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Paulo Freire's Perspective on Equality in Education

Discuss about the Education and Perspectives.

Having some core values is always important for professionals as without core values it is tough to gain success in an organization. In the case of teaching, the importance of core values is higher than in other profession. Core values are some characteristics that will help a teacher to feel satisfied about his job or to provide proper education to the students in an appropriate manner. Currently, my core values that I think are extremely important as a teacher are equality and responsibility. Equality in teaching important as it will allow everyone to receive education in an equal manner. On the other hand, responsibility is also important as only a responsible teacher will be able to provide required education to his students. However, for me it is not possible to follow both the core values in the initial stage of my profession. Therefore, based on the arguments provided by Paulo Freire and John Dewey, I will find out which core value will important for me in this stage of my life. It is really important to find out the most important core value as it will not help me to p[perform my job properly but will also help me to develop my character and attitude towards my job.

Paulo Freire was the Brazilian educationist and one of the most admired and dominant philosopher of that time. From the article of Paulo Freire it is clear that he has viewed education as a progressive and democratic force. He has always supported and promoted solidarity and equality in education. However till now, equality is yet not served in the field of education. In fact, equality is also not there in terms of wealth, political rights and social rights (Archer, 2017). He also argued that democracy needs freedom and this must be sought continuously. Inequality is when majority-rule is implemented in a place where minorities are present too. In this situation minority people are at disadvantage and sooner or later they will become oppressed. Slowly but steadily the majority people who are considered as oppressors will begin to develop structure that will only benefit them. According to Paulo Freire, this can be considered as violent structure. After he was jailed was moved to Bolivia and then Chile, in the following years Paulo Freire started to work on adult education with the help of Institute of Agrarian Reform in Chile. On the other hand it is seen that there are five key dimensions of equality in educational system. Those key dimensions are resources, respect/recognition, love, care and solidarity. In this context of equality, equality of resources mean not just equality in palpable economic forms of capital such as income and wealth but in forms of social capital like family and social networks and in form of cultural capital such as educational testimonial (Archer, 2017). Love, care and solidarity are also important dimensions of equality in education. Being cared is an elementary requirement for mental and emotional well-being and for human growth generally. In the education system, it is tough to make sure that everyone is having required love, care and solidarity. However, it is possible to develop the educational system in a way that it can equally share these things among the students and learners. In order to understand and tackle the problems related to adult literacy, he lived and worked in the slum areas of Recife. There again he was introduced by another inequality in the educational system as he found that adult women and men were not able to read and write in that area. Paulo Freire also argued against the traditional educational system and called it as a “banking system.” According to him, students were only the passive recipients of deposits from a teacher who knows it all. Paulo Freire strictly wanted to change that type of educational structure and proposed a consistent method of reflection and action. He also stated that learning is not about memorizing and repeating. Learning should be a method where emphasis will be given on reflecting critically on the method of reading and writing itself and the profound connotation of language. On the other hand, it is also important to understand the difference between equality and equity (Archer, 2017). Equality means every student will be treated similarly and will be provided with same amount and quality of education. On the other hand, equity means providing everything to the students that will help them to become successful (Archer, 2017). Paulo Freire has always advocated about equality in his quotes and articles. According to him, aim of equality is to promote fairness. However, he also mentioned that equality can only work when everyone will start from the same place and will have an aim to reach to a same place. However, Paulo Freire has mostly worked about the equality of the adults in the educational system. He understood that the systems are unfair and it is required to change them so that adults can be treated equally. While working on adult education with the Institute of Agrarian, his idea about the education system matured. At that time started to write about things tha3t became his seminal work, Pedagogy of Oppresses (1970). From that book it can be seen that Paulo Freire is hoping that adults will learn to perceive social, political and economic contradictions. He also hopes that those adults will also take action against these types of oppressive elements. Whatever, study he did or whatever he wrote in his book, he always put emphasis on equality in for the adults in the educational sector which is according to him very important.

John Dewey's Perspective on Responsibility in Teaching

On the other hand, John Dewey has always supported the value of responsibility. He mentioned that it is not easy to become a teacher as in every step emotional challenges will be there. Besides, one will also be challenge intellectually and socially which will make him uncomfortable several times. According to him, normal people make assumptions about the nature of reality along with truth and knowledge. These types of beliefs are the part of ontology. As a teacher it is extremely important to influence the student (Dixon et al., 2004). Now, this includes the responsibility to properly make decisions about what is right and what is wrong along with what is t rue and what is false. Questions of axiology are concerned with ethics or concerned with things that decide right and wrong human behavior. Now in the profession of teaching, it is very important to have the core value of responsibility. In teaching, a teacher does also play different roles. He is responsible for becoming a mentor, helping hand, support and resource of a student. Students look up to teachers and most of the times they pattern their own behavior and work ethic to match the instructor. Therefore, it is seen that students tend to become like their teachers and mentors. That is why; it is the responsibility of the teachers to display a good side of their behavior and attitude so that students can learn those things. As mentioned by the department of education, there are some value based curriculums that are built upon the beliefs of the teachers. All of these beliefs and values were arrived through a broad consultation method (Dixon et al., 2004). These beliefs strongly state that humans want to learn and learners are unique. Besides, the learners decide their own learning styles. In order to properly execute the responsibilities of a teacher, it is important to follow some particular strategies and approaches. In the first place, it is important to have the basic knowledge and skills. Teachers must understand that they are the teaching technicians. One of the important roles of a teacher is to inculcate a narrow core of knowledge. They must also need to understand that the regional nature of knowledge is not acknowledged in the teaching profession. On the other hand, t h ere is another approach which can be called as skilled artisan approach. It shows that teaching is a skilled practical activity and it can be learn perfectly on the field. In this scenario, the complexity of professional knowledge is not recognized. Teachers can also easily copy the practices that are done in the past. Another approach is the professional competency standards approach that strictly states that teaching is an attempt to develop responsibility based on professional self-regulation. This approach is considered as the broader and more professional in orientation than the basic skills approach.  On the other hand, this approach is also capable of covering wide range of knowledge, skills and dispositions that have been validated by practitioners of the classroom. The teachers also must understand in this profession, lists of standards remain fixed rather than dynamic and altering as circumstances change. In the article five curriculum orienta3tions are also mentioned by the author that includes development of cognitive process, personal relevance, academic rationalism, social adaption, and technology. With in development of cognitive methods, thinking skill is known as the central concern of the teacher. On the other hand, within personal relevance, belief is the central concern and is also the determinant of the requirements and interests of the students. Besides, social adaption values the dominance of the establishment of skills and values to assist efficient participation in community. On the other hand, social reconstruction values the establishment of critical reflection in regard to self and community in order to act. Last but not the least; technology also has its values. It values the application of a teacher-centered and outcome driven model. There is another standard approach which is known as the professional competence standards approach. In this approach, the teachers try to develop an external responsibility based on their profession and self-regulation. From this entire discussion, it is clear that John Dewey is strongly supporting the core value of responsibility for the teachers and has provided several numbers of approaches through which teachers can   precisely understand their responsibilities (Dixon et al., 2004). As per previous results, the conception of teachers’ responsibilities include the following components which are a subject of responsibility, object of responsibility, addressee of responsibility, a judging or sanctioning instance, normative criterion of responsibility and a realm of responsibility and action. Here I am not going to argue that among the two core values which are equality and responsibility which one is more important. However, it is necessary to state that a teacher does not matter whether he has the core value for responsibility or not, must become responsible towards the students and the education he is providing to the students. If a teacher is not responsible towards the students, then he will not be able to deliver appropriate education to the students. On the other and, he will also not be able to gain satisfaction for what he is doing. If he cannot gain satisfaction from his profession, then slowly but steadily it will become a burden and sooner or later, that teacher will have to change his profession.

In the end, it can be concluded that both equality and responsibility are the tow important core values that are required for a teacher. If I want to pursue my career as a teacher, it is paramount for me to have at least one or both the core values. In this essay, two articles are discussed where one is written by Paulo Freire and the other one is by John Dewey. Paulo focused on equality in the educational system and demanded that the current educational system must be changed and everyone should have t he equal right of having education. On the other hand, Dewey has focused on responsibility as according to him, teachers should be more responsible while doing his job (Dixon et al., 2004). I am going to start my career as a teacher and it is expected that I will be teaching mostly children. In the article of Paulo, he has mentioned about equality, however his study has focused on the education of the adults. Therefore, I think the theories and quotes of Paulo will not be able to help me. On the other hand, as I will have to develop my career as a teacher, I will have to show a sense of responsibility which will help the students and me.

References

Archer, D. (2017). Obituary: Paulo Freire. The Independent. Retrieved 20 April 2017, from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-paulo-freire-1261256.html

Dixon, Ferguson, Hay, Moss & White. (2004), “Moving your story forward”, in invitations & inspirations condensed. Chap2. Pp 13-29. 

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