April Conference 2021
Fifty years ago, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed was first published in English. In it, the Brazilian educator and philosopher famously argued that education should not be about transferring knowledge into students’ minds, but rather about inviting students to become “critical co-investigators” with the teacher. At the heart of Freire’s argument is the concept of “problem-posing education”—pedagogy in which students confront problems that are genuine, important, and rooted in the here-and-now. This year’s conference revisits Freire’s challenge to teachers by focusing on the art of problem-posing. How do we present students with genuine problems that allow them to take ownership over their own learning? What kinds of texts and activities spark their inherent curiosities? And how do we pose questions that empower students to think of their readerly and writerly pursuits beyond the walls of a school?