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Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich: Technology, Politics and the Reconstruction of Education


Policy Futures in Education Volume 5, Number 4, ISSN 1478-2103


This article examines the theories of education and technology held by two of the most important philosophers of education during the last few decades, Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich. These two related thinkers each charted a unique approach to the questions surrounding modern education and technology, and despite their widely acknowledged brilliance, and in Freire's case the establishment of an entire field of critical pedagogy throughout North America, almost no attention has been paid to examining their views on educational technology. This article fills that important gap and attempts to dialectically mediate their two positions towards a broader critique of media culture and the role of educational technology generally. By utilizing both Freire and Illich, it is argued, a critical pedagogy of technology can be reconstructed that is capable of speaking to today's needs, and this critical pedagogy itself can be reconstructive of the current terrain in education as it works to overcome inequalities through the appropriate use of technology and the establishment of critical consciousness on the issues surrounding technology and society. (Contains 19 notes.)


Kahn, R. & Kellner, D. (2007). Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich: Technology, Politics and the Reconstruction of Education. Policy Futures in Education, 5(4), 431-448. Retrieved January 25, 2020 from .

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