Alienation, reification and the banking model of education: Paulo Freire’s critical theory of education
Keywords:Paulo Freire, Frankfurt School, Critical theory, Pedagogical theory, The Banking Model of Education
I argue in this paper that Paulo Freire’s work Pedagogy of the oppressed should be reconsidered as a contribution to critical theory, given its proximity to first-generation critical theory concerning both theory and praxis. Pedagogy of the oppressed, I argue, is well suited to provide a viable praxis for the social critique provided by first-generation critical theory. While Freire’s critique in Pedagogy of the oppressed can be viewed typically as pedagogical in character, if we consider Freire’s classroom as a microcosm of society, it mirrors the dialectical relations of both the oppressor and oppressed. Pedagogy of the oppressed offers a means of overcoming the state of social oppression through a total social liberating praxis. Consequently, I argue that Pedagogy of the oppressed should be reconsidered as a contribution to first-generation critical theory.
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