Didactics and politics in Paulo Freire’s philosophy of education: On the abandonment of the concept of conscientization
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The aim of this article is to present Freire’s experience in Africa as a process that transformed his teaching and learning method as well as his philosophy of education. His participation in the São Toméan literacy campaign resulted in the abandonment of the category of conscientization that was central to his philosophy. Freire’s decision was dictated by the fact that the category’s interpretations were threatened by teachers who felt superior to learners. During the São Toméan literacy campaign, Freire came to believe that a necessary condition for the social symmetry in education (and in society in general) was to concentrate on community’s practical problems, whose solution is a difficult task both for teachers and students. Thing-centered pedagogy (Hodgson et al., 2017; Biesta, 2010; Latour, 2007) – which seems to be a new paradigm in educational theory – can be derived from Freire’s philosophy of education.