Education is a process of paramount importance, as it serves to establish the direction in which society is to develop in the following years. As the complexity of today’s world remains on the increase, it should be reflected in the approaches utilized in pedagogy. The works of Paulo Freire may become a major source of inspiration for related disciplines due to his brave, explicit ideas. Education as freedom is one of the key themes within Chapter 3 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Accordingly, the lack of access to quality education may be deemed an instrument of oppression in this regard. A word is a powerful tool, and the way in which it is utilized within the classroom environment may define the outcome of the learning. Freire relies on the term Dialogue to explain this influence through a juxtaposition between activism and verbalism, as well. The purpose of this paper is to examine Freire’s understanding of dialogue as a critical concept of education of freedom.
Paulo Freire is a prominent philosopher whose independent thinking has inspired countless other researchers. Kohan (2018) writes that the influence of Freire’s educational paradigms has entailed new, revolutionary political agendas in the sphere of education. In his Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the author coins several important notions, providing insight into the nature of his philosophy and the core of the educational policies, in general (Freire, 1993). Dialogue is the key term across several chapters, and it acquires a new dimension in the third section. Freire (1993) reviews dialogue within the context of freedom and oppression. Word is said to be its critical component in its relation to reflection. Freire (1993) artfully compares verbalism, i.e., reflection without action, with an opposite situation, which is referred to as activism. These ideas serve to underline the importance of an optimal approach to pedagogy, in which words and thoughts remain in balance.
On the other hand, the notion of dialogue in the Freirian world extends beyond the verbal exchange of information. As the author continues to expand upon his ideas, a new dimension is added to the dialogue as an act of love and a sign of hope (Kohan, 2018). From Freire’s point of view, it provides people with the means to investigate the reality itself, acquiring knowledge and even control. At the same time, the very idea of dialogue rejects autocracy, as the notion evokes associations with cooperation and understanding. In other words, the educational dialogue is incompatible with oppression, as it prompts an honest, equal discussion. It is one of the most effective ways of pedagogy, through which the learner’s critical thinking is developed, as well. Freire (1993) writes that dialogue is only possible when learners and educators acknowledge the imperfections and take meaningful efforts to address them. In light of curriculum reform, educational dialogue may serve to expand the role of students from mere recipients of the material to partners and even co-creators of knowledge.
Overall, Freire’s philosophical paradigm of learning lay particular emphasis on dialogue in pedagogy. The in-depth examination of the idea provides insight into the fundamental notions behind Freire’s thinking. According to him, the dialogue is based on love, respect, and understanding, making it the opposite of oppression. Learners obtain an opportunity to speak and explore freely, without the paradigmatical constraints of an oppressive system. When word and reflection are in balance, dialogue enables a better understanding of the world itself, contributing to the positive efforts of educators. However, quality development is only possible through the aforementioned balance, and without it, the process will not be as effective.
Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum.
Kohan, W. O. (2018). Paulo Freire and philosophy for children: A critical dialogue. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37, 615–629. Web.