Perspectives on the Struggle for Freedom in Education

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In the essay "Perspectives on the Struggle for Freedom in Education" by Freire and Macedo,the authors illustrate the numerous aspects of literacy and its importance in the struggle for social justice…

Introduction

The meaning we attach to literacy, and the purpose that we give it, can either facilitate a discourse on social justice, history, and cultural inclusion, or be a limiting factor that pronounces and perpetuates a system of hierarchy and dominance.The essay explains the highly contrasted difference between the history of the African nations and the literacy taught in the schools that were dominated by the Portuguese colonists since their rise as a sea and trading power. The authors point out the African backlash against an education system that had been established by the colonists and the resulting negative impact on literacy. Literacy carries with it much more than just the language. It provides the historical color and national identity of the population. The struggles of a people against oppression, invaders, or a colonizing force cannot be placed in the language of the colonizers. In the African colonies, all remnants of Portuguese history, geography, culture, and colonial ideology were purged from the literacy in an effort to create a school system with an African mentality (p.194). Still, once a language has reached dominance it can be destructive to eliminate all traces of it when there is no alternative for replacement. ...
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