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Week 3 Pedagogical Question

Last week's question was brought to us by Alison, and she asked: How can we adapt Pedagogy of the Oppressed to teach students of oppressor groups to support a revolutionary coming of consciousness? And how can it be adapted to tend to groups and people with multiple identifications?

Several related questions came up as well. Is this (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) just a specific project? Is it adaptable to different parts of the world/classes? How translatable is it?

In addressing these queries, a multitude of interesting responses and key issues came to the fore.

The facts that there are not just a singular oppressor or oppressed class, and that an individual’s position within a class can be situational are addressed in Alison’s question and are relevant in considering the practical application of Freire’s praxis. These points seem to indicate once again that power and privilege are unstable.

The idea of critically interrogating assumptions seemed to be a particular insightful and helpful way of addressing concerns with students’ problematic generalizing assumptions. At the same time, as an instructor limits on what you are able to do are in place. The class is about something in particular and the instructor is being paid to teach certain material. Is there really space to question?

If there is to be a revolution of education, can this revolution even take place without a complete revolution (or overhaul) of the current education system within the United States? Grades in particular seem to present a problem for Freire’s method, as does the rigid organization of the currently predominant system. Can this rigidity allow for his idea of everyone teaching one another?

Please comment if there is something significant that I have missed or you feel should be added.