Farmers holding corncobs, the contested basic food item, at a workshop about agroecological farming and independent education in Chiapas, Mexico, in 2016. Photo by Katrin Aiterwegmair.
Practising anti-oppressive education
Talk by Gerald Faschingeder
Why and how should we practise anti-oppressive education? Paulo Freire’s concept of the ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ and its current relevance.
Paulo Freire was a prominent popular educator in Brazil as well as the founder of a pedagogy of liberation and a mass movement for adult literacy. His educational approach, based on raising consciousness (Conscientização), links action to reflection. This lecture analyses the contribution of Freire’s position and world-view for current development studies and education. To do so, research and educational projects of the Paulo Freire Center will be briefly presented, e.g. the project ‘Systematization of Agroecological Learning Experiences’ (SALE), that took place 2015–2018 in Cuba and Mexico/Chiapas. The following arguments will be discussed in the group: Reading the world is a critical undertaking to understand the reality based on dialogue, dialectics and a contextualized and problem-oriented approach. Writing the world is acting in a world structured by domination and oppression which calls for a non-dualistic approach that links agency and structure and ethics and rationality in an attempt of overall democratization. Finally there will be an outlook to case studies which aim at contextualizing Freire’s approach for Vienna in the 21st century.
Mag. Dr. phil. Gerald Faschingeder studied Economic and Social History and German Philology at the University of Vienna. Since 2004, as director of the Paulo Freire Center, he has been dedicating himself to the creation of a space for reflection on development policy work. He teaches at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna. His research topics are: culture, religion, and education in the context of international development.