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19 Sep 2021

NORRAG celebrates Paulo Freire centenary: archival video with Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi

Released on 19 September on the Centenary of Paulo Freire, is an archival video from 1988 of a panel discussion at the University of Zurich. At the panel, Freire speaks, among others, about education of migrants, the situation in Brazil, women liberation movements and develops some of the ideas from his landmark book Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Panelists included Paulo Freire and Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi, NORRAG Director. The video is available online on NORRAG Vimeo and social media channels.

Paulo Freire, the Brazilian educator and philosopher was, with Ivan Illich, one of the most powerful influences on educational philosophy of the twentieth century. His radical criticisms of the power dynamics of classic schooling and pedagogy propelled and inspired movements for educational reform worldwide. Building on previous constructivists both he and Illich used a political lens to analyze the dynamics of schooling. During a forced political exile from Brazil Freire spent a decade in Geneva as an advisor to the World Council of Churches (WCC) where he internationalized both his experience and his message.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, published in Portuguese in 1968 and in English in 1970, has had an enduring impact on theories of learning. “For Freire, the educational process is never neutral. People can be passive recipients of knowledge — whatever the content — or they can engage in a ‘problem-posing’ approach in which they become active participants. As part of this approach, it is essential that people link knowledge to action so that they actively work to change their societies at a local level and beyond”[1].

This celebration by NORRAG contributes to the centenary of a major educationalist, philosopher and radical strong voice about contesting power relationships as they are expressed through organized education. With it, we continue our commitment to diversifying and amplifying voices on theories and practice of education.

Other events planned by NORRAG for the centenary will include a panel discussion, organised this autumn. More information will follow shortly.

For further reading, see the Freire Institute website.


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