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Paulo Freire

The Global Legacy


Edited By Michael Adrian Peters and Tina Besley

This collection is the first book devoted to Paulo Freire’s ongoing global legacy to provide an analysis of the continuing relevance and significance of Freire’s work and the impact of his global legacy. The book contains essays by some of the world’s foremost Freire scholars – McLaren, Darder, Roberts, and others – as well as chapters by scholars and activists, including the Maori scholars Graham Hingangaroa Smith and Russell Bishop, who detail their work with the indigenous people of Aotearoa-New Zealand. The book contains a foreword by Nita Freire as well as chapters from scholars around the world including Latin America, Asia, the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. With a challenging introduction from the editors, Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley, this much-awaited addition to the Freire archive is highly recommended reading for all students and scholars interested in Freire, global emancipatory politics, and the question of social justice in education.
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Chapter Thirty-Two: Music Education as a “Practice of Freedom”



Music Education as a “Practice of Freedom”


Much current political educational rhetoric boasts a concern for the raising of standards and the closing of “gaps.” A typical example is Minister of Education Hekia Parata’s 2012 budget speech entitled Raising Achievement for All.

We are ambitious to see all our children reach their potential and that’s why we aim to have 85% of all 18-year-olds having achieved a minimum of Level Two qualifications, NCEA or equivalent for 2016. This is a passport to a better life—because learning is earning…that’s why our education plan is focused on raising five out of five of our kids. We want all our learners to realise their potential and we want to create kiwis that can fly. (Parata, 2012)

This empty rhetoric (“Learning is earning”) with an apparent concern for matters of equity of opportunity shallowly masks a failure to openly engage with crucial issues related to the nature and purpose of education.

Freirean discourse is deeply concerned with ideals of justice and respect for humanity and invites dialogical engagement with these ideals and how they might be embedded in educational practice. Freirean pedagogy highlights the political nature of education and calls unashamedly for education as “humanisation” to be achieved through “critical dialogical praxis” (Freire, 2011). Critical dialogical praxis calls for the exercise of individual agency in a way that respects and in turn enables the exercise...

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