their ain release ” ( Freire 2000, pp. 27-28 ) . To emancipate the laden, there must be engagement in the critical and brooding action. This is a challenge to our course of study interior decorators, text edition publishing houses, and policy shapers to analyze the current mathematics instruction course of study in the visible radiation of bring forthing a community of critical minds capable of disputing the normally held premises and values about what pupils should larn.

In today ‘s society Freire ( 2000 ) would be disputing our research communities and cognition production establishments to make critical signifiers of research that call current political orientations into inquiry and initiate action ( practice ) in the class of societal justness. Critical enquiry in mathematics education research communities should problem the normally held values and premises, challenge conventional societal constructions every bit good as engage in societal actions in the involvement of societal justness. Freire ‘s ( 2000 ) political orientation of critical enquiry keeps the limelight on power relationships within our society and seeks to expose the forces of domination and unfairness. Stinson ( 2009 ) observes a sense of authorization on the portion of instructors take parting in critical mathematics teaching method category. Teachers felt that critical theory should be an of import portion of their schoolroom pattern and felt like they were able to maneuver off from the traditional mathematics pedagogy that they themselves endured.

Critical enquiry into our current instruction system for illustration will to boot name for us to inquire several inquiries. Are the current Georgia Performance Standards profiting every kid in Georgia, or are they structured to continue the position quo and favor the establishments that are good resourced and funded? What are the power dealingss behind that execution of standardised course of study? Is there a topographic point for critical thought that all pupils can profit from? Who are the helpers of such determinations and what power dealingss are in drama in the policy devising? How has the execution of standardised appraisals played a function in turn toing the issue of societal unfairness and inequalities in our societies today? Critical thought enquiry calls for us to analyze these issues particularly when it involves policies and plans “ we must ne’er supply the people with plans which have small or nil to make with their ain preoccupations, uncertainties, hopes, and fears- plans which at times in fact increase the frights of the laden consciousness ” ( Freire, 2000 p. 96 ) .

Decision and Suggestions

Overall we find what Freire is stating to be rather interesting. It is merely through continued duologue, instruction, organisation that a true revolution can take topographic point. Despite the possible challenges of seeking to implement Freire ‘s political orientation in a schoolroom scene, Pedagogy of the Oppressed is an inspirational read for a mathematics pedagogue who wishes to advance critical thought in their schoolroom or a instructor who wishes to ease a transformative schoolroom norm in a community of pattern that wishes to antagonize the unfairnesss that exist in our society today. In order to consequence alteration, instructor within the laden group will besides be instrumental in the reeducation of the laden young persons, because they serve as testimonies that through difficult work, they can accomplish their ends and lift above their fortunes. These instructors are now given the undertaking of constructing self-esteem, pride, assurance. This can merely be achieved through constructing a strong resonance with pupils and parents likewise, and non giving up when the undertaking seems excessively much to bear. Loads of congratulations and positive supports will besides travel a long manner. It is of import to observe that true release does non happen in spots, but as a corporate whole, through contemplation, critical thought and political action.



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