Paulo Freire (1921-1997)

Brazil | Educator and philosopher

Paulo Freire (1977)

Paulo Freire (1977)




Paulo Freire’s ideas, writings, and activities linking literacy training and consciousness raising had a profound impact not only in Latin America, but throughout the world.

Born in Recife, the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, to a middle-class family on September 19, 1921, he graduated form Law School in 1946 and worked in educational activities teaching and developing pedagogical approaches to teach literacy skills to the adult population in Pernambuco. In partnership with municipal and state governments and the Federal University in Recife, Paulo Freire developed literacy programs throughout the Brazilian northeast. One of the last of these programs was the 1963 “40 hours of Angicos”, after city of Angicos, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

After the 1964 military coup in Brazil, Freire was jailed and subsequently spent the next fifteen years in exile establishing literacy programs in Central and South America, and in several African countries. In 1969, he was invitied to Harvard University as a Visiting Professor. He served as a consultant to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, and also to UNESCO's Institute of Research and Training in Agrarian Reform. Granted amnesty in 1980, after the end of the military dictatorship, he returned to Brazil where he was appointed Education Professor at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo and became Education Secretary of the state of São Paulo in 1989. 

He died of a heart attack in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 2, 1997.


Paulo Freire – Memoria Paulo Freire


Instituto Paulo Freire

50th anniversary of Angicos and of the National Literacy Program of Brazil 



Book Cover: Pedagodia do Oprimido (1982)

Pedagodia do oprimido (1982)

Freire, Paulo. 1975. Educação política e conscientização. Lisboa: Livraria Sá da Costa Editora.

Freire, Paulo. 1978 [1977]. Cartas á Guiné-Bissau: registos de uma experiência em processo. Lisboa: Moraes.

Freire, Paulo. 1982 [1970]. Pedagogia do oprimido. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra.

Freire, Paulo. 2000. Pedagogia da indignação: cartas pedagógicas e outros escritos. São Paulo, Editora UNESP.

Book Cover: Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000) 30th anniversary edition

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000)

Book Cover: Pedagogy of Freedom (1998)

Pedagogy of Freedom (1998)

Book Cover: Pedagogy of the Heart (1998)

Pedagogy of the Heart (1998)

Book Cover: Pedagogy of Indignation (2004)

Pedagogy of Indignation (2004)


Freire, Paulo. 2000. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. [Pedagogia do oprimido, 1970]. Translated by Myra Bergman Ramons. Introduction by Donaldo Macedo. 30th anniversary ed. New York: Continuum.

Freire, Paulo. 1985. The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, and Liberation. Introduction by Herny A. Giroux. Translated by Donaldo Macedo. South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey.

Freire, Paulo. 1994. Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed [Pedagogia da esperanca. Um reencontro com a Pedagogia do Oprimido, 1992]. Translated by Robert R. Barr. Notes by Ana Maria Araújo Freire. New York: Continuum.

Freire, Paulo. 1997. Pedagogy of the Heart [Sombra desta mangueira, 1995]. Translation y Donaldo Macedo and Alexandre Oliveira. Foreword by Martin Carnoy. New York: Continuum Press.

Freire, Paulo. 1998. Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. [Pedagogia de autonomia]. Translated by Patrick Clarke. Foreword by Donaldo Macedo. Introduction by Stanley Aronowitz. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.  

Freire, Paulo. 2004. Pedagogy of Indignation. [Pedagogia da indignacao: Cartas pedagogicas e outros escritos, 2000]. Translated by Alex Oliveira. Foreword by Donaldo Macedo. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2004.

Freire, Paulo. 2005. Teachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare Teach [Professora sim, tia nao. Cartas a quem ousa ensinar, 1993]. Translated by Donaldo Macedo. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Freire, Paulo. 2014. Pedagogy of Commitment [Pedagogia do compromisso]. Translated by David Brookshaw and Alexandre K. Oliveira. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.


Daring to Dream (2007)

Daring to Dream (2007)

Freire, Paulo, and Ana Maria Araújo Freire. Daring to Dream: Toward a Pedagogy of the Unfinished [Pedagogia dos sonhos possíveis]. Translated by Alexandre K. Oliveira. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007. 

Freire, Paulo, Ana Maria Araújo Freire, and Walter de Oliveira. Pedagogy of Solidarity. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2014. 

Freire, Paulo, and Donaldo P. Macedo.  Literacy: Reading the Word & the World. Foreword by Ann E. Berthoff; introduction by Henry A. Giroux. South Hadley, MA.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, 1987. 

Shor, Ira, and Paulo Freire. A Pedagogy for Liberation: Dialogues on Transforming Education. South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, 1987. 

Additional works by Paulo Freire available at IU Bloomington Libraries.

Book Cover: The Paulo Freire Reader (1998)

The Paulo Freire Reader (1998)

Book Cover: Paulo Freire: his Faith, Spirituality, and Theology (2017)

 Paulo Freire: His Faith, Spirituality, and Theology (2017)


Dale, John A., and Emery J Hyslop-Margison. Paulo Freire: Teaching for Freedom and Transformation: the Philosophical Influences On the Work of Paulo Freire. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012.

Diniz-Pereira, Julio Emilio. Paulo Freire: formação de educadoras/es, diversidade e compromisso social. Belo Horizonte: Autentica, 2020.

Freire, Ana Maria Araujo, and Donaldo Macedo (eds). The Paulo Freire Reader. New York: Continuum, 1998.

Freitas, Ana Lúcia Souza de.  Leituras de Paulo Freire: uma trilogia de referência. Passo Fundo, RS: Méritos, 2014.

Giroux, Henry A., On Critical Pedagogy. 2nd edition. London: Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2020.

Irwin, Jones. Paulo Freire's Philosophy of Education: Origins, Developments, Impacts and Legacies. London: Continuum International Pub., 2012.

Kirylo, James D., Drick Boyd, and Ana Maria Araújo Freire. Paulo Freire: His Faith, Spirituality, and Theology. Dordrecht: Sense Publishers, 2017.

Mackie, Robert (ed.). Literacy and Revolution: The Pedagogy of Paulo Freire. Foreword by Jonathan Kozol. New York: Continuum, 1981.

Moreira, Maria José. Raízes filosóficas na leitura do pensamento de Paulo Freire. Curitiba, Brasil: Editora CRV, 2013.

Vandenbroeck, Michel. Revisiting Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Issues and Challenges in Early Childhood Education. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2021.


Book Cover: Reading Paulo Freire His Life and Work (1994)

Reading Paulo Freire His Life and Work (1994)

Book Cover:  Memories of Paulo (2012)

Memories of Paulo (2012)

Brandão, Carlos Rodrigues., and Ana Maria Araújo Freire. Paulo Freire, o menino que lia o mundo: uma história de pessoas, de letras e de palavras. São Paulo, SP: Editora UNESP, 2005.

Collins, Denis E. Paulo Freire: His Life and Thought. New York: Paulist Press, 1977.

Gadotti, Moacir. Reading Paulo Freire: His Life and Work. Translated by John Milton. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Jardilino, José Rubens Lima. Paulo Freire: retalhos biobibliográficos. 2nd ed. São Paulo, SP: Xamã, 2003. 

Souza, Ana Inês. Paulo Freire: vida e obra. 3rd ed. São Paulo, SP: Expressão Popular, 2015.  

Wilson, Tom., Peter Park, and Anaida Colón-Muñiz. Memories of Paulo. Rotterdam: Sense, 2010.  

Additional works about Paulo Freire available at IU Bloomington Libraries.


Acervo Educador Paulo Freire – Online Digital Repository of Paulo Freire and his work 

Paulo Freire - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 

Paulo Freire: An Incredible Conversation (1996)


Paulo Freire: An Incredible Conversation – Paulo Freire’s last public interview given to in 1996.

Paulo Freire: Celebrating 100 years (May 2, 2021)


Paulo Freire: Celebrating 100 years – Organized by Dr. Sheila Macrine, UMass Dartmouth, May 2, 2021. 

Memorial Paulo Freire – Instituto Paulo Freire.

Paulo Freire Centennial: 7 talks in preparation for the next 100 years – Conference organized by the Institute of Media and Creative Industries at Loughborogh University London, March 9-24, 2021.

O pensamento de Paulo Freire, 100

O pensamento de Paulo Freire, 100 - Leão Serva discusses the impact and importance of Paulo Freire's philosophy with Sérgio Haddah and Mário Sergio Costella. TV Cultura, February 26, 2021.


Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed

The academic journal Educational Philosophy and Theory has special issue titled Paulo Freire Centennial: Reinventing Paulo Freire for 2021 to celebrate 100 years of Paulo Freire’s birth and fifty years since the initial publication of Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

GoogleDoodle celebrating Paulo Freire's 100th birthday.