How might you integrate Paulo Freire's concepts of education as 'relevant' and 'problem posing' into the design of a learning program in communities affected by poverty and disadvantage? In your answer refer to the 5 key concepts. Below is copied from a Lecture power point slide : (DIT, Lecture Notes, 2015) The Key Thinkers and Theoretical Traditions in Adult and Community Education: Paulo Freire Outline of Freire’s Theory and Practice in Adult Education 5 Key principles in Freire’s educational theory. •The aim of education is ‘radical transformation’ (or liberation) of unjust structures in economy and society (Hope and Timmell, 1995, p. 16) •Education must be relevant to the lived experience of those participating in education, the learners. •Education involves a process of dialogue. •Education can be banking (knowledge transfer which domesticates and leaves learners uncritical) or problem posing (knowledge creation: reflection and action on real situations to transform them). •Education is praxis, that is reflection and action on the world in order to transform it.
Paulo Freire is the father of what we now call the "flipped" classroom. He believed that students could not be passive receptacles in their learning, but needed to take an active role in every aspect of their education. Freire was particularly concerned with the one-size-fits-all approach in most pedagogies that assumed all students had the same needs, and that approach served only those who came to their education with social advantages already in place.
Based on the scenario provided, designing a learning program based on Friere's five keys, the first question an educator should ask is, "How is this lesson relevant?" While it may be useful for students to read Shakespeare, they should know not only why it is useful, but how Shakespeare applies to their lives outside of the classroom.
Also important is a diversity of voices. The aim of the flipped classroom should be to put students in control of their learning. This is especially important in communities where students have experienced racial and/or socioeconomic oppression. Providing opportunities for disenfranchised students to take ownership of their learning gives them the tools to direct and enrich their lives, influencing the world around them. In the classroom, this consideration most often plays out in group work, where students who don't normally work together are asked to generate lessons and act as teacher.
Perhaps most importantly is the problem-posing approach to pedagogy. Freire said that problem-posing was the foundation of effective education. He believed that passive learning created passive citizens; problem-solving, or active learning, created engaged citizens. Assessing the civic issues important to the students' communities and giving them challenging, real-world scenarios to engage with gives students confidence that they can positively contribute to their communities, and reinforces critical thinking, information technology, and interpersonal skills.
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