"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Freier on Group Dialogue

Through all of the Freire reading (must say, I enjoyed this section!), the piece that I wanted to pull out and discuss deals with his take on the role of the teacher in group dialogue. Freier states that "learners enter into the process of learning not by aquiring facts, but by constructing their reality in social exchange with others". In the ADLT 650 classroom, each student brings their own personal background full of experiences that they are welcome to share through Dr. Muth's facilitation and setup. Dr. Muth's role is almost EXACTLY what Freire would want it to be- a coordinating, humble, "willing to grow with the class through his pupil's takes" kind of role, not directive and certaintly not authoritative (hope this doesn't come across as trying to be the teacher's pet here).

Freire also asks that a facilitator provide structure and necessary information to promote  thinking. The platform provided in ADLT 650 is just that. A brief lecture gives the class information to process then the dynamics of the classroom begin to take over and facilitate conversation which is moderated by the professor. These dynamics play a key role in how we as a group learn- i.e. the layout of chairs into a circular manner, the acceptance of comments and questions by peers, and the group activities on the whiteboard for example all coincide with Freire's view on how the classroom should function.


  1. Jason, you are my favorite student now.. (haha). I am glad you touch on the teacher's role in adult education: this Freirean stuff can get personal, yes? So what IS our role -- are we teachers? counselors? social workers?

  2. Personally, I feel like I'm trying desperately to do some schema-building on the theory I've grappled with in other classes, putting together some cognitive learning, and even a fair bit of social cognitive learning. But I question if our classroom is really a model for Freire's "conscientization?"

    I don't have a judgment about this, I'm just wrestling with the idea that studying Freirean theory and process doesn't mean that we're actually WHOLLY engaged in that practice ourselves? I think we have great discussions, but I also feel like we are not guiding the content as students, which seems pretty critical to the Freirean model? It's very likely that I'm wrong. I am struggling a lot with these concepts right now.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.