Now, and in the Days to Come

As capitalism is gaining its new victories, we small people wake up, and once again are heading only God knows where. One thing is sure though. Anna Sofia starts her school with other kids today. She is a bit nervous, and so are we, as her mother and father. Erja follows her to the school, and will be there for few days in order to see how everything goes. In our 40-minutes city bus drive to the school, I whispered to Anna Sofia’s ear, that I am always with her: now and during the school day, in good and bad times.

I hope it goes well, and I do know one thing: Anna Sofia is a brave angel. Even if small in size, but strong in spirit, and in addition, she has got strong wings to carry her in the stormy weathers of the world..

In the beginning of the school year I am again and again relieved by the words of Paulo Freire. Now with his posthumously published book Pedagogy of Indignation (Paradigm, 2004). Sometimes I am about to lose my faith in education, especially when faced with the huge dilemmas of capitalist regime. Is there power in education? How about in educators themselves? Or is there power in us, small people? In these private, almost imperceptible and closed moments of desperation, Freire comes to help me. That is why I want to share some of his words with you, for, as he writes, “the possibility of dialogue with the author is to be found in the words themselves, in the curious manner the author writes them, being open to doubt and criticism.” And here are two excerpts:

“Education makes sense because the world is not necessary this or that, because human beings are as much projects themselves as they may have projects, or a vision, for the world. Education makes sense because women and men learn that through learning they can make and remake themselves, because women and men are able to take responsibility for themselves as beings capable of knowing – of knowing that they know and of knowing that they don’t. They are able to know what they already know better and to come to know what they do not yet know. Education makes sense because in order to be, women and men must keep on being. If women and men simply were, there would be no reason to speak of education.” (p. 15)

“The matrix of hope is the same as that of education – becoming conscious of themselves as unfinished beings. It would be a flagrant contradiction if human beings, while unfinished beings and ones conscious of their unfinished nature, did not insert themselves into a permanent process of hope-filled search. Education is that process.” (p. 100)


At 9/9/05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you just haven't discovered the adequate context where to think education? Your mind is stuck up with your own little angel, her future and the future of bourgeois life-style so well cemented by universities and family-ridden suburbian forces. Why not to take a serious look at the educastration as it is? Its moral decadence, its silence as what comes to the holocaust of ways of life that are not Western, educastration's idea of knowledge as a will power of someone who has stamina to iterate banalities over and over again? Radical doesn't mean to look at your own daughter, look after her well being, it means to be brave intellectually. Something that is not good for you or for your relatives may be good for man - which indicates that you may not know what is good for you and your family. The educa(stra)tion you are writing about is merely allaying the free mind that is awakening in every child. In N. Orleans even some adults opened their eyes when they found out that the so called "society" doesn't give a damn.

At 14/9/05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that is is safe to be radical and also concerned about one's child as she or he enters a new life situation. If we follow Freire's pedagogy of the heart than each educator and for that matter each parent needs to have heart---not just for a more social just society but also for the child/children left in your care as a parent and as a teacher. as the professor posted in quoting Freire, we all need to possess a hope filled search for a better social environment.


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