The relevance of Paulo Freire’s work in today’s world

16 November 2018

The pedagogy of one of the most influential philosophers of education of the twentieth century, Paulo Freire, was the focus of a recent congress dedicated to his work. The three-day congress took place from 9 to 11 November 2018 at the University of Hamburg and was co-organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and other partners.

Within the field of education, Freire is among the founding figures of critical pedagogy. His work broke new ground in thinking about adult literacy and education as a practice for freedom. His early text, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968), laid the foundations for this new perspective on education and has shaped the practice of educators around the world. The congress considered the continuing relevance of Freire’s work and how his thought can address issues related to class, gender, racism and peace.

Participants highlighted the applicability of Freire’s ideas to new and emerging challenges. His ideas were debated across various forums while workshops shared practical implementation of his work in areas such as art therapy and theatre education.

A further conference in 2020 will build on the work of the congress.