Paulo Freire and the Impossibility of Neutrality

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."

Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was a Brazilian educator and philosopher best known for his influential work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the critical pedagogy movement. Freire believed that a social culture of silence was a cancer that needed to be cured through critical consciousness. He was a major influence on Augusto Boal as well as many pedagogical experts worldwide. 


Do you agree with the quote below? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."

Source: The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, and Liberation, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1 January 1985, p. 122. (via Wikiquote)

Photo credit: "Paulo Freire" by Slobodan Dimitrov - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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