Teaching and Learning according to Paulo Freire

Brazilian transformational educator, 1921-97
  • Biographical and Philosophical Info on Freire
  • Thoughts on Political Liberation and Oppression
    "Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."

    "Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future."

    "For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other."

    "No one is born fully-formed: it is through self-experience in the world that we become what we are."

    "Problem-posing education affirms men and women as beings in the process of becoming."

    "Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferals of information"

    "The educator with a democratic vision or posture cannot avoid in his teaching praxis insisting on the critical capacity, curiosity, and autonomy of the learner."

    "The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is him/herself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow."

    "Although the teachers or the students are not the same, the person in charge of education is being formed or re-formed as he/she teaches, and the person who is being taught forms him/herself in the process."

    "Those who teach learn by teaching and those who learn teach by learning."

    "To teach is part of the very fabric of learning."

    "There is no valid teaching from which there does not emerge something learned and through which the learner does not become capable of recreating and remaking what has been taught."

    "There is, in fact, no teaching without learning. One requires the other."

    "Curiosity as restless questioning, as movement toward the revelation of something hidden, as a question verbalized or not, as search for clarity, as a moment of attention, suggestion, and vigilance, constitutes an integral part of the phenomenon of being alive. There could be no creativity without the curiosity that moves us and sets us patiently impatient before a world that we did not make, to add to it something of our own making."

    "Education does not make us educable. It is our awareness of being unfinished that makes us educable."

    "Mere mechanical memorization of the superficial aspects of the object is not true learning."

    "My role as a 'progressive' teacher is not only that of teaching mathematics or biology but also of helping the students to recognize themselves as the architects of their own cognition process.
    When we live our lives with the authenticity demanded by the practice of teaching that is also learning and learning that is also teaching, we are participating in a total experience. . . . . In this experience the beautiful, the decent, and the serious form a circle with hands joined."