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Paulo Freire

The Global Legacy


Michael A. 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 Twenty-Three: Freire, Sublative Hope, and Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand



Freire, Sublative Hope, and Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand


There are many ways to read Freire. Some authors read Freire through a psychoanalytic lens, and so they see his writing as psychoanalytically inspired (e.g., Bingham, 2002). Other authors view Freire with a utopian gaze, and read his pedagogy of liberation as a utopian project (e.g., Giroux & McLaren, 1997). Still others read Freire within an anti-bias frame, and see his work as a theoretical resource for their own projects (e.g., Gunn, 2003). Freire (1994) himself commented on the variety of messages ascribed to him, pointing out that while some were his own intention, others have been ascribed to him without his agreement. What is clear is that there are as many interpretations of Freire’s writing as there are interpreters. This is hardly surprising given Gadamer’s (1975, p. 357) assertion that “what is fixed in writing has detached itself from the contingency of its origin and its author and made itself free for new relationships.” Freire (1994, p. 47) himself also identified the virtues of rereading as a source of both creativity and possibility. The possibility of rereading Freire, both in terms of his message and into a highly localised context, is the starting point of this chapter.

I read Freire’s work as a pragmatic philosopher and as someone embedded in early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a pragmatic philosopher, I share Rorty’s (1999) assumption...

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