"First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire’s work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.
Years before he was “invited” to leave his homeland after the military coup of 1964, Freire had begun devoting his life to the advancement of the fortunes of the impoverished people of Brazil. After his twenty-year exile he moved first to Chile, then emigrated to the United States before returning to Brazil. In the course of his work and travels, and as a result of his studies in the philosophy of education, he evolved a theory for the education of illiterates, especially adults, based on the conviction that every human being, no matter how “ignorant” or submerged in the “culture of silence” is capable of looking critically at his world in a dialogical encounter with others, and that provided with the proper tools for such encounter he can gradually perceive his personal and social reality and deal critically with it. When an illiterate peasant participates in this sort of educational experience he comes to a new awareness of self, a new sense of dignity; he is stirred by new hope."
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