independent writer, educationist, designer
Confronting legacies of oppression in education
Following up on the Brazilian educationist Paolo Freire’s call to liberate pedagogy from oppression (Freire, 1970), the present article proposes a new approach to the design and delivery of learning, no longer as an imposed curriculum of knowledge gathering and skills development, but as a systemic experience, lived in relationship with learning-nurturing communities. The “new normal of education” emerging from this exercise comprises strands of inspiration that reflect the broad interests and global lifestyle of the author—with elements from design theory and praxis, Japanese monasticism, Buddhist learning theory, cultural narratology, the post-romantic vision of Rabindranath Tagore, and much more. The educational design model appearing from the combination of these very different and culturally diverse elements is a hybrid, free-flowing framework ideally suited for systemic, organic, cooperative, and collaborative learning environments—challenging the systemic dualisms inherent in traditional teacher/student settings and other forms of societal and/or authoritative educational oppressions, of which Paolo Freire’s infamous “banking model” is only one.
KEYWORDS: systemic design, design for social innovation, confronting legacies of oppression, exformation, education, educational reform, design for change