Pushing Oneself Toward Critical Consciousness: A Self-Study of a Freirean Educator
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Using a self-study methodology to illustrate the ways in which educational institutions can be socially reproductive, hegemonic, and oppressive, the essayist reflects upon his experiences as an elementary school teacher in the United States and as a researcher and adult literacy instructor in Brazil and Mozambique. Drawing upon his own experience engaging with Paulo Freire’s writings through autobiographical storytelling, he argues that Freire’s pedagogical models and theories provide a productive (albeit difficult) path for how to challenge unjust educational systems. The essay closes by arguing that while Freirean pedagogy may be difficult to imagine or implement on a large scale, the writings of Paulo Freire provide a framework wherein educators as individuals can push themselves and their students towards Freire’s notion of critical consciousness.