Paulo Freire

BIOGRAPHY (from Freire Institute)

Paulo Freire was born in 1921 in Recife, Brazil. In 1947 he began work with adult illiterates in North-East Brazil and gradually evolved a method of work with which the word conscientization has been associated.

Until 1964 he was Professor of History and Philosophy of Education in the University of Recife and in the 1960s he was involved with a popular education movement to deal with massive illiteracy. From 1962 there were widespread experiments with his method and the movement was extended under the patronage of the federal government. In 1963-4 there were courses for co-ordinators in all Brazilian states and a plan was drawn up for the establishment of 2000 cultural circles to reach 2,000,000 illiterates!

Freire was imprisoned following the 1964 coup d’etat for what the new regime considered to be subversive elements in his teaching. He next appeared in exile in Chile where his method was used and the UN School of Political Sciences held seminars on his work. In 1969-70 he was Visiting Professor at the Centre for the Study of Development and Social Change at Harvard University.

He then went to the World Council of Churches in Geneva where, in 1970, he took up a post as special consultant in the Office of Education. Over the next nine years in that post he advised on education reform and initiated popular education activities with a range of groups.

Paulo Freire was able to return to Brazil by 1979. Freire joined the Workers’ Party in Sao Paulo and headed up its adult literacy project for six years. When the party took control of Sao Paulo municipality following elections in 1988, Paulo Freire was appointed as Sao Paulo’s Secretary of Education.




Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Noam Chomsky, Howard Gardner, and Bruno della Chiesa Askwith Forum On Wednesday, May 1, the Askwith Forum commemorated the 45th anniversary of the publication of Paolo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" with a discussion about the book's impact and relevance to education today.

A short piece describing the life and theories of educational theorist Paulo Freire, with Brazilian pop music and voiceover.


Paulo Freire's last public interview, given to in 1996.

Interview with Paulo Freire, with English subtitles.


Brazilian educator and critical theorist Freire discusses the connection between the impoverishment of local persons (a "negation of their being") and how this predicament moved him toward a this-worldly reading of Christianity, via Marx -- a form of liberation theology...

George C. Stoney, noted American documentary filmmaker and educator talks with his friend Paulo Freire, educator, author, and philosopher from Brazil. Filmed at a Catholic church in Olinda, Brazil in 1996, Stoney and Freire discuss Liberation Theology, tolerance, large questions of life, and Freire's notion of Christ as a friend.
Short documentary about Paulo Freire. Seeing Through Paulo's Glasses: Political Clarity, Courage and Humility Directed and Produced by Dr. Shirley Steinberg, and Dr.Giuliana Cucinelli