What Paola Freire Wrote About Education

Paulo Freire, an educator who worked in Brazil in the 1960s, is well-known for several essays including “Education as the Practice of Freedom” and “Extension and Communication” (Freire 1974). In these works, Freire argues that meaningful learning occurs when the learner reaches critical consciousness which enables the learner to reflect on and understand not only what they know, but why they known it and how they know it. For Freire, education is a problem of negotiating information which is created by humans and within a social context; purposes, frames of references and reasons all contribute to dialogue between human and the information they construct together. Referring to the on-going work of answering questions that arise during instruction, Freire observed, “It means making a new effort, in new situations, in which new aspects which were not clear before are clearly presented to the [student]” (1974, 151). The future of education planning necessitates each educator (both individually and as a community member) develop critical consciousness that empowers each individual and group to respond with reason and evidence to proposed pedagogy.


Freire, Paulo. 1974. Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Continuum Publishing Company.