The Global Legacy
Edited By Michael Adrian Peters and Tina Besley
Chapter Thirty-Three: Activism, Reflection, and Paulo Freire—an Embodied Pedagogy
Activism, Reflection, and Paulo Freire—an Embodied Pedagogy
This chapter explores the critical pedagogy of activists as they participate in activism on some of the most important human rights issues of our time. I argue that the pedagogy of activism is critically cognitive and embodied in a practice that is inherently social. The chapter commences with some writing on what I claim is Freire’s own activism, always working toward a struggle for social justice and social change. His educational practices were never removed from sites and movements of struggle and resistance and he encouraged teachers to be political, that their teaching should never be disassociated from a critique of the political and social realities that impact on and create impediments to a democratic education.
The chapter then outlines empirical research on the learning dimensions of activists conducted in Australia and draws on some of their personal narratives. I explore the reflexivity of activists as they work within and against the state, on issues of indigenous self-determination, racism, religion, homophobia, urban development, climate change, civil liberties, economic inequality, and other topics of concern. I argue for a critically reflexive pedagogy, as Paulo Freire reminds us, activism without purposeful reflection has the potential to become what he termed “naïve activism.” That is, a focus on the theory and philosophical underpinnings of activism, and the tactics and strategies necessary to instigate social change, can ← 517 | 518 → create...
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