Critical Reflection Prompt # 10: The Importance of the Act of Reading and Perspective-Taking (Freire and Calderon)

WHAT? Why does Freire claim that reading is “intertwined with knowledge of the world”(20) ? How does this point relate to his understanding that teaching adults to read and write is a “political act” (23) (Use quotes to unpack these ideas and support your response).

SO WHAT? Calderon writes: “As my experience shows, the ability to communicate one’s perspective affects one’s ability to participate in society, and with it, one’s access to power. . . Power exists in language, too, where words create a foundation for understanding” (1). How does he illustrate and explain the ways in which education can support access to “perspective-taking”? (Use quotes to unpack these ideas and support your response).

NOW WHAT? Both Freire and Calderon write about the importance of being able to express one’s own experience and understand the experience of the “other” in order to address issues of oppression and power. They refer to the necessity of a critical education — an education that encourages all people to identify and challenge inequitable and exclusive social structures — to create positive social change. Describe how you currently understand the importance of this type of education. How has your perspective shifted or expanded? Be specific, refer to course themes/readings/your research in conjunction with your community partner experience. (You might draw on the ways in which Calderon talks about his classes and see if there are connections with your own experience).

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