by Claudia Secci, Tiziana Tarsia, Paolo Vittoria

Paulo Freire’s political-educational thought can’t be dogmatically identified in a specific theoretical school, but it constantly refers to the educational act; it is, therefore, not easy to define, label and categorize. This, however, doesn’t prevent us from trying to track down in his conceptions influences from different schools of thoughts’ perspectives, that are mainly connectable to existentialism, personalism, (humanist and dialectical) Marxism, theology of liberation, decolonial thought. In the antithesis, such as oppressed/oppressors, educator/educatee, banking education/critical education, dialogue/antidialogue, that have been continuously analysed and deepened by Freire, the Hegelian dialectic reverberates. Obvious is the reference to Marx in the pedagogy of praxis as reflective and transformative strength.

Freire unveils the own complexity of the oppression dynamics and, at the same time, he highlights the importance of awareness and of the experience’s knowledges. In his works, he attaches great importance to the exploring of the conflictual dimension, that is in the background of, and simultaneously, embodies the hierarchic and asymmetrical relationships, that can be experienced not only in evidently oppressive situations, but also in apparently protected situations that reveal themselves as violent in the educational as much as in the emotional and social field. It is profound his analysis of themes such as authority, freedom, power, dialogue, conflict.

Starting from here, for Paulo Freire’s centenary, we would like to rethink this author in analysing in depth and carefully the roots of his thought (and so of his practices), because we consider that Freire should be reinvented by looking at the foundation of his philosophical, political, hence pedagogical thought. Otherwise, there is the risk of making of him a generic thinker, exposed to manipulations, losing sight of the pervasiveness of his practices’ knowledges. We invite to present contribution proposals that describe and analyse research experiences of pedagogical, sociological, philosophical, psychological perspective. Research works moving from concrete contexts and describing the development of long-term experiences will be considered of particular interest.

The call’s concerning topics are following:

  1. the experimentation of social and educational practices and of practices integrating University, non-profit sector, school and territory, that can be read in light of Freire’s thought;
  2. theater experiences and art practices that represent oppression dynamics and understand them through Freirean categories;
  3. the comparison between different works of the author, that highlights their actuality, as well as their strong and weak points in reading the actual educational and social reality;
  4. the study and analyse of the philosophical categories contained in Freire’s thought, in order to deepen them theoretically and/or in their possible application;
  5. re-reading Paulo Freire in the decolonial, feminist, ecopedagogical perspectives or connected to the social movements’ epistemologies;
  6. interventions pointing out the international connections with the contemporary field of the critical pedagogy.

The proposed contributions must be unpublished and have to be sent within July 15, 2021 to the account The papers can be written in Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese or French. They shall meticulously comply with the author’s guidelines available at this link: The articles will be submitted to a double-blind peer review; the accepted works will be published in the number 10 of Educazione Aperta, coming out in December 2021.