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Paulo Freire

The Global Legacy

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Edited By 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-Five: A Dialogue About Dialogue: Freire and Bakhtin Talk Pedagogy in Response to Percy’s “Problem”

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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

A Dialogue About Dialogue: Freire and Bakhtin Talk Pedagogy in Response to Percy’s “Problem”

LEON BENADE AND E. JAYNE WHITE

PERCY’S “PROBLEM”

In the paper “The Problem With Percy” (Bailin, 1999), a teacher laments the fate of her graduate student, Percy, who is having difficulty in a graduate class that requires him to engage in critical writing. Percy’s problem, according to Bailin, is that he is unable to engage in critical thinking. Her claim is based on his inability to consistently conceptualise, argue, and theorise ideas in his writing. Bailin asserts that this problem goes beyond the acquisition and practice of skills or the demonstration of a disposition to critical thinking. Thus, the problem is not about Percy’s ability to conceptualise ideas or his disposition to inquire (although she suggests that Percy may lack a “critical spirit” [p. 164]). His problem, she suggests, is epistemological—“he does not understand the enterprise of knowledge creation and evaluation” (p. 164). She argues that there are moral reasons educators should encourage students to develop the ability and disposition to evaluate reasons, justify claims, and make judgments. This justification resides in a preference for these activities over those acting out of “image, intuition or authority” (p. 168), and is particularly important in the context of “a flight from reason,…spread of religious fundamentalism,…proliferation of new age philosophy” and postmodernist rejection of rationality (p. 169). For Bailin, the solution for Percy lies in an...

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