hooks – “Paulo Freire”

hooks, bell. “Paulo Freire.” Teaching to Trangress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routlege, 1994. 45-58. Print.

This is a “playful dialogue” between Gloria Watkins, bell hooks’ government name, and her writing voice (bell hooks) about Paulo Freire, his work, and the impact they’ve had on her approach to teaching. hooks discusses the relationship between Friere’s term “conscientization” and the process of decolonization:

And so Friere’s work, in its global understanding of liberation struggles, always emphasizes that this is the important initial stage of transformation…Freire has had to remind readers that he never spoke of conscientization as an end itself, but always as it is joined by meaningful praxis (47).

She also addresses the sexism in the language o fhis earlier works and the feminist critique of it. While hooks says Friere is among other critical thinkers that have constructed a phallocentric paradigm of liberation (where freedom is linked to patriarchal manhood) (49), she maintains that that the value of the insight Friere provides (especially for feminists) should not be forsaken (49): “Freire’s own model of critical pedagogy invites a critical interrogation of this flaw in the work. But critical interrogation is not the same as dismissal (49).