Quotes by Paulo Freire

From Pedagogy of the Oppressed

“The oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors.”

“Liberation is thus a childbirth, and a painful one.”

“The oppressed want at any cost to resemble the oppressors.”

“Attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects that must be saved from a burning building.”

“Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; the individual is spectator, not re-creator.”

“Problem-posing education affirms men and women as beings in the process of becoming.”

“To speak a true word is to transform the world.”

“Welfare programs as instruments of manipulation ultimately serve the end of conquest. They act as an anesthetic, distracting the oppressed from the true causes of their problems and from the concrete solutions of these problems.

“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.”

From The Politics of Education

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”.

Sign up to the Paulo Freire Formation Programme

An in-depth online course for activists, organizers and volunteers committed to social transformation. It provides training for those wanting to become more effective change agents.

Click here for details »