Teaching as an Act of Love

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Antonia Darder. Teaching as an Act of Love: Reflections on Paulo Freire and His Contributions to Our Lives and Our Work.

Summary: Antonia Darder presents a portrait of why Freire’s work as an educator was so influential in creating an understanding of education as an art. Teaching truly became an art when educators like Freire began to understand the importance of education in the movement of social change. The presence of love in the classroom, the type of love that is lively, forceful, challenging, and inspiring was the type of love that Darder thought was a lasting influence that Freire had on the field. She emphasized the conviction that Freire held in liberating students through education, he believed in the humanizing aspects of education. Freire believed that education was the tool for contributing to the human-ness of our political and economic existence as social beings. The article says that, “Freire exposed how even well-meaning teachers, through their lack of critical moral leadership, actually participate in disabling the heart, minds, and bodies of their students –an act that disconnects these students from the personal and social motivation required to transform their world and themselves” (498). The author argues that his greatest contribution to the field of education was his ability to be compassionate and his regard and concern for his students.

The articles that we read this week discuss the concept of fear, but more importantly the ability to overcome and use the fear as a powerful force in the classroom. He said that it is the fear of freedom that affects the educator and creates a barrier in the classroom from the liberating practices that many educators believe are important. The way he describes the fear of freedom is the fear of being free from the status quo, the fear of the oppressed classes to realize a freedom from the oppressing classes. Freire thought that the experience of fear was a symbolic fight against the struggle that...
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