The Brazilian educator and activist Paulo Freire coined the term conscientization in working with illiterate adults in poor countries. It is a translation from the Portuguese term conscientização, referring to the process of critical consciousness raising in which learners develop a deeper understanding of the forces operating to shape their lives and their capacity to act in ways to change that reality.

In curriculum studies, conscientization refers to a learner moving toward a higher level of consciousness by becoming aware of how larger social, economic, cultural, and political forces operate to make things the way they are. Freire claimed that societies and individuals become dependent and are kept that way through a culture of silence.

The way out of dependency is through dialogue. Liberation comes about through ...

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