Reading Paulo Freire

His Life and Work

By Moacir Gadotti

Subjects: Philosophy Of Education
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Empowerment and School Reform
Paperback : 9780791419243, 228 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419236, 228 pages, July 1994

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Table of contents

Foreword: A Land of Contrasts and a Pedagogy of Contradiction
by Carlos Alberto Torres

by Peter L. McLaren and Henry A. Giroux


1. We Can Also Learn in the Shade of the Mangoes

A Teenager Who Considered Himself Ugly
Teaching as a Passion
The Act of Studying
The Act of Knowing

2. The Method Which Took Paulo Freire into Exile

Literacy and Conscientization
The Stages of the Method
Literacy of Children
Basic Readers and Cultural Readers
The Methods Nowadays and Its Reinvention

3. Learning from History

Historical Factors in the Thinking of Paulo Freire
The Military Coup
Exile in Chile
The Main Works of the First Phase of Exile
African Experience

4. A Pedagogy for Liberation

Dialogic Pedagogy
Banking Education and Problematizing Education
Dialogic and Antidialogic Theory
The Directive Role of the Educator
The Intellectual and the Popular Masses
Cultural Action for Freedom
Christian Socialism and Utopia

5. Relearning Brazil

A New Context, New Ideas
Works on Paulo Freire
Paulo Freire Today

6. A Revolutionary Educator

Coherence: Theory and Practice
No Reply is Definitive
The Revolutionary Educator: Patiently Impatient
Pedagogy of Indignation
The "Last" Freire
Paulo Freire as Public Administrator

7. Paulo Freire in the Context of Contemporary Pedagogical Thought

Carl Rogers and Student-Centered Learning
Confrontation with Ivan Illich
John Dewey and the New School
Vygotsky and the Revolutionary Soviet Educators
The Complexity and the Universal Dimension of the Work of Paulo Freire
Critique, Self-Critique, and Dialectic Conception


Epilogue: Education at the End of This Century

Dialogue with Paulo Freire



Paulo Freire's Main Works (in Chronological Order)
Main Works about Paulo Freire and Other Consulted Works



This book was written as Paulo Freire himself would have done it, using a method of learning through victories and defeats in the same way one learns in life. The author follows a chronological line in which life and work are naturally mixed. In many cases, he lets Paulo Freire's work speak for itself.

Maocir Gadotti is one of the closest collaborators of Paulo Freire. He has worked together with him for almost 20 years. Recently, he was Chief of Cabinet when Paulo Freire was Secretary of Education of the city of Sao Paulo. At present, he is Professor of Education at the University of Sao Paulo and Director of the Paulo Freire Institute.


"This book deals with one of the most important educators of this century. It presents the work and life of Paulo Freire in a simple, straightforward fashion. By placing the life and work of Freire in the context of the history of ideas, the book introduces the reader to the complexities of Freire's pedagogical and epistemological position. The book is accessible, and will be welcome particularly by those who may have difficulties reading Paulo Freire. It does what it promises: makes Paulo Freire available to a wide readership. Likewise, the book discusses a pedagogical approach that is still evolving and has tremendous vibrancy for contemporary research and teaching. Professor Gadotti has captured this dimension in Freire's work better than many other scholars I have read. " — Carlos Alberto Torres, UCLA

"The topic is profoundly significant. Educators and intellectuals cannot talk today of literacy and education without reading this piece. The book is important in itself as well as central to educational and literacy studies. This is an important contribution—meaningfully thorough and intellectually stimulating. What I like most about the book is its ability to capture the originality and simultaneous growth in complexity of Paulo Freire's life and work. " — Hermán S. García, New Mexico State University