The Oppressed By Paulo Freire

1157 Words5 Pages
“By Achieving this awareness, they come to perceive reality differently; by broadening the horizon of their perception, they discover more easily in their background awareness the dialectical relations between the two dimensions of reality,” (Freire, 115). Paulo Freire’s, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, was written over three-thousand years after Plato and his own work, The Republic, but the two contain very similar messages. Freire proposes to his readers that the oppressed are being dehumanized. With this dehumanization follows a lack of education and the oppressed peoples understanding of liberation. Although modern terminology such as ‘banking education’ and ‘problem-posing’ replace creative stories of caves and shadows figures, many of Plato’s suggestions on how one should attain knowledge remain the same. Freire’s pedagogy, gives the marginalized a chance to become liberated through eduction, just as Plato’s cave victim are giving a chance to become free of the caves confines. Tim Mortenson’s school building project in the Middle East reflects this same idea seen in Plato and Freire’s work, freeing the marginalized through education. By building schools Mortenson is giving the children their a chance to seek an education and escape the oppression. To make sense of the connection between these two thinkers ideas, and finally how it connects to Tim Mortenson, one must first understand Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Imagine a man in a cave, chained up in such a way that his body cannot move nor turn at all. All that is in front of him is a single wall on which shadows are cast upon by people behind him, using a fire. The shadows and noises they provide are all he has ever seen or heard his whole life. As terrible as this sounds i... ... middle of paper ... ... is still the primary way of educating. From elementary aged kids to undergraduates, students sit in classrooms worldwide and write down everything their teacher and their power point’s say. This in the short term may score them a solid grade on a test or quiz but in the long term serves them no purpose at all. If this were so it would be called remembering not learning. Ultimately, it does not serve the greater interests of the individual and of the society to continue to educate in this way. Both Plato and Freire’s arguments suggest, and with good evidence, that this style will not lead to the betterment of our World. Instead, leading to the continuation of oppression of the millions of marginalized who are still shackled in a cave of shadows and echos. Tim Mortenson’s schools are a shimmering light at the entrance of the cave for these peoples chance of escape.
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