The educator and philosopher Paulo Freire is widely known as the founder of critical pedagogy, an educational philosophy that emphasizes critical thinking skills and how students can use them to fuel societal change. On Saturday, Oct. 25, a distinguished group of leading scholars and educators will gather at Chapman University to examine Freire’s extensive influence.
The Re-Dedication of the Paulo Freire Critical Pedagogy Archives program sponsored by the College of Educational Studies will open with the symposium Teaching Critically and Democratically from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Following the symposium, Leatherby Libraries will host a reception to celebrate the opening of Chapman University’s official Paulo Freire Critical Pedagogy Archives. Among the guests will be author and educator Nita Freire, Ph.D., wife of the late Freire.
Thomas Wilson, Ed.D., director emeritus of the Paulo Freire Democratic Project, says the symposium will underscore the contributions of Paulo Freire, as well as the lasting value of critical pedagogy.
“The symposium brings together a group of eminent scholars and educators well versed in the contributions of Paulo Freire to reflect upon and further advance the historic, critical, and imperative necessity of creating a fair and just society in the face of the pressing moral issues facing us all,” Wilson said.
Peter McLaren, Ph.D., co-director of the Paulo Freire Democratic Project and Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies, says the symposium will also be an opportunity to explore ways of breaking away from what he describes as the “sterile” environment of contemporary education.
“Revisiting the legacy and vision of Paulo Freire today chillingly reminds us that the dreams that have been programmed into today’s sterile educational instruments of test-taking, accountability, technocratic thinking, and managerial control have led to an abandonment of the search for what it means to live critically, creatively and democratically in the service of those who have been marginalized and excluded in today’s society,” McLaren says.
A pre-conference conversation titled The Crisis in Public Education will be held Friday, Oct. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Beckman Hall, Room 107. Leading the discussion will be several presenters from the symposium. This pre-conference event is free and open to the public.
To learn more about the presenters, program schedule and registration details, please visit the Paulo Freire Democratic Project website.