The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Paulo Freire Is About More Than Literacy

(0:28 – 1:32) Opening Story: Chris tells a version of a story about the invention of writing. You an find Plato’s text here.

(1:33 – 2:11) Introductory remarks from Matt & chris

(2:12 – 13:26) Matt & chris talk about Paulo Freire – the Brazilian educational philosopher responsible for revolutionizing the teaching of adult literacy as well as inspiring the contemporary worldwide practise and theory of popular education.

(2:56 – 3:31) chris reads an excerpt from an article he wrote for the current issue of the British adult education journal Adults Learning: “The Freirian adult educator in these neoliberal hegemonic times also has an obligation to travel or, more specifically, border-cross. I remain both surprised and frustrated by the frequency with which Freire continues to be reduced to being a theorist of literacy. Similarly, many people continue to cite Pedagogy of the Oppressed to the exclusion of the vast majority of Freire’s oeuvre which followed. And though Freire is considered, rightly, a philosopher of education, I think that more broadly still, he was a political philosopher who recognized the necessary role of learning in any process of change.”

(3:32 - 13:36) Matt & Chris talk about Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, can literacy be an emancipator; Matt quotes Freire: “Education will never be the great emancipator because it can be.” Chris talks about the Popular Education for Social Change class he teaches. And there’s a bit more talk about Plato.

(13:37 – 14:41) Hera/Hero of the week – a regular feature in which we feature someone who has contributed to making the world a more just place. We defy the origin of the word “hero” which Robin Morgan claims comes from that ancient mythical over-achiever Heracles – or Hera’s champion. In typical sexist fashion, rather than refer to a champion as a “hera” the word was masculinized to “hero” and a diminutive was then fashioned off of the male term giving us “heroine”. So we propose using heras and heroes.

(14:42 – 15:50) Hera of this week is: Sue Neilson of the Toronto Adult Student Association – TASA.

(15: 54 – 16:11) Riddle from pervious episode:

I am always hungry
I must always be fed
The finger I lick
Will soon turn red

Answer: fire

(16:29 – 16:38) This week’s riddle:

It has no top or bottom
But it can hold flesh, blood and bone
All at the same time

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.