, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 389-403

Conscientizacion y Comunidad: A Dialectical Description of Education as the Struggle for Freedom

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Abstract

This paper contributes to those analyses that have discussed Hegel'sinfluence on Freire, and Freire's rethinking of Hegel. Yet, my “narrative” of the dialectic of conscientizacion, which I presenthere, is a novel attempt to “read” both thinkers simultaneously.Thus, in this paper I am exploring, and not didactically “proving” Gadotti's (1994) important, yet unqualified,claim that Hegel's dialectic ``can be considered the principaltheoretical framework of (Freire's) Pedagogy of the Oppressed.It could be said that the whole of his theory of conscientization has its roots in Hegel'' (p. 74). And in thisexploration, I am not demonstrating Freire's ``expansion'' ofHegel's dialectic (Schutte, 1990), nor taking a positionon whether or not the dialectic of Freire's Pedagogy of theOppressed supersedes the Hegelian dialectic (Torres, 1976). Nor am I offering a ``comparison'' of the two dialectics(Torres, 1994). (Of course, having made these claims,I am, as it were, taunting the reader to deconstruct mypiece.) My aim here is to immerse, or insert, myself intothe Freirean/Hegelian dialectic itself. I attempt to situatemyself within that peculiar position of the dialecticianwho ``braids'' ideas through synthetic textual analysis.I use a third person descriptive perspective thatincorporates the ``voices'' of Freire and Hegel, and, thereby, weave a ``new'' synthesized account of theemergence of critical consciousness within the formaleducational setting.