Learning for Liberation: The Life and Legacy of Paulo Freire


Paulo Freire offers activists and academics everywhere a lesson in what it means to be a radical intellectual. He is known as the founder of critical pedagogy, which asks teachers and learners to understand and resist their own oppression. His subversive books have been banned and burned in many countries, including his native Brazil, where the military dictatorship of the 1960s imprisoned and then exiled him.

On this episode, we learn about Freire's life and the basics of his foundational text, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, with help from professor emeritus John Portelli. Then, we explore how Freire's legacy is still shaping our ideas of teaching and learning today. Academic/activist/artist Deborah Barndt takes us to York University's faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, which is rooted in the work of Freirean scholars. Next, we learn about how Freire's pedagogy is put into practice to advocate for disabled learners, with Marc Castrodale, a teacher, disability officer, and scholar of critical disability and Mad studies. Finally, social worker Sharon Steinhauer tells us the story of the University at Blue Quills, and how an act of Indigenous resurgence led to the beginning of a network of decolonial universities in Canada.


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Ren Bangert

Ren (she/they) is a managing producer at Cited Media Productions. She holds an MA in journalism from Concordia University, where she studied subjectivity in journalism and how to make a soundscape on a shoestring budget. Ren works on a number of Cited podcasts including Darts and Letters, and spends their free time playing the harp and arguing with their cat.

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