Paolo Freire
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Paolo Freire was a Brazilian educator most famous for his seminal work Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire was born to a middle class family and grew up during the global economic depression of the 1930's; he focused his attention early on teaching the poor in his native Northern Brazil. He noted that students' environment must be incorporated into their education. This became a key theme of his overall methodology. In Brazil he was already known as a revolutionary educator and activist, particularly for his approaches to teaching literacy so he was forced into after the 1964 military coup d'├ętat. During that time he travelled the globe, spending time as a scholar at Harvard University and later as the education advisor to the World Congress of Churches. Pedagogy of the Oppressed was published, in English in 1970. The book, and his approach to education is based on the idea that education can often be a tool of oppression but with a more inclusive approach can also be a tool of liberation. His methodology in educating underserved, impoverished people emphasizes that goal (don't split infinitives!)to become literate and educated, but also to use literacy as a social and political transformation; to enable the oppressed to lead their own struggles for advancement.

After military rule ended, Freire returned to Brazil in 1979 and continued his work in education, primarily adult literacy, and later became the Secretary of Education for San Paolo, Brazil's most populous region. Freire's philosophy and methodology have had a global impact. Over a million copies of Pedagogy of the Oppressed have been sold worldwide and it continues to be a tool for educators.


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