Education Must Encourage Divergent Thinking that Empowers Students
Don’t ever underestimate the importance of the role of education in our world! That is one of the big things I ‘took away’ from this text. While knowledge gives power, the methods by which school systems educate sometimes squelch the very creativity and divergent thinking that schools profess to encourage. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire, changed the way I look at the world. Over the years, this classic has been banned in certain countries. In my opinion it’s a ‘must read’ for any school leader who works in a system with students who are of low socio-economic status, transient, or in any way disadvantaged by their social circumstances. Come to think of it, any school leader who works with any students - whether middle class, affluent or otherwise - should read this book also. Is there a school system with no such students? No.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed emphasizes the role of education in societal change and societal stagnation. If you are not afraid to peel back the layers that constitute your own perspective on education and examine how educational systems often unintentionally limit students’ views of themselves and their futures, you will find this book to be highly rewarding.
Caveat: This book was originally written in Portuguese, and the English version is not an easy read. The prose will seem a bit academic for the taste of many. If you prefer to read books that support what you already know or believe, you may be disappointed in this text.