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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From Deschooling Society

I'm reading Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society and found this powerful excerpt about Brazilian educator Paulo Freire's work teaching illiterate villagers to read:

Paulo Freire discovered that any adult can begin to read in a matter of forty hours if the first words he deciphers are charged with political meaning. Freire trains his teachers to move into a village and to discover the words which designate current important issues, such as the access to a well or the compound interest on the debts owed to the patron. In the evening the villagers meet for the discussion of these key words. They begin to realize that each word stays on the blackboard even after its sound has faded. The letters continue to unlock reality and to make it manageable as a problem. I have frequently witnessed how discussants grow in social awareness and how they are impelled to take political action as fast as they learn to read. They seem to take reality into their hands as they write it down.

Words unlock words. We have to find the keys.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is amazing information and amazing writing. "They begin to realize that each word stays on the blackboard even after its sound has faded." What a beauty.
    Also, "They seem to take reality into their hands as they write it down." Maybe we all need to start writing about important issues??

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