Paulo Freire precursor of Critical Pedagogy


  • Elisa Tona


In this interconnected political and social situation we are witnessing an increase in social and economic inequalities together with a weakening of democratic values that urgently require a reflection in terms of social justice and equity within democratic societies themselves being at risk the same inviolability of the dignity of the individual. In this critical situation, returning critical to social and
political reflection is undoubtedly the central role played by education in the implementation of justice and in the very possibility of social democracy. Having taken note of the context at the time, education must rediscover its social value as a vital space for the construction of knowledge, a critical knowledge of the world and capable of imagining new and fairer worlds in terms of justice and permeated by a democratic format.
From this premise that is based on the close relationship between education, justice and democracy, our pedagogical reflection is established, which sees Freire’s liberating education as an anticipation and, as we shall see, an enrichment of the critical-emancipatory pedagogical current. A current that
develops in the second half of the 20th century and which becomes a valid theoretical, but also practical terrain, in which to develop meta reflections on education itself in its ontological and finalistic foundation by reconstructing an idea of education in its social and political value as place of development
of the infinite human potentialities that enclose in a sense the value of critical reason and of imagining new worlds. Today, pedagogy, school and education, including their social actors, are called to rethink places, tools, goals that can achieve greater freedom and justice for all, able to position
young people with awareness and autonomy in the complexity of the world, able to be aware of the structuring of collective powers and responsibilities in situations of oppression. Because, in the wake of Freire, only a conscious and collectively constructed knowledge will be able to implement a real transformation of the real.



How to Cite

Tona, E. (2018). Paulo Freire precursor of Critical Pedagogy. Formazione & Insegnamento, 16(2 Suppl.), 359–366. Retrieved from