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Pedagogy of Oppressed

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Submitted By gaprincess1984
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recognition of humanity should be the central focus of human existence.
• Within a historical context both humanization and dehumanization are possible realities.
• The very attempt to deny our humanity, through the process of dehumanization, reaffirms our humanity.
• Humanization is characterized in terms of: o Yearning for freedom and justice o Struggle to recover humanity o Emancipation of labor o Overcoming of alienation o Affirmation of the individual
• Dehumanization is characterized in terms of: o Injustice o Exploitation o Oppression o Violence o Those robbed of their humanity o Those who have robbed others of their humanity
• Struggle: is defined in terms of one’s attempt to overcome one’s oppression. o Limitation of Struggle: 1 Cannot seek to oppress the oppressor as a consequence of one’s attempt at liberation.


• Task of the Oppressed: o Liberate themselves o Liberate the oppressor
• Liberation: o Both the oppressed and the oppressor require liberation 1 The assumption that only the oppressed require liberation is incorrect. 2 o Only arises from the those oppressed 3 o Cannot be attained by chance or circumstance 4 o Can only be attained through a fight for liberation. 5 The fight is actually an act of love. 6 • False Generosity: only meaningful insofar as injustice is still perpetrated. AKA “lovelessness”. 7 o False Charity: seek to increase the viability of charity by reinforcing the dehumanization of those seeking charity. 8 • True Generosity: only meaningful insofar as liberation is directed to overthrowing dehumanization/injustice. 9 o Seeks to diminish the conditions wherein charity is viable. 10 o Only attained by the efforts of the oppressed. 11 • The Insight of the Oppressed: 12 o Awareness of an oppressive society 13 o Firsthand experience with suffering 14 o Understand the importance of Liberation 15 • Sub-oppressors: Oppressed group members engaged in the act of oppression. 16 o The necessary conflation of the notion of “manhood” with oppressor. Thus, oppressed men must oppress other men to be a man. 17 o Adhesion: the perceived necessity of oppression as a condition for recognition. 18 • First Level of Liberation; 19 o A total submersion in the reality of oppression. 20 o Use of “adhesion” to align one’s self with oppressors. 21 o No struggle to overcome oppression, rather total immersion in oppression.

Chapter 1 §2:
• Sub-oppressors have an identification with the oppressor (through the process of adhesion)
• They fail to recognize their own oppression
• Their desire is not for freedom but power over others, through ownership.
• The “promotion” of someone oppressed to a sub-oppressor does not negate that individual’s oppression.
• The initial stage of the struggle is defined in terms of an attempt to identify with the oppressor.
• The Fear of Freedom: o Both the oppressor and the oppressed have a fear of freedom. o The oppressed: fear of gaining freedom. 1 Must reject the image of the oppressor and replace it with autonomous agency. 2 o The oppressor: fear of losing the ability to oppress. 3 • Prescription: 4 o The imposition of choice. 5 o The recipient of the prescription is forced to conform. 6 o Prescription controls the behavior of the oppressed. 7 • Freedom: 8 o The goal of liberation is to attain freedom. 9 • The Situation of Oppression: 10 o Can only overcome through the recognition of its causes. 11 o The struggle is a struggle to transform the situation of oppression. 12 o Affect both the oppressed and the oppressor. 13 o The oppressor cannot initiate the struggle. 14 o The oppressor is dehumanized by dehumanizing the oppressed 15 o The Fear of Freedom: reinforces the situation of oppression. 16 Conformity to unfreedom


• The Duality of the Oppressed: o Freedom is necessary for authentic existence o Authentic existence requires struggle o The oppressed are fearful of struggle o Therefore, the oppressed have a fear of freedom.
• Goal of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed: o This pedagogy must be used in concert with not for the oppressed. o A recognition and reflection on oppression will precipitate the struggle for liberation
• The Central Problem: o “How can the oppressed, as divided, inauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation?”1
• Process of Humanization: o The oppressed is “host” to their own oppression (through the process of adhesion). [Midwifery example as liberation] o Must struggle to divorce one’s self from the adhesion to the oppressor and thereby liberate both the oppressed and the oppressor. o Recognizing the Situation of Oppression: 1 Is not totalizing 2 Can be transformed into a situation of free autonomy, which is a necessary though not sufficient condition. 3 Recognition of oppression is the first state of liberation [birthing example], but not the only state.

Chapter 1 §3: 1 For the oppressor, being an oppressor can cause considerable stress. 2 The oppressor rationalizes his guilt through paternalism. [explanation of paternalism]

1 Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 30th Anniversary Edition. New York: Continuum, 1970: p. 48.

• Solidarity with the Oppressed: o The oppressor must have solidarity with the oppressed through by relinquishing them of their “being for another” o [Read Citation]: “The one is independent, and its essential nature is to be for itself; [the oppressor]…the other is dependent, and its essence is life or existence for another.”2 o Solidarity with the oppressed is only attained in the concrete recognition of their suffering never in the abstract notion of their notion of their impoverishment. o The affirmation of individual freedom requires action. And affirmation without action is valueless. o The oppressor-oppressed contradiction is resolved through objectively verifiable means. It is a quantifiable state of affairs, not abstract.
• The Objective Transformation of Reality: [OTR] o The process of changing the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is resolved through the objective transformation of reality. [emphasis on objective] o The notion of objectivity requires subjectivity. o The denial of subjective reality leads to objectivism. o The denial of objective reality leads to solipsism. o OTR occurs in a dialectical relationship between subjective and objective reality. o The denial of subjectivity results in a world w/o people o The denial of objectivity results in people w/o a world. o Denies the assertion that Marx destroys subjectivity, but subjectivism. o If it is true that our social reality is a product of human ingenuity, [social constructionism], then the transformation of this reality is an historical task. [Historical obligatedness] o The praxis of struggle is only possible through awareness of oppression.

2 Ibid., p. 49.

• Oppressive Reality: o “Reality” does not imply objective reality o “Reality” implies the dialectical relationship between subjective and objective realities. o Oppressive reality is an oppression born out of the contradistinction between oppressors and oppressed, as mutual conditions for the existence of the other. o Oppression is domestication! [example of wild dogs / implications for the notion of civilization] o OTR transforms oppressive reality through reflection and action i.e., (struggle). o Oppressive reality is compounded if (1) there is an existence of an oppressive reality and (2) there is awareness among the oppressed of this oppressive reality. 1 Syllogism: 2 o OTR is only possible through confronting oppressive reality 3 o Confrontation requires perception 4 o Two forms of perception: 5 False perception: the interpretation of perception as a purely subjective phenomenon 6 True perception: the interpretation of perception as a dialectical relationship between subjective and objective realities.

Chapter 1 §4:
False perception:
• Not a denial of the facts just a reinterpretation of the facts. o Another attempt to rationalize oppression. o Rationalized facts lose their objective basis. [race, sambo example-human but…] o The oppressor wants to propagate a state of submersion, i.e., submersion as fact. o Attempt to mask the true nature of oppressive reality.

3 Ibid., p. 53.
4 Ibid., p. 54.
• Dialectical thought: o “world and action are intimately interdependent.”3 o We must be preoccupied with the action of dialogical exchange. o Our praxis must be directed toward the critical intervention of those submerged in oppression. [this is the basis for the pedagogy of the oppressed] o Those who initially recognize this oppression develop the pedagogy of their liberation, the “pedagogy of humankind” o “The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption”4
• The Pedagogy: o Recognition of the following: 1 Begins with false generosity and paternalism [as rationalized guilt] 2 Result in the objectification of the oppressed to further warrant false generosity [“look how poor they are”] 3 False charity becomes a means of dehumanization 4 Oppressor cannot champion liberation 5 • Power and the Objective Transformation of Reality [OTR] 6 o Question: 7 Since liberation requires power, and the oppressed lack power, how is their liberation possible? 8 o Two uses for education power: 9 Systematic Education: requires political power to implement educational reform 10 Educational Projects: does not require political power for the implementation of educational reform. 11 • Two Stages of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 12 o The recognition of oppression by the oppressed and an acceptance the OTR. 13 o The oppressed have succeeded in the OTR and now the process of liberation is for all people.

5 Ibid., p. 55.
6 Ibid., p. 56.
• Confronting a Culture of Domination: o The perception of oppression must change among the oppressed. [transformation from submersion to recognition]. o Must acknowledge “oppressed consciousness” [e.g., the hater] o Must acknowledge “oppressor consciousness” [e.g., keeping up with the Joneses].
• Definition of Oppression: o “Any instance in which “A” objectively exploits “B” or hinders self-affirmation.”5
• Role of Violence in Oppression: o This hindrance constitutes violence. o Violence is inherent in all acts of oppression. o Freire denies that violence can be initiated by the oppressed. [Detailed explanation of justification]. o Violence is used to establish oppression. o Violence is a product of dehumanization. o The oppressed aren’t classified as “oppressed”. They are “savages,” “heathens,” “barbarians” when they react to the violence of the oppressor with violence.
• The Role of Violence as Initiating Love: o The reaction to the violence of the oppressor is met with “an act which is always, or nearly always, as violent as the initial violence of the oppressor”6 o This act of responsive violence, however, can lead to and act of love. o Violence as dehumanization:
The violence of the oppressor 1 Dehumanizes both the oppressed and the oppressor. 2 o Responsive violence as humanization: 3 The violence of the oppressed. 4 Serve as the condition for the possibility for humanity


• The oppressor can neither liberate themselves nor the oppressed.
• Beyond the Oppressor-oppressed contradiction [OOC] o The new human being is neither oppressed nor an oppressor o Requires the destruction of the oppressor class 1 This act of destruction is not an act of oppression 2 Oppression can only occur in the act of dehumanization 3 The existence of the oppressive class dehumanizes the oppressed 4 The destruction of the oppressive class liberates the oppressed from dehumanization 5 Therefore, the act of destroying the oppressive class cannot be an act of oppression, since it ultimately liberates human beings from further dehumanization. 6 There cannot be a replacement of the former oppressed as the new oppressor. [pendulum swing example] 7 • Consequences of Liberation for the Former Oppressor: 8 o There is no sense of liberation among former oppressors. 9 o They perceive themselves as oppressed. 10 o Their individual rights supersede the wellbeing of countless others. [Beethoven example] 11 o Maintain the belief that Humanity is reserves for the oppressor class. 12 o Members of the oppressed class are objectified. 13 • Engendered Violence and the Oppressor Consciousness: 14 o The social structure is built on the notion of oppressor enforced violence. 15 o To challenge this conception of violence as social enculturation is to undermine the very fabric of the social structure. 16 o The oppressor consciousness objectifies ALL and dominates ALL, as the very condition for its existence. [even notions of time become objectified]. 17 o The transformation of everything into an object creates the possibility of purchasing the object, Have and have nots.

7 Ibid., p. 58.
Chapter 1 §5:
Failure of Oppressors
“If having is a condition for being, it is a necessary condition for all”7 1 Oppressors fail to recognize their privilege in having. 2 Fail to recognize this privileged as dehumanizing the oppressed. [one’s having is at the expense of another person’s not having]. 3 Having / owning / possessing is an inalienable right, i.e., the right to have more. 4 [Locke vs. Nozick on ownership], more like Locke less like Nozick. 5 The dehumanization of those who do not have as, lazy and incompetent. 6 Their laziness and incompetence makes them jealous and envious, which makes members of the oppressed class dangerous. 7 Humanization requires recognition and recognition offers an opportunity to have, which threatens that which oppressors already have. Thus, humanization, liberation or freedom threatens their material possessions. 8 The oppressor acts sadistically by transforming the oppressed into things. 9 The oppressor consciousness destroys freedom and thus life in this act of objectification. 10 Rob the oppressed of purpose [Matrix II]

Oppressors Joining the Oppressed: (Converts) 1 Despite good intentions, they typically retain their biases. 2 Attempt to think for the oppressed. 3 They want to bring about the OTR, but they cannot because this is the responsibility of the oppressed. 4 Converts fail to trust people because they recognize the systematization of oppression. Trust, however, is essential for the OTR. Therefore, converts cannot bring about the OTR. This can only happen through the oppressed class.

8 Ibid., p. 62. 1 Trust is more important than generosity 2 Converts cannot seek to impose or define the nature of the revolution. To do so is to reestablish a system of oppression. 3 The act of conversion is an act of rebirth. 4 Camaraderie offers converts glimpses into the structure of their domination.

On the Role of Fatalism:
• Often interpreted as docility
• Docility surfaces as a consequence of historical and social oppression. It is not an inherent characteristic.
• Attempt to interpret their oppression as the will of God. An attempt to imbue their oppression with meaning.
• The oppressed express docility toward the oppressors but “horizontal violence” toward other members of the oppressed. o Horizontal violence: is misguided violence against fellow oppressed, used indirectly to attack the oppressor.
• Fatalism is reinforced by attempts to imitate the oppressor [pop culture obsession with the wealthy].
• Imitation leads to alienation. Results in an inability to recognize one’s oppression. [McMansion e.g.,]
• Imitation is particularly “prevalent in the middle-class oppressed”8 [Keeping up with the Joneses]

Chapter 1 §6:
The Self-Depreciation of the Oppressed: 1 Results from internalizing oppressor consciousness 2 The oppressed assume and accept the narrative of their inferiority 3 They look to knowledge from the “professors” [do not view themselves as a source of knowledge] 4 They have been conditioned to distrust themselves. [discuss the role of trust for the convert] 5 General belief: Professor: knowledgeable. Peasant: ignorant.

9 Ibid., p. 64.
10 Ibid., p. 66. 1 Once the oppressed recognize the mechanism of their oppression, they recognize the nature of their exploitation, rather than the nature of their “character”. [not lazy, just exploited]. 2 Assume power is immutable, beyond challenge 3 The internalization of the “boss” [notion of self policing, internal self oppression/regulation/conformity]. 4 The oppressed are the to-be-haved (my phrase) or the for-another, they are not the for-one’s self.

“The Moment of Awakening” and the role of Praxis: 1 “The oppressed must see examples of the vulnerability of the oppressor so that a contrary conviction can begin to grow within them.”9 2 A disregard for the state of one’s oppression leads to further exploitation. 3 Oppressed must learn to be constructively rebellious. 4 Praxis is the combination of three elements: 5 (Reflection + Critical dialogue + Action = Praxis) 6 True reflection must lead to action; otherwise, it is “armchair revolution”10 7 Activism is action without critical reflection. 8 Armchair revolutionaries are reflective without action. 9 Thus, only through praxis can the OTR manifest.

The Dependency of the Oppressed: 1 Suffering is a precondition to dependency 2 Necrophilic behavior results from this dependency [the life destroying drive], which is itself a consequence of horizontal violence. 3 Suffering → Dependency 4 Dependency → Horizontal Violence 5 Horizontal Violence → Necrophilic behavior 6 ∴ Suffering → Necrophilic behavior

11 Ibid., p. 68.
Instruments of Domestication: (Hamper true discourse) / Inauthentic Discourse 1 Monologues 2 Slogans 3 Rants 4 Adages 5 The use of language to “speak for” (my phrase) the oppressed transforms them into the masses. The instruments of domestication transform the oppressed into domesticated masses.

Chapter 1 §7: 1 Critical dialogue is only possible where there is trust 2 Dependence is a consequence of domination 3 Dependence is transformed into independence through praxis: (1) reflection and (2) critical dialogue and (3) action. 4 Independence cannot be attained solely through the effort of others.

Process of Liberation: 1 Trust 2 Proper praxis: 1. reflection, 2. critical dialogue, 3. action 3 “Revolutionary wisdom” must come from one’s self in order to be authentic. 4 Liberation must be a product of the subjectivity rather than the objectivity of the oppressed. [objectivity as object/dehumanization].

Two Forms of OTR: 1. transformation for: invalid [paternalistic, guilt, false charity] 2. transformation with: valid [authentic, dialogue, trust].

The Importance of the Struggle: 1 An acceptance of “the struggle for humanization” necessitates the “responsibility for the struggle”11 2 Oppression is death-affirming 3 Struggle is life-affirming


1 The dehumanization of the oppressed has occurred as a consequence of their objectification. The struggle for their humanity is a struggle to affirm their subjectivity. 2 Must begin the struggle as human beings 3 Revolutionary leaders must engage in dialogue and establish a relationship with the oppressed. 4 Pedagogy must be free of manipulation, as manipulation is a tool of oppression. 5 Revolutionary leader must implement co-intentional education

Co-Intentional Education:
• Students and teachers are both identified as subjects
• Knowledge is co-created, [both active rather than active-passive]
• Praxis must be shared throughout o Shared reflection o Shared critical dialogue o Shared action

Chapter 2 §1:
The Teacher-Student Relationship:
• A teacher-student relationship is understood in terms of its narrative character.
• The teacher o Active participant o is the narrator o knowledgeable o Existence is necessitated by the “ignorant student” o The description of reality is static o Examples do not draw from the students’ existential experiences. o Teaches w/o an explanation of meaning. 1 Education w/o meaning. 2 Rote memorization w/o understanding 3 Narration is memorized w/o contextualization 4 Gift Giver: The “gift” is knowledge

12 Ibid., p. 74. o Better teachers have more content to give [demonstrate how this is false, saturation vs. mastery].
• The student o is the listener o ignorant, [though not willfully ignorant, not misology] o receptacle o fails to recognize their ability to educate the teacher o passive recipient 1 recipient of the “gift” of knowledge 2 o The more passive, the better the student. 3 • The Educational System: 4 o An act of depositing “knowledge” [lowercase ‘k’] 5 o Knowledge comes from the teacher to the student 6 o The banking concept of education 7 Teacher deposits [the set: {1,2,3,4}] 8 Student is the recipient of this deposit: [{1,2,3,4}] 9 • Student may catalogue and collect this information. [{3,2,4,1}]. Content is essentially the same, i.e., same set, student merely reorganizes information 10 • The more passive the student, i.e., the more of a receptacle, the less critically the student can engage with the world. 11 • Limits student creativity 12 o Limited creativity serves the interests of the oppressor. 13 The apparent “humanism” “turns women and men into automatons”12 [oh, look at these poor people] 14 o Liberation requires critical consciousness and creative thought 15 • The Ideology of Oppression: Negates learning and information exchange. 16 • The Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 17 o Begins with reconciling the teacher-student contradiction.

13 Ibid., p. 74. o [Explanation of the teacher-student contradiction] o Teacher must have an ability to learn o Student must have an ability to teach

Chapter 2 §2
The Interests of the Oppressor:
• Seek to change the consciousness of the oppressed.
• Education embodies a system of adapting students to their role as dominated, passive, recipients, consumers and not creators.
• The oppressor creates a paternalistic system of “Welfare Recipients” which dominates the situation of the oppressed.
• The structure of the oppressive system is one wherein the oppressed are marginalized. o The system is then set to integrate “them” into the larger community. o However, the assumptions are: 1 (1) there are marginalized people “out there” 2 (2) they need to be incorporated “into” a “normal” social structure 3 (3) this process of incorporation requires acts of “domestication” 4 • The Truth Behind Marginalization: 5 o (1) “the oppressed are not marginals”13 6 o There is no “outside society” 7 o The oppressed reside within society 8 o They are used as “beings-for-others” rather than beings for themselves. 9 o The banking concept propagates the concept of the “out there” passive welfare recipients. [2x oppression] 10 • The Conflict between Domestication and Existential Experience: 11 o [e.g., critique of the “cannon”] 12 o Existential Experience (E.E.) show that reality is a process not bits of information.

14 Ibid., p. 76 o This process is always adapting and changing o Critical reflection leads to a recognition of the use of the banking concept as a means of domesticating students/the oppressed.

The Role of the Humanist Revolutionary Educator:
• Continuously motivated to engage students in critical thinking
• Concerned with mutual humanization
• Establishes trust in the student
• Establishes the condition for creativity, rather than rote memorization
• Recognizes the teacher-student partnership. o Dynamic o Mutual activity o Mutual contribution o Mutual exchange of knowledge [teacher: contextual, student: existential]
• Co-creates mutual liberation o [explain the oppression of both teacher and student]

Chapter 2 §3
The Dichotomy of the Banking Concept:
• Division between humans and the world o The oppressed is in the world o The oppressor is with the world o The oppressed is a spectator o The oppressor have an empty mind o Phenomenal experience is deposited into the passive mind of the observer. o No distinction b/ accessibility and internal consciousness. o Accessible to consciousness: 1 “The objects that surround me”14

15 Ibid., p. 76.
16 Ibid., p. 77.
17 Ibid., p. 78.
Educators role in the Banking Concept:
• Regulate the entrance of knowledge o Similar to Sartre’s “digestive” or “nutritive” concept of education o And attempt to adapt the content of one’s mind to the world. o Education within the banking concept is used to make us passive o The goal is for the oppressed to “fit the world of the oppressor.”15 o Oppressor are a minority o The oppressed are the majority o The dominant minority = the oppressor 1 Prescribe behavior and compliance for the oppressed.

The Importance of Communication: 1 The mutual authentication of thought 2 No imposition of thought on the student 3 “Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication.”16

The Necrophilous Person: Fromm: 1 Driven to mechanize the organic 2 Interested in the objectification of the subject 3 Necrophilous people are their possessions. 4 Kills to control.

The banking concept of education is necrophilic 1 It is the having of consciousness rather than the being of consciousness. 2 Fromm writes: “By this symbolic participation in another person’s life, [men have] the illusion of acting, when in reality [they] only submit to become a part of those who act”17

Chapter 2 §4:
Liberation and the Banking Concept: 1 The banking concept of education is used to Indoctrinate the oppressed into the world of oppression 2 Liberation cannot be attained through the use of banking educational concepts [leads to further oppression] 3 There can be no liberation without a renunciation of the banking concept of education

Two Forms of Liberation:
1. Authentic Liberation: devoid of the banking concept
a. Process of humanization
b. Utilizes consciousness with the world
c. Based on “problem-posing” education
d. Based on cognition
2. Inauthentic liberation: reliant on the banking concept
a. Reinforces dehumanization
b. Based on the banking concept of education
c. Based on the transferral of information

Problem-Posing Educational Model: 1 The teacher-student contradiction must be dissolved. 2 The teacher becomes the teacher-student [dual role] 3 The student becomes the student-teacher [dual role] 4 Participants are always cognitive 5 Knowledge is only useful insofar as it is shared, never possessed. 6 Objects become instruments of shared reflection [critical reflection b/ teacher-student and student-teacher.

Two Stages of the Banking Concept: 1. The cognition of an object 2. The explanation of that object

Knowledge within the Banking Concept: 1 Knowledge is co-opted by memorization. 2 The content of knowledge is “owned” / “possessed” by the teacher 3 Knowledge is privatized / owned

18 Ibid., p. 81.
19 Ibid., p. 81.
Knowledge within the Problem-Posing Method:
• The teacher-student and the student-teacher are always cognitive
• Knowledge is not privatized
• Both the instructor and the student are co-investigators o The Presentation of Knowledge in the Problem-Posing Method 1. Information is presented by teacher 1. Students consider this information 1. Student expresses her own consideration 1. Teacher reconsiders the initial information presented 1. • Results in the “unveiling of reality”18

Chapter 2 §5:
Benefits of Problem-Posing Model:
• Interrelation of reflection and action
• Committed to education because education becomes the “practice of freedom”19
• Under the banking concept of education, education is the “practice of domination”
• Under the problem-posing model of education, education is the “practice of freedom” o The Practice of Freedom:
Denies the abstraction and alienation of human beings, which is reinforced by the banking concept
Authentic Reflection: the integration of human beings within the world. 1 Consciousness and the world are inextricably bound. 2 The world of consciousness is a world of human subjects. 3 [Role of the I and the not-I in world consciousness] read paragraph. p. 82.

20 21

1 Explain: Husserl’s account of the conscious experience of “turning-toward” [the landscape of intuitive possibilities → objective identification/ background to foreground intuitions] 2 Students / Oppressed attain an ability to perceive their existence within the world. [importance of existential experiences].

Distinctions b/ Banking and Problem-Posing
• Banking concept: o Static o Framed, i.e., prescribed o Existence for o Objectification of self o Non Critical [because of prescription] o Dichotomization b/ self and world o Mythologizing o Dehumanizes o Assumes completion / “permanence”
• Problem-Posing Model: o Dynamic o In flux [turning-toward] o Existence with o Humanization of self in world o Critical reflection o World as self and self as world o Demythologizing o Humanizes o Assumes incompletion / “Change” 1 Education is the process of making whole. 2 o Begins “with the human-world relationship”20 3 o Oppressed groups must fight for their freedom

“Any situation in which some individuals prevent other from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence”…...

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