We use a methodology based on the principles Paulo Freire (1921-1997), a Brazilian educator and founder of critical pedagogoy.
Freire’s own experience of poverty (during the Great Depression of the 1930s) shaped his views on education and social exclusion. Freire stated that poverty and hunger severely affected his ability to learn, he believed that his social condition did not allow him to have an education.
When the fotunes of his family improved Freire was able to go to university and study Philosophy and Law. Despite being trained in Law, Freire worked as a secondary school teacher teaching portuguese. In 1946 he was appointed Director of the Department for Education and Culture of the Social Service in the state of Pernambuco, in this role he worked primarily with the illiterate poor and began to practice a form of Liberation Theology and Popular Education, simultaneously teaching the participants to read and to question the social and economic circumstances that led to their illiteracy. At the time literacy was a requirement to be able to vote in Brazil, therefore many poor, illiterate people were prevented from voting.
Freire went on to lead an experiment which taught 300 sugarcane workers to read in 45 days, in response to this success the Brazilian governemnet approved the creation of thousands of ‘cultural circles’ to replicate Freire’s work.
Freire became an influential critical theorist and his work, including Pedogogy of the Oppressed, became well-known across the world. Freire believed that people could learn through sharing their own knowledge and experiences, education did not have to be a ‘banking’ system where the teacher deposits knowledge into the pupil.
Community Pride Unit employs Freirean principles in its work with individuals, groups and organisations. we place value upon people’s own experience and knowledge and believe that the group can learn effectively by sharing this information and working together to tackle local, national and global problems.