The “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” presents concepts that guide the oppressed away from oppression. This essay presents the main concepts outlined in Freire’s book. It explains the teacher student relationship championed by Freire. In addition, it expands on the main principles of freedom, unity, and cooperation that guide the ideal relationship.
To begin with, Freire’s contributions stand out as a guide to anyone who is looking for an alternative way of addressing the plight of the oppressed, without necessarily serving as an oppressor and without having to be the oppressed as a way of learning. His ideology is not unique in itself. It appears as an amalgamation of principles of truth, freedom and love encompassed in logic, rationale, and behavior of humans towards themselves and towards one another.
The main message of Freire
Chiefly, Freire brings a wealth of information that has the ability to transform the teacher’s relationship with the students. Instead of a one-way relationship, where one is a master and the other is a servant, Freire proposes a situation where education does not become a barrier between oppressors and the oppressed. Instead, it serves as a unifying factor that tackles ignorance, cultural difference, and personal biases against oneself or other participants in a person’s reality (Freire, 2005 p. 99). The two features forming the basis of the book are the teacher student relationship and dialogical action.
Teacher student relationship
Still on the concept of education, the biggest message that appears subtly in the identification of the methods used by the oppressor is ‘self’ as a separate entity from the defined object that is a servant, leader, or master. Everyone is an individual before anything else and should be able to relate to other people as individuals (Freire, 2005, pp. 99-100). Others should not see a person as a problem. The problem inflicts the person and remains separate from the person. Tackling the problem does not mean tackling the person. It refers to the help that the person receives so that he or she is able to tackle the problem.
Dialogical actions as processes and results at the same time
Here, an attempt to present the problem as only a characteristic of the person who needs help and not a factor that touches on the helper is a dead move. Freire is categorical in his message throughout the book that dialogue is a step, an end, and a process, all in one. Dialogue should be present in all actions taken by anyone, as part of the principles that guide those actions and as an action.
Freire calls this dialogical action, “the teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach” (Freire, 2005, p. 80). Anything else that fails to follow the outlined principles of dialogue, even when its intentions are good, will fail. Freire even mentions cases of revolutionary leaders who have the right intentions of liberating their people, yet they are unable to detach themselves, their roles, the problem, and the people so that they can see everything as an independent entity (Freire, 2005, p. 136).
Consequently, a new reality does not form; instead, the old reality transforms into a similar reality, but with different players. Leaders who lead a revolution become the new oppressors directly or indirectly because they use the same means of divide and rule, manipulation, and cultural invasion, which are all oppressive in nature. Freire writes that, “they talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change” (Freire, 2005, p. 60).
Identifying the teacher’s role and obligations in personal examples
In my teaching experience, I recognize the role of the teacher and the student as different and supportive of each other. The teacher must unite with the students, while the students must accept this unity and cooperate with the teacher. Above all, everything happens concurrently and there is no point of acting on one part before embarking on another part of the relationship.
The reality is ever changing as the teacher learns about the student and his or her environment, both external and internal, while the student must accept that he or she too is superior beyond the issues at hand. Therefore, the student has the ability to inform the teacher, educate the teacher, and direct the teacher. Recognition of these powers and their implications by both parties is what Freire calls for when he speaks of unity and cooperation (Freire, 2005, p. 120).
As an example, a personal experience that supports Freire’s ideas happened when I acted as a temporary high school teacher. The first part is usually to open up as a teacher and tell the students what they can expect to learn in the day’s lesson. The students tune into a receptive mode to get what you as the teacher tells them. My personal experience has been that students do not ask questions at first, but they are ready to write down what the teacher says without questioning.
This is an example of an oppressive environment that Freire talks about, where I have to decide what my students should read and what they should learn as part of the lesson. The same happens in schools when teachers are selecting the various topics of the curriculum that they will assign students.
Elsewhere, I have an experience with neighbors in an association meeting. While the conception of neighborhood meetings is to deliberate on what is good for everyone, I see that many people just attend so that they can vote a leader or to make complaints. In some meetings, no one stands up and asks the chosen leaders why they are concentrating on a certain agenda. People sit back and expect the leader to tell them what the neighborhood needs and the role they should play to realize the predefined dreams.
In particular, this is a case where the structure allows for dialogical action, but as I have experienced, people come with their own oppressive tendencies. They feel and behave like the oppressed, such that even telling them to contribute becomes a problem. I can identify this trait as one of the characteristics that Freire explains in the pedagogy of the oppressed. He says that the oppressed usually turn out to the oppressor as a mentor because they do not know any other way out of their situation. They are unlearned. My neighborhood representatives fail to learn their audience and, therefore, act as oppressors by not insisting on the participation of the members.
Consequently, anyone taking up the role of the teacher needs to understand the role of freedom, both on his or her side and on the side of the students or the recipients of the lessons. A teacher should be on the lookout for the methods and ideologies of the oppressor that seek to hide freedom. The methods can present a set of options that allow the recipient to choose and then claim that those sets of options constitute freedom. As long as the individual, whether it is the teacher or the student, does not accept or recognize the humanness of the other person and their ability to think and educate, then freedom does not exist in the relationship that prevails.
Resultantly, teachers must face the unknown willingly and with love. It is the only way that they can understand the problem that they seek to solve and see the problem that they may pose with their chosen method of solving other people’s problem. Freire may have addressed the oppressed in the literal sense of the peasants or the people in the ghettos and the lowly valued employees; however, his teachings and his appeal go to everyone who seeks to understand why reality appears the way it does and the options for changing it.
Despite the good intentions of Freire, his message suffers from an excessive philosophical approach. This makes it a context-sensitive message whose meaning can disappear or fall into the wrong interpretation by people who are not yet conversant with their reality as oppressors or the oppressed. Teachers need to give the matter all the attention it deserves; otherwise, what commences, as a well-intentioned dialogical action will then manifest fully as the exact opposite.
Just as the book says, many leaders of revolutions have turned out as new masters and oppressors not because they intended to become the new elite, but because there was no other reference point for their education. They learned from their oppressors and conceived that as the only reality. Their struggle was, therefore, a struggle of the self to become superior to other people (Freire, 2005 p 135-136).
Shortcomings of Freire on delivering the way forward
To begin with, the same narration of facts and their acceptance as truth turns the student into a master who forces narration and acceptance of new students (Freire, 2005, p. 72). Freire was clear up to this point and he moved on in the later parts of the book to show how the cycle breaks down when freedom and love come aboard. In an ideal situation, any oppressed person studying the book should be able to move beyond the oppression by liberating himself or herself.
This would happen through the recognition of the self as different from the act of oppression. The unfortunate thing, as per Freire’s text, is that this pedagogy of the oppressed comes in the form of the education that the book castigates. Looking at the situation in a nonjudgmental way, then one asks how the student of the pedagogy of oppression becomes a teacher of the self and eventually a creator of a truthful reality.
At the same time, there are no passages given for the reader to get an account of the oppressed becoming the new thought leaders and influencers, who end up being the drivers of revolution. It is the emancipated ones or the non-oppressed who observed the oppression and then seek to help the oppressed, taking on the role of teacher for the others (Freire, 2005, p. 60).
The verdict that the reader may get out of the book is that the oppressed can learn about their oppression and detach themselves from it. They can also learn about true revolution and know how to carry it out. Their ability vanishes at that point. They have to wait for true messiahs who also understand these concepts to liberate them from oppressors by creating systems that foster cooperation and unity and hinder opportunities for manipulation and cultural invasion.
From a different perspective of a teacher, it means that the education impacted on students will not be fully effective as intended, at least in the short-term application sense. To the society, increased recognition of the pedagogy should lead to overall changes, away from the culture of oppression. The teacher can only do his or her part and hope for the best. On the other hand, the students can only hope for an opportunity, whose appearance depends on luck, to exercise their learning.
In summary, Freire does a good job of educating the oppressed. However, he falls short in recommending the appropriate action. The book only gives a vague way forward, based on the underlying principles of dialogical actions. A teacher must take on the additional role of being a guide for students on what they are learning and how they should use that to influence what they learn next.
To do that, the teacher has to equip students with the freedom of also guiding the teacher on what they have learned so far, what they know, and what the teacher ought to know. Once again, the main message of the text comes out as a foundation for building on unity, cooperation, and freedom. Those who take teaching roles, therefore, need to take each process and action as a result in itself and not fall for the idea that things will change in the future. Freire insists that reality is always changing as it influences the observer, while the observer influences the reality.
Freire, P. (2005). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group.
School Library Management And Organization Plan
Creating an environment in which a student feels comfortable and inclined to study is essential for the efficiency of the academic process and the further performance of a learner. Of all elements that an academic environment must include, instructions and information resources should be regarded as the most important ones, hence the need to provide students with complete access to them. However, the learning environment, including its physical properties such as infrastructure and less tangible ones such as its philosophy, defines the quality of instructions to a considerable extent. Herein lies the need to make instructions as effective and clear as possible. Thus, the rationale behind the assumption that the learning environment affects the quality of instructions is based on the importance of information availability and its presentation.
The Learning Environment – Social Skills
Going to a library might seem simple enough, yet there are also several rules without knowing which one may experience difficulties. For instance, during interpersonal relationships between librarians and students, social features such as the ability to resolve conflicts and problems that may occur during communication are essential. Also, friendliness and the skill of communicating one’s needs and ideas are appreciated.
Social skills are typically defined as a basic understanding of how communication works. Therefore, the subject matter can be exemplified with abilities such as negotiation, the ability to set goals and communicate one’s ideas, and the skill of creating an emotional connection with an opponent. Social problem solving (SPS) is another example of social skills. SPS implies that one is capable of addressing an interpersonal and, possibly, cross-cultural confrontation by developing a flexible solution based on the ideas of cooperation and compromise.
In turn, social problem solving is the process of disentangling conflicts that occur during a conversation between two or more people. Social problems may occur due to a culture clash, which stems from a lack of understanding of other cultures. The application of social skills will help manage social conflicts and help opponents reconcile. Besides, important lessons about multicultural communication can be derived from an incident of the kind.
However, there are certain impediments on the way to teaching children to become Exceptional Education Students. Cultural differences can be seen as one of the primary obstacles. The lack of willingness to empathize with the needs of the participants of cultural exchange is another factor. Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs such as Al’s Pals and PATHS were designed to address the issue. Also, creating a positive environment at school helps students feel more secure and, thus, willing to learn.
Promoting respect for students’ cultural, linguistic, and family backgrounds becomes possible with the enhancement of parent-teacher and parent-librarian communication. The process of building positive relationships with students and their parents, in turn, should start with the help of surveys and parent-teacher meetings. During these meetings, the idea of maintaining an open and supportive environment for learners will have to be promoted. Particularly, librarians will need to follow a set of ethical principles and make sure that parents support their children in studying.
Resource management should also be discussed as one of the primary areas of concern. It will be required to design a coherent curriculum that gives students enough time for working in a library. The spatial arrangement of the latter should also be reconsidered, with clutter being removed and lighting is provided. Furthermore, distracting elements such as bright colors or sources of loud noises will need to be removed from the library for students to remain attentive. A librarian will have to deploy the principles of Transformational Leadership to promote the idea of collaborative values to them. Besides, a librarian may suggest that students organize in small groups to share and discuss information. To ensure the safety of learners, a librarian will need to follow the established guidelines for data management closely.
The Learning Environment – Conduct Management
To create the setting in which students will be eager to learn, a librarian will have to join efforts with a discipline faculty. Particularly, a librarian will have to offer students literacy lessons to assist them in following the prescribed guidelines and procedures. Posters and other types of visual aids can be used to instruct learners about the location of exits, restrooms, and other important areas do the library. Similarly, students need to be taught about library rules and guidelines. For this purpose, a librarian will have to give brief oral instructions to learners, covering the essential, offer them a quick tour of the key locations, and show the resources that can be used to obtain further information, including rewards and consequences. To maintain emergency access, one will have to provide students with an emergency exit plan. Finally, students’ behavior can be managed with the help of a system of rewards and incentives for proper behavior.
The Learning Environment – Content Management
A librarian will also have to provide services for students with special needs. Learners with disabilities will need the support of a librarian, as well as the use of IT tools, such as optical character recognition (OCR) technology for learners with visual impairments. To meet the needs of students who speak English as their second language (ESL), a librarian will have to provide a range of visuals that will guide the students through the process of using library resources.
Also, a librarian will have to take account of different interests and learning levels of learners. Particularly, it will be necessary to provide the books that help ESL students to communicate efficiently, learners from multiple cultural backgrounds to understand the context of their current learning environment, and so on. Visual aids can be used to convey expectations to students. Furthermore, innovative technologies such as interactive online tasks can be deployed to enhance communication and integrate relevant information. Finally, students will be encouraged to develop self-directed learning skills by taking part in group discussions and using peer assessments in the process. A discussion following the activity will allow promoting shared values.
The significance of innovative information technology (IT) tools can hardly be overrated in the identified scenarios. Specifically, a librarian will have to use virtual databases to arrange the available information about books, journals, and other resources available in the library. Thus, students will be able to access the necessary data easily. Furthermore, interactive tools must be utilized to help students learn more about how the library functions, how they can borrow a specific resource, and what guidelines they must follow.
Using a school library might seem a very simple task, yet students require the assistance of a competent librarian to navigate the search system and learn new information in a friendly environment. Therefore, a librarian must create a comfortable and safe setting for students, as well as provide them with pieces of advice needed to use library resources successfully. Moreover, a library setting must be inclusive and allow every student to learn. Thus, students with special needs will require additional assistance. As soon as a proper learning atmosphere is created, students can use library resources effectively.
Sanergy Waste Management Company: Reverse Logistics
Waste Management Company Operations
Sanergy Waste Management Company bills over 10,000 corporate and individual customers in the city it is located. The company utilizes various methods to track its waste bins and trucks as they transport and deposit materials at various designated locations. To manage their inventory and keep track of their assets such as trash bins, Sanergy has implemented manual, bar-code tracking, truck-based global positioning systems (GPS), and container-based GPS solutions. Tracking their assets helps to provide complete and up to date information about the quantity and location of their containers. These data are important in streamlining their operations, reducing costs, and ultimately expanding their operations (Hannan, Al Mamun, Hussain, Basri & Begu 2015).
The manual tracking System is the original low tech system that works by visiting the site physically to measure the size of each container and count the total number of containers. The notes are then uploaded to an inventory management software. The truck-based global positioning system allows for continuous tracking of a collection vehicle and automatically pairs a certain container with its associated customer. There is a manual process involved in verifying the pickups and deliveries. The container-based tracking GPS is a fully automated system that allows full tracking of up to date location and quantity of containers. These trackers are built to withstand the severe conditions found in waste management industries. The barcode tracking system involves placing black and white coded labels on waste bins. The barcodes are scanned by the drivers when the container is picked up or delivered. The data are then stored and uploaded to the inventory management system. Sanergy employs the above methods to deliver a complete container count and automation of containers.
Reasons for Not Using RFID Technology by the Company
The company has not embraced the use of Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) technology. There are many benefits to this technology, but it comes with many limitations as well (Hynes & Martin, 2016). Sanergy Company has not adopted this technology because of the many drawbacks that come with it. RFID System often requires high installation and maintenance costs compared to other systems. Although the return on investment of these systems is realized in the long term, the initial cost of installation makes it impossible for Sanergy Waste Management Company to install it.
Advantages of RFID Technology Compared to Other Methods
RFID systems have constantly demonstrated their effectiveness, durability, and reasonable data accuracy (Hynes & Martin, 2016). These systems are versatile and have a high capacity for data storage. They are also solid and logical for starting out. Manual systems, on the other hand, are affordable and straightforward to implement because they require no equipment installation. However, some of the drawbacks of a manual tracking system include the danger it poses to employees in terms of safety, it is labor-intensive, and is a high susceptibility to human errors. It also requires a full-time employee to carry out the tasks.
Disadvantages of RFID Technology
Apart from cost implications, the technology used by RFIDs is not simple to comprehend. To make them friendly to users, graphical management software must be developed. RFID systems also require the tags to be within a close range to be read by the scanners, which may result in the scanners picking up unnecessary information waves thereby causing errors in the data collected. The systems also tend to be less reliable as they depend on the strength of the waves. The accuracy of the locations provided by this system depends on the distance between tags. The shorter the distance between two tags the more accurate the information provided, which implies that many tags should be used thus raising the cost. The issue of security is also a concern as the RFID can easily be tapped.
Hannan, M. A., Al Mamun, M. A., Hussain, A., Basri, H., & Begum, R. A. (2015). A review on technologies and their usage in solid waste monitoring and management systems: Issues and challenges. Waste Management, 43, 509-523.
Hynes, E., & Martin, J. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,396,453. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.