Teachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those who Dare Teach

Front Cover
Westview Press, 1998 - Education - 100 pages
21 Reviews
Upon its recent publication in Portuguese, Paulo Freire’s newest book became an instant success. This English translation is sure to meet with similar acclaim. In Teachers as Cultural Workers, Freire speaks directly to teachers about the lessons learned from a lifetime of experience as an educator and social theorist. No other book so cogently explains the implications for classroom practice of Freire’s latest ideas and the pathbreaking theories found in Pedagogy of the Oppressed and other treatises.This book challenges all who teach to reflect critically on the meaning of the act of teaching as well as the meaning of learning. Freire shows why a teacher’s success depends on a permanent commitment to learning and training, as part of an ongoing appraisal of classroom practice. By observing the curiosity of students and the manner through which students develop strategies for learning, the teacher is helped in discovering doubts, successes, and the teacher’s mistakes. When teachers open themselves to recognize the different roads students take in order to learn, they will become involved in a continual reconstruction of their own paths of curiosity, opening the doors to habits of learning that will benefit everyone in the classroom.

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Review: Teachers as Cultural Workers (Edge, Critical Studies in Educational Theory)

User Review  - Goodreads

Freire has excellent ideas, however, his writing is a little repetitive. Read full review

Review: Teachers as Cultural Workers (Edge, Critical Studies in Educational Theory)

User Review  - Francesca - Goodreads

Freire has excellent ideas, however, his writing is a little repetitive. Read full review


Reading the WorldReading the Word
Dont Let the Fear of What Is Difficult Paralyze You
I Came into the Teacher Training Program
On the Indispensable Qualities
The First Day of School
On the Relationship Between the Educator
From Talking to Learners to Talking to Them
Cultural Identity and Education
Concrete ContextTheoretical Context
Once More the Question of Discipline

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Page xvii - For, previously, men could be divided simply into the learned and the ignorant, those more or less the one, and those more or less the other. But your specialist cannot be brought in under either of these two categories. He is not learned, for he is formally ignorant of all that does not enter into his specialty; but neither is he ignorant, because he is "a scientist," and "knows" very well his own tiny portion of the universe.
Page xvii - At the lowest level of instrumentalist literacy a semi-literate reads the word but is unable to read the world. At the highest level of instrumental literacy achieved via specialization, the semi-literate is able to read the text of his or her specialization but is ignorant of all other bodies of knowledge that constitute the world of knowledge. This semi-literate specialist was characterized by Ortega y Gasset as a 'learned ignoramus'.
Page xvi - The instrumental literacy for the poor, in the form of a competencybased skills-banking approach, and the highest form of instrumental literacy for the rich, acquired through the university in the form of professional specialization, share one common feature: They both prevent the development of the critical thinking that enables one to "read the world" critically and to understand the reasons and linkages behind the facts.
Page xi - I don't want to be imported or exported. It is impossible to export pedagogical practices without re-inventing them. Please, tell your fellow American educators not to import me. Ask them to recreate and rewrite my ideas.
Page xiii - a humanizing education is the path through which men and women can become conscious about their presence in the world. The way they act and think when they develop all of their capacities, taking into consideration their needs, but also the needs and aspirations of others' (Freire and Frei Betto 1985: 14-15).
Page 6 - ideological fog" that groups in power produce. Freire (1998) writes, "[E]ven if the ideological fog has not been deliberately constructed and programmed by the dominant class, its power to obfuscate reality undeniably serves the interests of the dominant class. The dominant ideology veils reality; it makes us myopic and prevents us from seeing reality clearly. The power of the dominant ideology is always domesticating and, when we are touched and deformed by it, we become ambiguous and indecisive
Page xvii - I want to end this preface by proposing an anti-method pedagogy that refuses the rigidity of models and methodological paradigms. The anti-method pedagogy forces us to view dialogue as a form of social praxis so that the sharing of experiences is informed by reflection and political action. Dialogue as social praxis 'entails that recovering the voice of the oppressed is the fundamental condition for human emancipation
Page xviii - ... nor a predetermined future — roots itself in the dynamic present and becomes revolutionary. Problem-posing education is revolutionary futurity. Hence it is prophetic (and, as such, hopeful). Hence, it corresponds to the historical nature of man. Hence, it affirms men as beings who transcend themselves, who move forward and look ahead, for whom immobility represents a fatal threat, for whom looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they...
Page xvii - Political clarity always implies a dynamic comprehension between the least coherent sensibility of the world and a more coherent understanding of the world. Through political practice the less coherent sensibility of the world begins to be surpassed and more rigorous intellectual pursuits give rise to a more coherent comprehension of the world. I find this transition to a more coherent sensitivity one of the fundamental moments in any educational...
Page 3 - These knowledges include, according to Paulo Freire The courage to dare, in the full sense of the term, to speak about love without fear of being called ascientific, if not anti-scientific. It is necessary to say, scientifically and not in a pure bla-bla-bla, that we study, we learn, we teach, we know with our entire body. With feelings, with emotions, with desire, with fear, with doubts, with passion and also with critical reasoning.

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About the author (1998)

Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was a world-renowned Brazilian education scholar. Perhaps the most influential thinker about education in the late twentieth century, Freire has been particularly popular with informal educators with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed. His legacy of commitment, love and hope to American educators can be found in the critical pedagogy which infuses hundreds of "grass roots" organizations, college classrooms, and most recently school reform efforts in major urban areas. Freire was a prolific writer and author of many books. His most important work was Pedagogy of the Oppressed in which he describes the oppressive mechanisms of a capitalist education. 

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