Uday Mehta


The prevailing Indian education system and practice seems to encompass autocracy masked with democracy which prevails in the contemporary educational organizations. As a result, oppression and dominance continue at every levels of education. Thus, we require education for democracy which can contribute to a more democratic individual and society. Democratic education that is fostering critical thinking, can contribute to a more democratic society where each and every person has value, dignity, freedom, and a voice in society and the power imbalance existing at all levels of inter-personal relations in education can be definitely overcome. In the present study, a qualitative approach was followed to understand how student-teachers of B. Ed. colleges make sense of Freirean pedagogy and philosophy of education and how it influences their ideas about critical and liberating education. It was based on the participants’ lived experiences of oppression in Indian society and system of education in India and their perceived meaning and essence of Freire’s theory of ‘pedagogy of the oppressed’ in the present day context. The research study used the empirical, transcendental phenomenological method. The intervention program of 24 hours was followed by focus group interviews for 6 hours at the same college with 15 B. Ed. student-teachers of a private aided college of education. Major theme emerged from the data namely ‘Effects of oppression in Indian education’. This research paper emphasizes relevance of Freirean critical literacy in Indian pedagogic culture and his critical pedagogy to Indian classroom situation and discusses effects of oppression in Indian education to promote a culture of critical and independent thinking among students for social change and democracy.


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