Paulo Freires life and work were marked by his clear option
in favor of the oppressed. Born in a poor region of Brazil - Recife,
Pernambuco, in 1921 he observed since his early days the
underprivileged classes survival hardships. This may be the origin
of his indignation against injustice and his great desire for a
transformation of society - which he believed should be less authoritarian,
discriminating and unequal.
educational practice or praxis, as he preferred to call it, has
always been coherent with his democratic dreams, since his times
as a school teacher until the time when he became the creator of
ideas and "methods" which won worldwide recognition and
Freire was a pioneer in Brazil in the use of social communication
means. The use of slides, movies, theaters, videos and television
are essential parts of his adult literacy method. His opinion
about computer science could not be different. What he emphasizes,
though, is that these powerful communications work tools
are still limited to a very small public. They have not
been democratized yet, thus increasing the distance between
the young people from the popular classes and their counterparts
from the middle and upper classes.
Moacir. Paulo Freire: Uma bibliografia. Ed. Cortez,1996.
his trajectory, marked by a political-ideological posture oriented
to the overcoming of oppression, courage and a willingness to
fight are always present, as his understanding of true happiness.
Whether in the classrooms of the Recife University, where he rehearsed
the first steps towards his educational philosophy, or in his
early experiences with adult literacy and consciousness-raising
such as Angicos, in Rio Grande do Norte (1963) - Freire
became known as an educator focused on peoples issues.
invitation of the government of João Goulart, Freire coordinated
in Brazil the National Literacy Program, using his literacy "Method".
The program was supposed to reach 5 million adults, possible electors
in the upcoming elections. Since "Paulo Freires Method"
was not about just teaching how to read and write, but also about
politicizing, the students were made to notice the injustices
that oppressed them and the need to promote changes, through organizations
of their own which identified them as a threat to society.
Consequently, the Program was cancelled by the military government
in April of 64, less than 3 months after its official start.
daring, and by putting into practice a methodology capable not
only of teaching illiterates to write and read, but also of inciting
their freedom, Freire was accused of subverting the established
order, and after being imprisoned he had to leave the country
coherent with his own ideas and practice, Paulo Freire knew how
to become the subject of his own story and was able to transform
his adverse situation. In Chile he started a new stage of his
life and work. He worked as an advisor for the Farming and Cattle
Raising Development Institute of the Chilean Ministry of Education,
developing adult educational programs. It was in Chile that Freire
wrote one of his most important works: Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
16 years of exile, Paulo Freire returned to Brazil in 1980. He
then taught in important universities such as UNICAMP - Universidade
Estadual de Campinas e PUC/SP - Pontifícia Universidade
Católica de São Paulo. Little by little he reacquainted
himself with his country.
1989, Paulo Freire was appointed head of the Educational Department
of the largest city of the country, the municipality of São
Paulo. His term was marked by an improvement in teachers
salaries, a review of the disciplines taught in schools and, of
course, the implementation of literacy programs for young people
and for adults.
Freire won several prizes worldwide in recognition of the importance
of his work in the educational field. In April 1997, he launched
his last book, Pedagogia da Autonomia: saberes necessários
à prática educativa / Pedagogy of the autonomy:
necessary knowledge for the educational practice. In May of the
same year he died victim of a heart attack. Paulo Freire passed
away, but not his ideas.
sites de referência:
of the awards received by the author:
King Baldwin Development Award - Belgium,1980.
UNESCO Award of Education for Peace - 1986.
Andres Bello Prize - Educator of the Continent - Organization
of the American States, 1992.
was also a motion in 1993, organized by SBPC - Sociedade Brasileira
para o Progresso da Ciência / the Brazilian Society for
the Progress of Science, at its 45th Annual Meeting, to indicate
Freire for the Peace Nobel Prize:
Freires work is directed to the emancipation of the human
being, to the freedom of peoples and to social justice among men,
to an authentic democracy as the sovereignty of the people and
to peace among citizens in an atmosphere of humanization and consciousness-raising.
award the Peace Nobel Prize to Paulo Freire represents not only
the acknowledgement of a lifes work, but also the recognition
of those who fight for the next to impossible: to give the excluded
people of the world an opportunity to lead a dignified existence,
by shaking them out of apathy and making their rights respected."
SBPC, Recife, 07/17/93
few published works:
Educação como prática da liberdade / Education
as a practice of freedom (1967)
Pedagogia do Oprimido / Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968)
Extensão ou Comunicação? / Extension
or communication (1969)
Ação cultural para a liberdade e outros escritos
/ Cultural action for freedom and other writings (1975)
Educação e mudança / education and
Cartas à Guiné- Bissau: registro de uma experiência
em processo / Letters to Guinea-Bissau: register of an experience
in process (1977)
Conscientização: teoria e prática
da libertação / Conscientization: theory and practice
of liberation (1980)
A importância do ato de ler, em três artigos
que se completam / The importance of reading, in three articles
that complete each other (1982)
A educação na cidade / the educatio in the
Pedagogia da Esperança: um reencontro com a pedagogia
do oprimido / Pedagogy of hope: a reencounter with the pedagogy
of the oppressed (1992)
Professora sim, tia não: cartas a quem ousa ensinar
/ Yes for teacher, no for "auntie": letters for those
who dare to teach (1982)
Cartas à Cristina/ Letters to Cristina (1994)
À sombra desta mangueira / Under the shadow of the
orange tree (1995)
Pedagogia da autonomia: saberes necessários à
prática educativa / Pedagogy of autonomy: necessary knowledge
for the educational practice (1997)
Pedagogia da Indignação: cartas pedagógicas
e outros escritos / Pedagogy of the indignation: pedagogical letters
and other writings (2000) published posthumously .
published in partnership with other authors:
Paulo Freire ao vivo / Paulo freire live - with teachers
and students of the Faculdade de Ciências e Letras de Sorocaba;
Por uma pedagogia da pergunta / For a pedagogy of the question-
with Antônio Faundez;
Essa escola chamada vida / This school called life- with
Medo e ousadia: o Cotidiano do professor / Fear and audacity:
the teachers everyday life - with Ira Shor ;
Pedagogia: diálogo e conflito/ pedagogy: dialogue
and conflict - with Moacir Gadotti and Sérgio Guimarães;
Sobre Educação Vol. I e II / About Education
Vols. I and II - with Sérgio Guimarães;
Aprendendo com a própria história / Learning
with ones own history - with Sérgio Guimarães;
Teoria e prática em educação popular
/ Theory and practice in popular education - with Adriano Nogueira;
Alfabetização: leitura do mundo, leitura
da palavra / Literacy: worlds reading, words reading
- with Donaldo Macedo;
We make the road by walking - with Myles Horton.
for this last book, in partnership with Myles Horton, all the
others were published in Brazil, in Portuguese, and most of them
are translated into English, French and Spanish.