29 Jul Explaining the Pillars
Beyond the infrastructural development and student support, Seeds for Progress Foundation also does the important work of developing the capacity of our devoted teachers to align with the pillars of our Digital Seeds program.
When most people recall the days of their primary school, they think of rote memorization and boring lesson plans, often with the teacher demanding quiet. Critical pedagogy, one of the five theoretical pillars that guide the design and implementation of the Digital Seeds Program, is a dramatically different style of learning that seeks to empower and not indoctrinate its students.
Critical Pedagogy emerged as a philosophy of education from the late educational theorist and activist Paulo Freire, whose experiences in the education system and rampant poverty of Brazil led him to seriously question how education systems perpetuated poverty.
He wrote the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is a foundational and transformative work in education theory. In the work, Freire defines the dominant method of teaching as the “banking model of education“, which treats the students not as active learners with the ability to both question and transform the world, but as passive receptacles into which the teacher pours static knowledge. Critical Pedagogy is the opposite of this style of learning, as it seeks to empower the students to look at the world not as a fixed entity that they must adjust to, but as a dynamic one that they have the power to change. The values of critical pedagogy develop critical thinking skills and a sense of agency in the students.
Seeds for Progress fosters critical pedagogy in the schools through the work of the facilitators. Every month, each of our eight dedicated facilitators spends countless hours traveling to our disperse sixteen school to have “pedagogical mediation” sessions. In these sessions, the facilitators initiate a dialogue with the teachers about the underlying components of their teaching practices, offering support and guidance on how to better empower our students.