Pedagogy of the oppressed
If I were asked to remember the last time I have oppressed an individual, I may say that I don’t remember or simply that I did not realize that my acts were oppressive. However, if I was to tell when I was oppressed, I will probably remember. I would have probably given the preceding answer because my perception of oppression was ambiguous. I used to believe that oppression was only related to physical or mental abuse. But “oppression” is deeper than a simple abuse whether mental or physical. Paulo Freire defines it as the dehumanization of an individual. In his book the Pedagogy of the oppressed, Freire depicts the justifications given for oppression and how oppression can be overcome. He first addresses the problem of dehumanization, elaborating on the hierarchical roles of oppressors-oppressed. Both the oppressors and the oppressed are dehumanized by the process of oppression and need to be liberated from it. However, only the oppressed can conquest freedom for both the oppressed and the oppressors. Freire argues that for the pursuit of fuller humanity to be efficient, the oppressed has to critically understand the reality of oppression. He has to understand the causes of the oppression, and constantly reflect on his own actions in every step taken toward his liberation.
This ability to critically analyze the context of oppression and reflect on personal actions and motivations is not innate. It has to be taught. Paulo Freire believes that the oppressed have to be educated in the fight for their own liberation. This can be done by the use of dialogue as an educational tool. Freire explores in the second chapter the educational methods and strongly rejects the "banking" approach, claiming it results in the dehumanization of both the students and the teachers. In addition, he argues the “banking approach” –with which students are treated as banks accounts needing to be filled up in knowledge by...