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How relevant is praxis in today's education system?

Praxis is when we take what we say and turn it into action, and this is very relevant in today's education system. One could see praxis in 2018, when students walked out of school to protest gun violence in schools. It is also relevant with students and teachers taking action to support Black Lives Matter and with college students working to address the prevalence of sexual assault.

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As you're probably already aware, the Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire was a staunch supporter of praxis. In his Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire advances praxis as a means to liberation for long-suffering groups.

What is praxis? According to Freire, it's "action." It's not just any action—it's action that's come via dialogue about values, justice, and other moral and ethical dilemmas.

At the start of chapter 3, there's a rather telling footnote. In this footnote, Freire notes, "Word = work = praxis." We might say that praxis is when your words lead to action.

Is praxis relevant to today's educational system? Let's look at some examples.

In 2018, students across the United States left their schools to draw attention to gun violence in schools. Could we call this an example of praxis? The students are putting their words into action. They're not simply speaking out against gun violence in schools, they're psychically working—or doing—something about it.

Although, it should be noted that some educators did not approve of the walkout, which suggests that praxis is far from uniformly supported by the teachers and administrators of the educational system. Perhaps some educators would prefer to stick to words, or maybe they'd prefer to see the work part happen outside of an educational space.

Conversely, you might also want to look at how teachers in Seattle tried to translate their support of the Black Lives Matter movement into praxis.

You could also check out how college students are turning dialogue about sexual assault into working to address sexual assault .

Again, you should probably note that some of these praxis examples are happening in conflict with the specific education system. You might also want to think about the sustainability of praxis. How can students or educators turn a moment of praxis into something that lasts and leads to deep change? How can they make their praxis felt beyond their educational spaces?

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