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Paulo Freire

Dialogical Action

Banking education, which emphasizes the teacher's role as the active one in the teacher-learner relationship is an anti-dialogical approach. It serves the oppressor by denying the learner an active role in the learning.

Paulo Freire felt that for the learner to move from object to Subject, he or she needed to be involved in dialogical action with the teacher. Dialogic action has two basic dimensions, reflection and action.

Action + Reflection = word = work = praxis

Action without Reflection = activism (acting  without thinking)

Reflection with Action = verbalism = "blah" (Freire, 1998b, p.68)

Verbalism is an empty word, word without action, and transformation cannot happen with action. Transformation is also impossible with activism, because without reflection, there can be no commitment to transformation, it is empty action. With action and  reflection you get praxis, which enables transformation to take place.

Dialogue cannot exist without humility. You cannot dialogue if you place yourself above another, seeing yourself as the owner of truth.

Dialogue requires faith in humanity. "Faith is an a priori  requirement for dialogue. Founding itself upon love, humility and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between the dialoguers is the logical consequence"(p.71).

Dialogue requires hope in order to exist. "Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it"(p.72).

"Dialogue cannot exist unless the dialoguers engage in critical thinking"(p.73).

"Without dialogue there is no communication,and without communication, there can be no true education"(p.73).

"For the anti-dialogical banking educator, the question of content simply concerns the program about which he will discourse to his students; and he answers his own questions, by organizing his own program. For the dialogical, problem-posing teacher-student, the program content of education is neither a gift nor an imposition--bits of information to be deposited in the students--but rather the organized, systematized, and developed 're-presentation' to the individuals of the things about which they want to know more"(p.74).

Dialogue is a give and take of ideas, a sharing. You cannot dialogue and attempt to impose your own ideas on another. You can  dialogue about their ideas and yours.

Through cooperation, dialogic Subjects are able to "focus their attention on the reality which mediates them and which--posed as a problem--challenges them. The response to that challenge is the action of dialogical Subjects upon reality in order to transform it"(p.149).



Paulo Freire
Oppressor/Oppressed Educational Banking Dialogic Action Pedagogy of Hope Others on Freire Links  
Updated: 11/26/99
Laurie Williams