Pedagogy of the Oppressed

by

Paulo Freire

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When Freire uses the term freedom, he is specifically referring to the freedom to question, understand, and change one’s conditions in the world. Freire asserts that human beings naturally strive to achieve this kind of freedom, and that it is a key part of human identity. In this way, freedom is also the ultimate goal of Freire’s pedagogy.

Freedom Quotes in Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The Pedagogy of the Oppressed quotes below are all either spoken by Freedom or refer to Freedom. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom and Oppression Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed published in 2000.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes a myth. It is rather the indispensible condition for the quest for human completion.

Related Characters: Paulo Freire (speaker), The Oppressed
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Liberation is thus a childbirth, and a painful one. The man or woman who emerges is a new person, viable only as the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is superseded by the humanization of all people. Or to put it another way, the solution of this contradiction is born in the labor which brings into the world this new being: no longer oppressor, no longer oppressed, but human in the process of achieving freedom.

Related Characters: Paulo Freire (speaker), The Oppressor, The Oppressed
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

...Organization requires authority, so it cannot be authoritarian; it requires freedom, so it cannot be licentious. Organization is, rather, a highly educational process in which leaders and people together experience true authority and freedom, which they then seek to establish in society by transforming the society which mediates them.

Related Characters: Paulo Freire (speaker), The Oppressed
Page Number: 178-79
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Pedagogy of the Oppressed LitChart as a printable PDF.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed PDF

Freedom Term Timeline in Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The timeline below shows where the term Freedom appears in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Preface
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...critical consciousness (conscientização) as dangerous or “anarchic”—a viewpoint that comes from an internalized “fear of freedom” and the desire not to destabilize one’s worldview. However, some students embrace this awakening more... (full context)
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...in a meaningful way. He suggests that students often fear the risks of pushing for freedom, instead feeling more comfortable with the stability of their current lives. These students do not... (full context)
Chapter 1
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Maintaining and Overthrowing Oppression Theme Icon
...people do not always see themselves as “oppressed” at first, holding onto the “fear of freedom” mentioned in the Preface. Freire boils down the oppressor/oppressed relationship to one of “prescription”: oppressed... (full context)
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...same time, people also have to confront their internalized beliefs and ideas that hinder their freedom. For Freire, this becomes the role of a “pedagogy of the oppressed”: to help the... (full context)
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...be spurred to take action against it. For this reason, a pedagogy that helps create freedom should let oppressed people take the lead in deciding what’s best for themselves. (full context)
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...because oppressors feel that they can own humanity, they see the fight for humanization and freedom as inherently dangerous. Oppressors also rely on controlling others, to the point that Freire calls... (full context)
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...to human liberation should constantly reflect on their preexisting beliefs and biases. To authentically achieve freedom, a convert should be able to work with oppressed people, without seeing them as ignorant... (full context)
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...struggle. Along the way, the oppressed should enter into dialogue with others to push for freedom together; when people try to liberate the oppressed without their participation, they remove their agency,... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...may begin to understand that their education is in conflict with their natural drive for freedom. However, educators who truly want to help oppressed people cannot wait for this to happen—they... (full context)
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...beings. But the suffering that results from oppression can spur people to restore their personal freedom and power. Freire calls out the “banking” model as oppressive so that revolutionary leaders do... (full context)
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...to “banking,” a “problem-posing” pedagogy is based on communication and dialogue, and it fosters human freedom. It transforms the relationship between students and teachers, merging them into teacher-students and student-teachers. Everyone... (full context)
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When education is designed to foster freedom, it treats human beings and the world as intimately connected. Freire supplies the example of... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...in these terms and he argues that dialogue is necessary for human beings to find freedom and meaning in their lives. (full context)
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...the situation, and others who are harmed by it. In this context, oppressors see the freedom of oppressed people as a limit to their power. According to Freire, the main themes... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...they create myths about the world—such as the idea that oppression is permanent and encourages freedom, and that oppressed people must adapt to it. These myths are found in everything from... (full context)
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...educational process” that teaches both oppressed people and their leaders how to wield authority and freedom in service of each other. (full context)