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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-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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