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The Radical

Speak out. Listen. A radical must do both…

I was first introduced to Paulo Freire by my wife, who asked me to create some illustrations for her PGCE presentation. It influenced what I now call conversational thinkery – articulating something with a person’s bias thrown in, giving you clues as to what the articulation might look like.

I’m now trying to permeate the text of Radical Pedagogy itself, with my slow-reading eyes and picture-oriented brain…

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Radical Pedagogy

My wife is my signpost – for some things, anyway. She reads faster than me and tells me of books that I might like. I have but one requirement: at the end of the book, I want to be able to say “I’ve never read anything like that before”. As a result, I’ve been enjoying some Italo Calvino recently (no, I hadn’t heard of him either, but I’ve never read anything like it before…).

So how come all this Radical Pedagogy then Bryan? Well, this same wife is currently wading though a PGCE in her spare time, and asked if I’d create some slides for a presentation on Paolo Freire. The more I understand of his thinkery, the more I like him…

 

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Subject – Verb – Object

As a kid in a classroom, I didn’t question it. I took what was laid before me, in the environment in which it was given. I was taught. I found it difficult to ask questions, as it revealed a lack of knowledge or understanding. The game was one of “how much do you know?“, maintaining our pecking order of perceived smartness. However, there were some teachers who came down to my level and transparently learned alongside me. It was different. They were different. The game was different: “where can we go today?

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Monologue and Dialogue

The lecture.
At home, at school, and at church.
I’ve had so many,
but can recall very few…

The group.
At home, at school, and at church.
Articulating something half-baked,
in order to put it back in the oven and turn up the heat…

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Bank of Education.

ALGAE… ASTEROID… ATOM… ah. No ATILLA THE HUN…
Being in my kids room shortly before bedtime, and having momentarily confused Atilla with Genghis Khan (they won’t be happy), I instinctively reached for a handy volume from a colourful set of encyclopaedias. My search was fruitless. In the olden days, knowledge existed hidden away in pockets, which was fine if you knew which pocket and had the means to access it. However, one must not treat an encyclopaedia like wikipedia, for they offer two subtly different entry-points to learning: interest-led vs prescribed. By the way, are our schools more like encyclopaedias or wikis?

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