‘Education is freedom’ – turning the rhetoric of inclusion into action

The post-pandemic university

Stephen Thompson


This is part of a special collection celebrating thecentenary of Paulo Freire’s birth.

Paulo Freire is often quoted as saying education is freedom. Education in general has changed drastically in the 100 years since he was born, yet questions remain as to whether these changes are moving us all closer to the freedom that Freire envisaged or whether some people continue to be left behind. To better understand the positive actions that are needed to drive change and deliver freedom, we must examine inclusive approaches to education and pedagogy much more closely.

If we focus in on higher education in particular, we see that there has been much change since the 1920s. Massification, the internationalization and the growth of the global knowledge economy have resulted in the proliferation of institutions, universities becoming more internationally-focused, prioritising international partnerships and students, and education and research being highly valued…

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Published by Alexandre da Trindade

I am a Brazilian doctoral student at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. My research examines the role of higher education which goes beyond the traditional functions of teaching and research. I am particularly interested in how universities engage with communities, social movements and other sectors of society, contributing to the development of alternative futures (eg. Buen Viver, human flourishing), social justice, democratic societies and emancipated individuals. In this academic journey, I have a particular motivation to explore dialogical and ethnographic approaches and the philosophy of critical realism. I have a degree in marketing, where for 20 years, I worked mainly with technology and innovation projects. I have a special interest in engaging with networks such as the National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Education (Anped); Culture, Politics and Global Justice (CPGJ) research cluster; Center for Global Higher Education (CGHE); Faculty of Education Research Students’ Association (FERSA); Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research (CEDiR); Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC); Cambridge University Brazilian Society (CUBS).

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