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The Social Work of Education

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New Discourses Logo  fiber_manual_record  Apr 22nd, 2022

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The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 73

Critical Education Theory Series, Part 9


This episode of the New Discourses Podcast continues into a third part a long miniseries exploring Paulo Freire's landmark 1985 book The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, and Liberation, and it is embedded in the broader Critical Education Theory series here. In the previous parts, James Lindsay presented the ideas of the first four chapters, revealing both how religious Freire is and how Marxist. Part 1, covering the first two chapters of the book can be found here, and Part 2, covering the following two chapters can be found here.


In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, James Lindsay reads the entirety of chapter 5 of The Politics of Education, which seems out of place at first because it addresses "the role of the social worker in the process of change." Not only is this chapter also profoundly religious, it reveals two points very clearly that are crucial to understand if one is to understand Critical Pedagogy (thus what's happening in schools). First, Freire is reproducing basic Marxist Theory with knowledge (as understood by formal education within the existing system) as the special form of bourgeois property. Second, Freire is erasing the distinction between education, which he says must be sociopolitical to be authentic, and social work, paving the way for the Social-Emotional Learning programs of today, especially Transformative SEL. Join James to dig even deeper into what it means that our children all go to Paulo Freire's schools.

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