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ANTONIO GRAMSCI AND PAULO FREIRE. UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE 22 APRIL 2008. INTRODUCTION. Gramsci Freire Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) and Paulo Freire (1921-1997) : two of the most cited figures re critical approaches to education. . INTRO (cont.).

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22 APRIL2008

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Gramsci Freire

  • Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) and Paulo Freire (1921-1997) : two of the most cited figures re critical approaches to education.

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INTRO (cont.)

  • Their work occurred in different contexts and at different times

    • Gramsci in Europe in the first part of the 20th century

    • Paulo Freire in Latin America, N. America, Europe and Africa in the second half of the century.

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  • “...I only read Gramsci when I was in exile. I read Gramsci and I discovered that I had been greatly influenced by Gramsci long before I had read him. It is fantastic when we discover that we had been influenced by someone’s thought without even being introduced to their intellectual production”

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Marxian influence

  • In volume IV of his edited critical edition of the Quaderni del Carcere (Prison Notebooks), Valentino Gerratana provides the list of texts by Marx and Engels that Gramsci cites in the Notebooks. These include:

    • Das Kapital, Theses on Feuerbach,

    • Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (Introduction), The Holy Family,

    • The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon,

    • Critique of the Gotha Programme,

    • numerous letters and articles.

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Marxian influence

  • Unlike Gramsci, Freire could draw on a wide range of early writings by Marx, notably:

    • The German Ideology,

    • The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, the Theses on Feuerbach

    • The Holy Family.

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Marxian Influence

Village in Guinea Bissau

Later writings by Marx influenced Pedagogy in Process: Freire deals with the social relations of production in an impoverished African country (Guinea Bissau). Letter 11, Marx’s idea of a ‘polytechnic education’

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Marxian influence

  • Dialectical style of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

  • Gramsci and Freire: a Marxian conception of ideology

    • “The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make one class the ruling one, therefore the ideas of its dominance.”

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  • Gramsci saw ideas reflecting dominant material relationships as residing in ‘common sense’ : contains elements of ‘good sense’ but is a distorted and fragmentary view of the world

  • Freire: popular consciousness full of ideology.

  • Freire (earlier work): different levels of consciousness ranging from naïve to critical consciousness.

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Resources of hope

  • Both refuse evolutionary economic determinist theories of social change.

  • Gramsci: theories of “grace and predestination.”

  • Freire: a “liberating fatalism”

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Capitalist Developments

Scene from

Modern Times

Both recognized developments within capitalism, witnessed during their lifetime, for what they were

  • Gramsci: Taylorisation

  • Freire: Neo-Liberalism Milton Freidman

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Capitalist Reorganisation

- signs of Capitalist reorganization

  • to counter the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, owing to the ‘ crises of overproduction’

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Education in its broadest context

  • Hegemony as education

  • Education across ‘civil society’

  • Historical bloc

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Education in its broadest context

  • Freire exhorted educators and other cultural workers to ‘be tactically inside and strategically outside’ the system

  • Social movements and Party

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  • Codification as praxis in Freire

  • Philosophy of Praxis in Gramsci

  • Exile as praxis in Freire

  • Action-reflection-transformative action

  • dialectical relations between above

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  • Freire distinction between ‘authority and freedom’

  • echoes Gramsci’s

    • interplay between “spontaneita` e direzione consapevole” (spontaneity and conscious direction)

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  • Gramsci: Rousseau-inspired school to move from romantic to classical phase

  • Freire: educator’s “directivity” should not interfere with learners’ creative capacity.

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  • High order knowledge vs popular knowledge

  • ‘Unitarian school’ and ‘popular-public school’

  • Spoken and written words

  • Complementarity

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Source: Peter Mayo, Gramsci, Freire and Adult Education. Possibilities for Transformative Action, Zed Books, 1999