Penn State

Esther Prins - associate professor of education, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Author: Paulo Freire

Book Description:

I first read Pedagogy of the Oppressed during a six-month college internship in El Salvador, shortly after the culmination of the Salvadoran civil war. The analysis of injustice and oppression that Freire offered in this text mirrored the stark inequities I witnessed: families displaced by war and violence and hardworking campesinos unable to provide for their families, while a privileged few enjoyed a First World lifestyle.


It was this internship and Freire‚Äôs work that first sparked my interest in understanding how adult and popular education — in particular, adult literacy education — can contribute to social justice. Today, my teaching and research still seek to elucidate how education can equip people to live with dignity and to exercise more control over the decisions that affect them.


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