Archive for October, 2015

postheadericon Sectarian.

In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire identifies sectarian on both right and left of the spectrum as individuals so consumed by their own perceptions of Truth feel “threatened if that truth is questioned. Thus, each considers anything that is not ‘his’ truth a lie.” They … suffer, he quotes, from a deplorable absence of doubt. Now, while this immediately brings into view religious and political zealots (and no, the two are not mutually exclusive), it can also be applied to education. How often have we observed, been made aware of, or have taken classes with teachers, instructors, professors, so set in their ways or so sold on a theory or academic/research standpoint that anything that challenges, disagrees with, or suggests alternatives to their ways of doing things, that progress or learning is inhibited, relegated to the handful of students that agree with or adhere to that person’s line of thinking?

Students as oppressed, teachers as oppressors, forcing students to align with their way of thinking in order to succeed in the classroom. While a level of control and authority is necessary, complete authoritarianism and refusal to accept/tolerate/foster constructive criticism in a dialogic classroom environment is not conducive to a positive learning experience. It does, as others in this class have previously pointed out, invoke images of assembly line education, industrial conveyor belts of children passing through the system, illustrated brilliantly by Pink Floyd.

This is not a long blog post, I don’t have a lot to write on this particular subject that has not already been addressed in some form or other by other students’ blog posts in this class. it was, however, where my mind went as I looked over Freire’s Oppressed, and seemed worth mentioning.