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Monday, December 23, 2013

Why you MUST READ one of the most awful books ever written

It's one of the most poorly-written books ever published, at least if the most commonly used English translation is anything to go by. The late Brazilian Maoist Paulo Freire's The Pedagogy of the Oppressed is filled with trite, jargony, Marxist proselytising, and could be easily dismissed as yet another demented, anti-Capitalist manifesto, but for the fact that it is compulsory reading in teachers colleges throughout North America.

Paulo Freire (1921-1997)
If you were to learn that the textbook which is considered the seminal basis of education philosophy, affecting the teaching of children throughout every year of their public schooling, tries to instill admiration for a vicious mass murderer who invented the political concentration camp, you might find it just a touch odd.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was personally responsible for the abuse and murder of hundreds of thousands of people following the Bolshevik Revolution. He had his political rivals and opponents imprisoned, tortured and often murdered. His brutality set the stage for the horrific brutality of his successor, Josef Stalin, who was responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler. Lenin's political ideology was the basis for that of Mao Zedong, who was the most prolific mass murderer in the history of the world.

While for those of us who aren't sociopaths, such a person might not be considered the best role model to use for teaching youngsters, here's what Freire had to say in the book that your kid's teacher was forced to absorb:
...the revolutionary process is eminently educational in character. Thus the road to revolution involves openness to the people, not imperviousness to them; it involves communion with the people, not mistrust. And, as Lenin "pointed out, the more a revolution requires theory, the more its leaders must be with the people in order to stand against the power of oppression.
So when Freire discuses oppression and "the oppressed," his notion of oppression is capitalism and an education system that produced people like Robert Graves, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Robert Frost, Thomas Sowell, Jonas Salk, and T.E. Lawrence. Freire's means of addressing this "oppression" is to adopt the ideology of a ruthless totalitarian who casually had people executed because their political outlook differed from his.

Friere's oppressive
hero of "the oppressed"
It sounds insane and evil. But Pedagogy of the Oppressed, considered the basis of Critical Pedagogy, is treated like liturgical canon at places like the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, which describes itself as the largest and most influential teachers college in Canada. In fact, OISE was the at the forefront of infusing Friere's theories into educational practice in the 1970's and 80's. That might account for the regular stream of deranged, idiotic, and perverse theses and teaching approaches coming from that institution. That of itself would be troublesome enough, but OISE sees its mission as transforming public education into one of its own image. It teaches the teachers leaving its doors that beyond educators, they should be activists in the classroom.

Their goal is no less than to create a generation of anti-Capitalist revolutionaries by manipulating them in the classroom from the moment they enter school. Or, as Freire himself put it:
Lenin's famous statement: "Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement" means that a revolution is achieved with neither verbalism nor adtivism, but rather with praxis, that is, with reflection and action directed at the structures to be transformed. The revolutionary effort to transform these structures radically cannot designate its leaders as its thinkers and the oppressed as mere doers.
The Toronto District School Board encourages students and teachers to read this book, and other bizarre tracts, to better understand issues of race, gender, sexuality and class.

Though it will be a tedious experience, you too should force yourself to read Freire's The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, in order to understand the vile ideas behind the dangerous turn that public education is taking.


Beauty From Ashes said...

Thank you for expressing so thoughtfully what I have understood since I took my teacher training in 1989.

AmPowerBlog said...

Years ago, a student gave me a copy of this book, and it's still sitting on my shelf in the office, lol. These idiots are dime a dozen. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Please.

Richard K said...

Thanks to you both for your feedback.

Donald, I share your sentiment. The worry is that every student going through teachers college in Ontario is required to read that book. There are many who aren't astute enough to leave it on a metaphorical shelf once they complete their degree, and carry it with them into the classroom.

Beauty, I have heard similar horror stories from people taking their degrees at OISE now. They basically smile and nod and realize what nonsense their professors are pushing. But there are a lot of their classmates who have bought it hook, line and sinker.

There are very close similarities between what happens in places like that, with tracts like these, and religious cults.

Anonymous said...

I think your statement that Lenin killed hundreds of thousands in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution is incorrect. It's more than that.

Richard K said...

We`ll never know the real extent of the numbers for sure because the Communists weren`t as meticulous record-keepers as the Nazis. But I don`t doubt the number of deaths that Lenin caused could be even greater than what is commonly assumed.

I. Renarde said...

Psh. Even Lenin wouldn't agree with this nutjob. There's a fine line with dealing with true human oppression and making it up. In this case, it just seems like a bad case of Colonel Sanders.

Unknown said...

Heartwarming to see how Mr. Douglas views his students. What college do you teach at Mr. Douglas?

Unknown said...

Lenin wasn't a lunatic because he was a communist. Lenin was a lunatic because he was a lunatic.

Now, if you only after lunatics who are responsible for mass murders who happen to also be anti-capitalist, you are willfully not being thorough that makes your report of events and characters dishonest.

Richard K said...

And Hitler wasn't a lunatic because he was a Nazi, he was a lunatic because he was a lunatic. But Nazism, like Communism, is an evil ideology that always leads to totalitarianism and repression of human rights.

The fact that Lenin is celebrated in a book currently in use by the communist idiots trying to form education curriculum is evidence of what's happening in the system.