link: libratory pedagogy



theme: Libratory pedagogy recognizes the politics of education. Libratory pedagogy education for liberation or 'critical pedagogy'. The goal is self-actualization or 'humanisation'.

 "An act of violence is any situation in which some men prevent others from the process of inquiry..a. ny attempt to prevent human freedom is an 'act of violence.' Any system which deliberately tries to discourage critical consciousness is guilty of oppressive violence. Any school which does not foster students' capacity for critical inquiry is guilty of violent oppression. (Freire, P.1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. p.74)

Education is a matter of politics as well as pedagogy  The practice of education for liberation takes place in circumstances of specific power relations. Fundamental expression is given to power and politics and reflected in the meaning of language. Liberatory pedagogy incorporates a struggle for meaning as well as a struggle for freedom and justice.

Emphasis is placed on profound respect for human nature, human needs and the human struggle for growth towards complete humanization.

 Education is a social project which involves politics as well as pedagogy. Education which recognizes the political aspects of teaching as well as the pedagogical aspects is known as 'critical education' or 'critical practice'. Critical education is a form of pedagogy which emerges from the joint languages of critique and possibility and involves critical reflection and action. Critical education is fundamental to the development of human dignity and courage or 'humanisation'. Full humanisation of the individual and of the society is the end result of a pedagogy of liberation or 'freedom'. Education for freedom is 'liberatory pedagogy'.

Liberatory pedagogy is a liberating, life-affirming, humanising democratic, problem-posing, challenging pedagogy which strives to unveil the 'true' nature of reality i.e.'truth'

 "Students, as they are increasingly posed with problems relating to themselves in the world and with the world, will feel increasingly challenged and obliged to respond to that challenge. Because they apprehend the challenge as interrelated to other problems within a total context, not as a theoretical question, the resulting comprehenion tends to be increasingly critical and thus constantly less alienated. Their response to the challenge evokes new challenges, followed by new understandings; and gradually the students come to regard themselves as committed." (Paulo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed.)

Libratory pedagogy fosters rational thought   Liberatory pedagogy fosters rational thinking by demythologizing... demythisizing reality and transforming it. To have a rational and critical perception of one's reality means that one can perceive the various parts as constituent elements of a whole... having a total vision of the context of the constituent fragments and thereby gaining a clearer perception of the reality in its totality. This is the wholistic perception of reality which is required for congruence of thought and action necessary for survival in a changing environment. With a wholistic perception the individual perceives 'critically' his own mode of existence in the world based on accurate and objective perception of reality of his surroundings and his world.

Survival depends on rational thought ...decision making and action. His actions are based on his perception of the reality of his world. Development of the critical faculties... 'critical objectivism' the individual perceives the world as a reality in process or 'transformation'... sees his situation, not as fated but as limiting and therefore challenging. He can reflect on his situation critically and objectively and then act on his objective perception of a reality in process. He can make decisions on the basis of this objective perception and move and work to change his situation and transform his world.

Education as the practice of humanisation is 'true' education. True education involves a pedagogy which is based on the practice of liberation i.e. 'liberatory pedagogy'.

   Liberatory pedagogy is a pedagogy of liberation centered around the principles for social change and transformation through education based on consciousness raising and engagement with oppressive forces. Liberatory education cannot serve the interests of any oppressive order which prohibits the individual from questioningthe validity of the social reality. As the practice of freedom to inquire, liberatory pedagogy is grounded in the interrelatedness between reality and human consciousness. Liberatory pedagogy is a vehicle or 'referent' for change. As a referent for change, liberatory pedagogy fosters the raising of consciousness, the engagement of oppressive forces and the transformation of the social context. The forces of oppression derive from the ignorance or 'illiteracy' of uncritical consciousness. Illiteracy is the inability to perceive or 'read' reality with a critical consciousness. To be uncritical is to be unaware of the human character of the culture and to perceive one's condition and one's world as a natural function of uncontrollable forces and therefore as fated and inevitable.

For their actualization, the metaneeds require a growth promoting cultural environment. The 'metaneeds' must be actualized by social environment...culture .. growth promoting social environment and actualisation of spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. 

 Libratory education... facilitative pedagogy provides a growth promoting social climate which acknowedges the metaneeds and fosters growth The basic physiological and psychological needs are obviously instinctive in nature... The similarly biologically based 'metaneeds' ... though they are less urgent and weaker than the basic psychological needs are also instinctive in nature... fulfillment of the metaneeds can be fostered through the acknowledgement, encouragement and enforcement of the the individual's instinctive yearning for truth, beauty etc.. experiential richness... the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' is 'metamotivation.' It is possible to design an educational program around the instinctive 'metaneeds' Necessitating a cultural environment for their actualization, metaneeds and metamotivation can be lost in a social and cultural environment which does not acknowledge the metaneeds as a part of human nature. The failure to acknowledge... the metaneeds for growth constitutes the external cutural force which deprives the individual of conditions which are essential to personal growth. In a cultural environment which focuses on the basic physiological and psychological needs, 'metamotivation' is inhibited by forces external to the individual who is thus deprived of the means for gratification of the 'metaneeds.' As a result of the individual's ambivalent feelings towards the instinctive 'metaneeds' which can be both attractive and frightening, internal repression, denial and reaction responses can inhibit 'metamotivation.' As a result, the individual is subjected to internal forces of repression, denial and reaction responses which inhibit metamotivation for growth through learning. A cultural environment which respects the metaneeds as part of human nature fosters the individual's growth towards self-actualization. A cultural environment which respects the human organism's instinctive 'metaneeds' as well as basic psychological needs, fosters the individual's 'metamotivation' towards full human awareness or 'humanness.' Recognition, acknowledgement and respect for the instinctive metaneeds as well as the basic psychological needs constitute the external cultural forces which foster metamotivation and growth towards self-actualization and full humanness or 'experiential richness'. A cultural environment which respects the instinctive 'metaneeds' as well as the basic psychological needs fosters metamotivation and growth towards self-actualization and full human awareness, humanness or 'experiential richness'.

 The uncritical individual is ignorant of the nature and significance of knowledge as a process - maintaining a primitive language and refusing to learn how to analyze language with language in order to remain uncritical.

Knowledge is a function of knowing - a process.  The key to liberatory pedagogy is the concept that 'knowing' and 'knowledge' are matters of process, not product. Knowledge as process is defined in terms of critical acts of knowing or 'acts of cognition' - not in terms of 'transferrals of information'. Acts of cognition result from a process of understanding the social environment or 'reading reality'. Reading reality or 'learning' is effectively enhanced when it takes place at the social level. A learning situation in the social context involves the object of cognition and the 'cognitive actors' - teacher/student, parent/child and so on. The learning process involves the creation of new knowledge which is not absolute but relative since it is successive to previously existing knowledge. Knowledge that exists in the present was once only a viability which has become new knowledge. The learner has the freedom to develop self-discipline, engage in self-directed learning, and achieve self-actualization.

Education for freedom goes beyond the notion of 'schooling'. Schools represent only one of the important sites where education takes place. Education for humanisation often implies engagement with the dominant forces of society.

Resolution of 'teacher-student contradiction'  The practice of liberatory pedagogy begins with the resolution of the teacher/student,contradiction... parent/child contradiction. It challenges the teacher/student contradiction and the authoritarian role of the teacher... the parent/child contradiction and the authoritarian role of the parent. Methods of liberatory pedagogy have the effect of liberating the learner from the authoritarian roles of teachers and parents. The function of both teacher and parent is to create dialogue which is based on a mutual effort to understand the world and create social change. Without dichtomizing reflection of the world from their action in the world, students and teachers establish an authentic form of thought and action. Dialogue is indispensable to the act of cognition which unveils reality. People do not have to allow their lives to be shaped by the 'truths' of the ideology which dominates society. For an understanding of their condition, they can look to their own experiences and empower themselves to change their lives.

Liberatory pedagogy strives to validate the claim for knowledge and truth in personal experience and feeling. The belief in the collective sharing of experiences and feelings as the source of 'true' knowledge of what shapes people's lives is basic to all liberating pedagogies. It is by sharing their experiences that people can understand the forces which control their lives. Feelings are the source of the knowledge of one's humanness. The human capacity to feel is grounds for a humanized society. Collective liberation and humanization is the basis for social justice. If they first understand their own experiences, people can come to an understanding of their power to make social change. They can initiate changes in their social circumstances and in the society at large when they are in control of their lives. Using the methodology of thematic investigation, the individual analyses significant dimensions of his contextual reality. This makes it possible for him to recognize the interactions between the various components of that reality and consequently to perceive them as different dimensions of that total reality. With the critical analysis of a situation, it is perceived as problematic and challenging, creating new depth. Deepening the individual's consciousness about his situation, the problem-posing method presents the situation as one with limitations - as a problem which he is challenged to solve. Liberatory pedagogy or 'problem-posing education' stimulates the process of inquiry and develops critical thinking. Liberatory pedagogy is a natural pedagogy because it is a function of of the natural development of the critical faculties based on the functioning of the human brain.

 freedom... Full humanization of the individual and of the society is the end result of a pedagogy of liberation or 'freedom'.

 human consciousness... As the practice of freedom, liberatory pedagogy is grounded in the interrelatedness between reality and human consciousness.

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FREEDOM IN EDUCATION: FREEDOM FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SELF-REALIZATION EDUCATION FOR INNER FREEDOM ...LIBERATORY EDUCATION The fundamental aspect of an individual's education is his inner development for inner freedom. Education which is responsible to the human organism is education for inner development... critical consciousness ...Critical consciousness is necessary for survival - necessary for the individual human organism to distinguish between 'operative' values which are in his true self-interest and 'conceived' values - the cultural values which may not be in his true self-interest. Education for survival in a cultural environment is education for critical consciousness - for accurate perception of reality. education for freedom of thought is wholistic education which is freedom for human development... for personality development ... for moral development...which means freedom to make mistakes, to learn the value of mistakes, to learn from the mistakes.... freedom to error The aims of education are to foster the individual's inner freedom and development towards the following...fosters the individual's proper growth In dealing with problems of society and education, the tendency is to deal with outer structures and forms. But the structures and forms are created by individuals and depend on their levels of consciousness. Thus a more intelligent approach would be to deal with the implementation of methods which would enable individuals to improve themselves through their own inner development, the basis for their success and happiness. Education should provide the individual with a foundation for successfully living in the world. There is a need for depth education - education of the 'whole' individual. Specialization of knowledge must be accompanied by full human development. Used in the context of education, 'freedom' means freedom of thought. Freedom in school means freedom to think... freedom to work and freedom to learn... Freedom in education means freedom for human development and self-realization.

 "The Greeks attained the concept of an education that was 'liberal' not simply because it was the education of free men rather than slaves, but also because they saw it as freeing the mind to function according to its true nature, freeing reason from error and illusion and freeing man's conduct from wrong".(115 Archimbault, R.(Ed) Philosophical Analysis and Education. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1965)

 Liberation theology advocates peaceful revolution through critcal literacy. The most eloquent advocate of liberation theology is the compelling educator Paulo Freire. He emphasized the close relationship between human freedom and critical literacy. 'Literacy' means not only knowing how to read and write but how to read and write 'critically'. Freedom for the individual in a cultural context depends on his ability to search for meaning in his cultural environment - to criticize the cultural belief systems, values and institutions of his social and cultural environment. It depends on his capacity for 'critical consciousness'. "To Freire, the development of 'critical literacy' represents hope in that it provides a way in which humanity can freely and peacefully struggle for freedom." (132) Illiteracy is not only the inability to read, but the inability to read with a critical consciousness. The ability to 'read' does not constitute 'literacy.' Reading without a critical consciousness is Being able to read "Human dignity entails responsibility and responsibility entails being critical." (132) People must be critical in order for them to continue to be critical.(132) Critical consciousness is "crucial for freedom, autonomy and justice."(122) Freire's notion of 'conscientization' represents a pedagogy of liberation from the oppression of 'illiteracy' and an uncritical consciousness. His word 'conscientizao' meant "learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality." (1970, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 74) "To be uncritical is to be unaware of the human character of our culture, to see the world's condition as 'natural' or inevitable and one's particular condition as a function of uncontrollable forces."(132) To be uncritical one has to be ignorant of historical processes and of the nature and significance of knowledge. "One can remain uncritical by maintaining a primitive language and by refusing to learn how to analyze language and to analyze with language." According to Freire, an act of violence is "any situation in which some men prevent others from the process of inquiry." any attempt to prevent human freedom is an 'act of violence.' (1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 74) Any system which deliberately tries not to foster the capacity for critical consciousness is guilty of oppressive violence. Any school which does not foster students' capacity for critical inquiry is guilty of violent oppression. Ignorance and illiteracy are necessary ingredients of poverty, hunger, misery and oppression.(Freire POO124) (1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed,. Trans. Myra Bergman Ramos, New York: Herder and Herder.) (1973. Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Seabury Press.)