Paulo Freire
Paulo Reglus Neves Freire (September 19, 1921 – May 2, 1997) was a Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian educator and influential theorist of critical pedagogy
Critical pedagogy
Critical pedagogy is a philosophy of education described by Henry Giroux as an "educational movement, guided by passion and principle, to help students develop consciousness of freedom, recognize authoritarian tendencies, and connect knowledge to power and the ability to take constructive...

Freire was born September 19, 1921 to a middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

 family in Recife
Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper...

, Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

. Freire became familiar with poverty and hunger during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 of the 1930s. In 1931 the family moved to the less expensive city of Jaboatão dos Guararapes
Jaboatão dos Guararapes
Jaboatão dos Guararapes is a city in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. It is a part of the Recife metro area. The population was 687,688 according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in 2009, making it the second most-populous city in the state of Pernambuco and the 26th in...

, and in 1933 his father died. In school he ended up four grades behind, and his social life revolved around playing pick up football with other poor children, from whom he learned a great deal.

"Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in 'changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them';"

Chapter 1, The Banking Concept of Education

"The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves."

Chapter 1, on the opressors

"The oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors"

"They have no consciousness of themselves as persons or as members of an oppressed class."

"The oppressed find in the oppressors their model of 'manhood.'"

"The behavior of the oppressed is a prescribed behavior, following as it does the guidelines of the oppressor."

Chapter 1, on the oppressed

"The oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle."

"This book will present some aspects of what the writer has termed the pedagogy of the oppressed, a pedagogy which must be forged with, not for, the oppressed (whether individuals or peoples) in the incessant struggle to regain their humanity."

Chapter 1

"How can the oppressed, as divided unauthentic beings, participate in the pedagogy of their liberation?"

"As long as they live in the duality in which to be is to to be like, and to be like is to be like the oppressor, this contribution is impossible."