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By Ira; Freire, Paulo Shor

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Extra info for A Pedagogy for Liberation: Dialogues on Transforming Education

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I prepared her for an exam to qualify for school principal. There was a syntax part in the exam. At that moment, I was invited to work for a private industrial institute in Recife which allowed me to meet adult workers. Before that, in my childhood, I had friends who were working-class kids. Now, as a young adult, getting to know adult workers was for me a rediscovery of what I knew before. It was a second chance to reknow what I learned about working life. In this new setting, I began to learn different lessons, another moment in my transformation.

Of course, the Brazil coup, and the ones after in Latin America, challenged me to see clearly the limits of education. I don't say that before 1964 I was absolutely convinced that education could be the tool for transforming society. But, I was not clear on this question. I have criticized some of my naivete on the global limits of teaching, in an essay I wrote in 1974. 1 But, the coup d'etat raised this question very clearly, and it taught me the limits. Of course, it does not mean that we should constantly have coups to learn good things!

The military and its upper-class backers concluded that education could not be ignored. It was part of the mass mobilization and had to be restricted. This suggests that education's role in social transformation was very significant at that moment. Paulo That's very interesting. Maybe now I should say that precisely because education should be the lever for social transformation, it cannot be! Ira You mean that it will not be allowed to be what it should be? The elite forces in society will not permit education to transform the political structure?

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