Conscientizacao • Learning to perceive social, political and economic contradictions, and to take action against oppressive elements in society
Culture of Silence • The oppressed, before they confront the reality of their own liberation, are immersed in a culture of silence. That silence is broken when they confront the reality of their oppression.
Sub-oppressor • It is a rare peasant who once promoted to overseer, does not become more of a tyrant towards his former comrades than the owner himself. This is because the peasant’s situation, that is, oppression, remains unchanged….during the initial stage of their struggle the oppressed find in the oppressor their model of “manhood”.
Fear of Freedom • The oppressed, in the initial struggle for liberation, have the fear of freedom, a fear which equally leads them to desire the role of oppressor or bind them to the role of oppressed. The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopting his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom requires autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued responsibly and constantly.
Critical consciousness • The first step to liberation is confront ones self. A decision is made to move forward, to challenge the oppression, whatever it may be. This point of decision, to be forever changed, is critical consciousness.
Individual and collective consciousness • There is both individual and collective critical consciousness. Change begins with one, then another, then a small circle, then a community. There exists simultaneously both an individual and collective consciousness.
Education as liberation • There is no neutral education • “I work, and in working I transform the world” • “I now realize I am a man, an educated man” • “We were blind, nowoureyes have been opened” • Education is the practice of freedom, the means by which humans deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.