Reading Wallerstein's article made me struggle to understand Freire's concept of problem-posing. Doing some google-fu gave me a better idea of what “problem-posing” means, but I’m still not sure I can fit the name together with the idea?
The internet explains to me that Freire’s Problem-Posing is about dialogue education, where students and teachers learn with one another. It sounds like this is intended to create an environment of trust and freedom, liberating students from the repression of “received knowing” where the teacher is an authority and the student is an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge.
Learners enter into the process of learning not by acquiring facts, but by constructing their reality in social exchange with others.
To achieve this education, Freire proposes a dialogical approach in which everyone…participates as co-learners. The goal of dialogue education is critical thinking (or “concienzation” from the Portugese) and action. Critical thinking starts from perceiving the root causes of one’s place in society—the socioeconomic, political, cultural, and historical context of our personal lives. But critical thinking continues beyond perception—toward the actions and decisions people make to shape and gain control over their lives. True knowledge evolves from the interaction of reflection and action (or praxis) and occurs “when human beings participate in a transforming act.” (p.34)
This implies that dialogue education needs to be transformative, and that action is an inherent part (and intended consequence) of that transformation. I guess I’m lost about where and how problem-posing leads to critical thinking? Is it assumed that dialogue will bring about critical thinking? Is it assumed that students already possess critical thinking skills? Is teaching/understanding critical thinking a part of the dialogue that happens between teacher and student? I feel like there's this jump from joint dialogue ... directly to critical thinking, transformative learning, and action. I can't help but feel like there's an ocean of content lost somewhere in there. I understand that the content is in the dialogue: I guess I just don't understand the framework of how we get from one place to the other.
At least it's a relief that I’m well and thoroughly lost, but in good company.