The Global Legacy
Chapter Thirty-Six: Freire and Skinner: Is There Space for a Dialogue on Education?
Freire and Skinner: Is There Space for a Dialogue on Education?
DENISE BACHEGA AND JOãO DOS SANTOS CARMO
Although there is extensive academic production of behavior analyses focused on education, some studies suggest that in the Brazilian educational context there are many misconceptions and poorly founded criticisms regarding the value of their contributions to education. In contrast, Freire’s liberating education has had great impact and acceptance in the global educational community. Freire and Skinner lived and worked in quite different cultural milieus and historical eras, and they have influenced educational practice in several respects. Considering that the origins of the relevant educational contributions of these authors arose from radically different epistemological fields and theoretical traditions, the following question arises: What are the main concordant and conflicting aspects between their two ways of approaching education? The aim of this chapter is to identify contributions of Freire’s and Skinner’s propositions regarding academic teaching and learning. In view of the misunderstandings prevalent among educational theorists, the proposed comparison seems relevant to clarifying for education professionals the educational propositions derived from Skinner’s psychological approach and to providing behavioral analysts with cogent examples, questions, and reflections on ways of thinking about and implementing education. Therefore, the considerations in this chapter represent the opening of an ongoing dialogue expected to be enriching and productive. ← 555 | 556 →