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Praxis should be given in the educational

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Praxis is not given the credit it
should be given in the educational field. In my view, it is a misunderstood
concept, and not particularly well researched by its potential users. Praxis is
and really should be at the centre of our educational practices, and who we
aspire to be, as educators.

Freire believes that, “To be human
means to make and remake one’s self through making history and culture, to
struggle against the limiting conditions that prevent such creative action, and
to dream into existence a world where every person has this opportunity and
responsibility.”

Certainly, whether in the interest
of practice or in the sphere of philosophy, we are motivated by various deficiencies
that occasionally pique our curiosity and our capacity for knowing. In Robert
David Glass’ essay, “On Paulo Freire’s Philosophy of Praxis and the Foundations
of Liberation Education” he examined Freire’s theory on the relationship
between liberation and education. Freire gives an in-depth look at how
education can lead to the liberation of the oppressed. He further adds that
education gives the power and freedom for a more humane lifestyle. Freire was
impressed by (Marx & Engels, 1978, p. 145, “The philosophers have only
interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”
This change comes from education as a practice, theoreticized Freire, and this
was one of his forms of praxis. His theory was that the political leaders
structured its education to meet the interest of the rich and powerful, leaving
the less fortunate to be left behind, which in turn preserved the power of the
political dictators.

“Reflection on action” is how Freire
describes praxis. This system of critical thinking includes the integration of
reflection and action. It is an evolution of perceptive and physical actions,
bearing in mind the effects of the action, examining the outcomes of the action
by reflecting upon it, modifying and reviewing ideas and intentions, planning after
more reflection and implementing these actions and reflecting again; the cycle
keeps going. From my point of view reflection appears to be a major player in
praxis. Reflection becomes the repeated cycle, which in the finale is geared
towards a re-evaluation of theory and an improvement of the actions that grow
from the theory. Therefore, transformation for the mutual mastery can occur. The
conception of praxis as a means for the progression of transformative learning,
and for making a real change in the world is the closest to the theory of
praxis that shaped change. Becoming reflective practitioners requires that we appreciate
both the theory that leads our practices, and the individual experiences that support
our development. Praxis is an instrument that may assist our reconsideration of
the norms that make up our primary understandings of any problematic
circumstances.

Freire posits that without praxis we
merely become a part of history and what it makes of us.

Freire’s goal was to highlight four
key conceptions in the battle for social justice: literacy, or as Freire would
say, the way we “read the word and the world”, critical consciousness,
the creation of liberation, and escalating economic production as people come
to understand their environments. He associates literacy, education,
production, and social change; a synchronization arising from the
interrelationships of the four, but from Freire’s perspective, there is no
final act of knowing if praxis was successfully. Praxis, therefore, begins with
an abstract theory or an experience and assumable transforms into a purposeful
action.

For Freire, praxis is
characteristically human. This he says is the difference between human beings
and animals; men can act creatively and critically, he further states that only
men are praxis since the praxis which, as the reflection and action, actually
transforms reality. Animals creativity however, is not praxis because it occurs
without reflection. Likewise, education caputures a magnanimous chunk in
liberation as praxis; liberation cannot agree to take an automatic perception
of consciousness as a vacant plot to be filled, but as forms of education to be
comprehended. Education for some can be quite cumbersome; this being the ideal
situation to give the opportunity to develop their power of praxis. In the same
way, individuals’ existence in the world and their experiences in which they
find themselves and education is thus constantly remade in praxis.

Opportunities
and challenges to praxis:

Opportunities:  Learning by reflecting upon action taken,
constructive relationship between teacher (researcher) and pupils (practitioners)
and participation by pupils in the praxis process.

Challenges:
Understanding Freire’s language usage, much focus on action and many
assumptions which would not be entirely proven in different parts of the world.

 

The epistemology of praxis is of
paramount importance for teachers now especially with all the changes to the
curriculum. Freire’s theory on praxis emphasises reflection on the
significances of the justification of civilization’s way of thinking and
practice. His theory explores rudimentary questions, about other areas in study
as well, which leads to the advancement and evolution of a society. Science and
technology is one of those critical areas from an argumentative vantage point
that partake in innumerable praxes.