Freire, Paulo

Paulo Freire (1921–1997) was one of the most important and influential writers on the theory and practice of critical education in the 20th century and remains extremely influential today. He first became internationally known as an adult educator because of the literacy programs he developed and out of which came his core ideas about critical education. Ultimately, his critical approach extended well beyond the area of adult education. His focus on the role of education in the struggles of oppressed people was characterized by a rare combination: His political commitments and radical perspectives were combined with personal humbleness, a powerful ethical outlook, and an impressive intellectual coherence. After first briefly describing Freire’s background, this entry discusses his influential arguments about an emancipatory educational theory and ...

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