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Learning the term ‘Conscientização’

February 19, 2017 in Reading Journal

Cover of book with the same title

I’m not the greatest at articulating intellectual terms. So I was a bit apprehensive about starting to read this book. I’ve decided to take it in bite-size pieces, to let it sink into my (sometimes feels like a pea-sized) brain.

So I’ve just begun to digest the foreword and the preface to give myself a chance to take in what this book is all about (though I have some idea, of course). Already I feel I have new things to take on board as well as aspects to drive me forward with learning to teach well.

The foreword was more interesting than I thought to read, because it reminded me of my own experience and connections with Brazil (where Friere was from). I knew about the thirld world state that Recife was and still is in (where Friere was born). I’ve worked with artists from the North East of England that connected with artists from Recife (North East Brazil) to collaborate on a commission for the 2012 cultural olympiad. Friere also draws from his experience of working in deprived areas such as reform adult education programmes. This reminded me of my  own trip to São Paulo to research and deliver training for the 2016 cultural olympiad in access to the arts for all in Brazil, including development of arts outreach possible in Brazilian prison programmes and amongst favela communities (deprived areas of extreme poverty).

A new word from the preface for my vocabulary (and limited knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese):

‘Conscientização’  as Friere describes it, is to ‘to take action against oppressive elements of reality in the context of  learning to perceive social, political and economical contradictions.’ This has blown my mind a bit!

But I understand it, and perhaps wish I was aware of it when I was studying on my postgraduate degree, I think I was acting out ‘conscientização’ on some sub-conscious level, expressing it through the work I produced during that course. Funny how I could immediately draw on that experience from reading this and reflect upon it after many years. Being aware of it may hopefully be of use now for any students I teach.

I absolutely connect with Friere’s sentence which introduces the book in a way that strives me to delve in and persist with learning about his theories even more: ‘….From these pages I hope at least the following will endure: my trust in people, and my faith [in men and women] and in the creation of a world in which it will be easier to love.’

For is this not what all of us want?






November 5, 2016 in LONDON SALE


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