Famous for his advocacy of ‘critical pedagogy’, Paulo Freire was Latin America’s foremost educationalist, a thinker, and writer whose work and ideas continue to exert enormous influence in education throughout the world today. Education for Critical Consciousness is the main statement of Freire’s revolutionary method of education. It takes the life situation of the learner as its starting point and the raising of consciousness and the overcoming of obstacles as its goals. For Freire, man’s striving for his own humanity requires the changing of structures which dehumanize both the oppressor and the oppressed.
To think dialectically is to decree the obsolescence of cherished concepts which explain even one’s recent past. One of the marks of a true dialectician, however. is the ability to “move beyond” the past without repudiating it in the name of new levels of critical consciousness presently enjoyed. No contemporary writer more persistently explores the many dimensions of critical consciousness than Paulo Freire, a multi-cultural educator with the whole world as his classroom notwithstanding the totally Brazilian flavor of his emotions, his language, and his universe of thought. Freire never tires of looking for new forms of critical consciousness and unearthing new links between oppression in a variety of settings and the liberating effects of “conscientious;ao.” The unifying thread in his work is critical consciousness as the motor of cultural emancipation.