Precursor and “Incomparable” Contribution: How

In Oceania, Europe and the Americas, the Brazilian thinker Paulo Freire is recognized and studied. Foreign researchers heard by Brazil in fact recognize that the philosopher born in Recife in September 1921 is the author of an essential work in the human sciences.

According to a survey by Elliot Green, professor at the London School of Economics, the book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, published by Freire in 1968, is the third most cited book in the human sciences. The ranking made with Google Scholar data places the Brazilian thinker’s book ahead of works by authors such as Michel Focault, John Rawls and Pierre Bourdieu.

Freire was also a visiting professor at Harvard University, won dozens of doctoral degrees Honoris Causa around the planet and received honors such as the UNESCO Education for Peace Prize.

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“Freire published his dialogic theory in 1968, before [Jürgen] Habermas presented his theory of communicative action, in 1981. Paulo is the precursor of the dialogic orientation, which increasingly finds [espaço] not only in the current human sciences, but also in all sciences”, evaluates the full professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona (UB) Ramón Flecha.

The UB professor also highlights that he used the intellectual contributions of the Brazilian thinker as one of the evaluation methods of the European scientific investigation program.

Statue in honor of Paulo Freire and other thinkers and public figures in Stockholm, capital of Sweden. / Bengt Oberger/ Wikimedia Commons

A Freire researcher since the 1980s, Professor Peter Roberts, from the University of Canterbury, in New Zealand, is the author of books and articles on the work of the Pernambuco thinker. Roberts wrote the chapter on Paulo Freire in the Oxford University Encyclopedia of Education.

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“Freire had a significant impact on my own work. His books played a key role in shaping my understanding of the ethics and politics of education, and his pedagogical principles had an important influence on my teaching in university settings. humility, openness, tolerance, rigor, dialogue and commitment in our work as educators. These ideals remain as relevant as they have ever been,” Roberts told Brazil in fact.

A professor at McMaster University in Canada, Henry A. Giroux has written books with Freire and has been included by Routledge Publishing in another book on the 50 Most Important Thinkers of Education in the 20th Century. For Giroux, Freire “is one of the most important critical educators of the 21st century.”

“At a time when Education is threatened around the world, Paulo taught me that Education as a moral, political and social force was more important than ever in the ongoing struggle for a radical democracy”, says the professor of McMaster University.


Giroux with Freire, in the 1980s. / Collection of Henry A. Giroux

Edition: Vinícius Segalla

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