Isn’t it strange how as soon as one takes an interest in something, such as a name, it then seems to crop up all over the place. This happened to me with the reference to Paulo Freire by Graham, the volunteer currently on placement in the Living & Learning project.
You might recall from an earlier post that we are busy designing the syllabus section of our TEFL toolbox. A little while ago whilst searching for a copy of the English Syllabus used in the Brazilian public schools that I came across the name Paulo Freire. This provoked memories of Teacher Training days during the the mid seventies; Freire was one of one of a group of radical educationists that had a profound influence on my teaching.
I had quite forgotten that Paulo Freire was Brazilian but not his teachings that the relationship between teacher and pupil should be based on mutual respect, that the roles of teacher and learners are interchangeable and that ‘dialogica’l teaching is a powerful medium for developmental learning.
Finally, the irony that my current day interest in Brazil has a link with the past and that Freire’s work influences the work of the Living & learning project.
So, thank you Graham for reminding me to make these principles explicit in our curriculum.
If you are interested in helping us to develop a curriculum for teaching English in Brazil then we would love to hear from you.