Freire Paulo 1921 - 1997 (76)

Education means freedom.


Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Paulo Freire was an internationally renowned Brazilian philosopher and educator. He was born on September 19, 1921, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, a very poor area. His father died when he was 13 years old and for years it was very difficult for his family to make ends meet; since then, he aimed to improve the lives of the poor. He graduated from a law school but he never practiced law. During the 1960s he became involved with the illiteracy movement by conducting experiments with his own method. In 1964 he was a professor of History and Philosophy at the University of Recife, but even after a coup in the country, Freire was imprisoned and exiled as the new regime considered his teaching subversive. He remained in exile for almost 16 years, in Santiago, Chile (1964-69) where he worked as an educator for adults, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1969-70), where he taught for ten months at the University, and in Geneva, Switzerland (1970-79), where he worked under the auspices of the World Council of Churches as an ambassador for basic education in the Third World. In this capacity, he traveled around the world, talking about his ideas and experience and participating in seminars, conferences, seminars, mainly in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.

Freire returned to Brazil in 1980, and took a position at the University of Sao Paulo. In 1986 his wife Elza died and he fell into heavy mourning for a long time. He later remarried. In 1988 he took over the position of Secretary of Education in the Brazilian government and tried to implement a new educational model in the city's schools while at the same time managing a pioneering program for adult education based on his own method. He wrote dozens of books, the most famous being The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which was written during his stay in Chile and published in English and Spanish in 1970. He died on May 2, 1997.