Paulo Freire and Early Childhood: Notes on the significance of a non- chronological childhood in education.
Dr. Walter Kohan (University of Rio de Janeiro-Brazil)
November 7th 2:30-4:30, Winters College 283B
Paulo Freire is not usually associated with the education of childhood. Commonly, he is seen as a scholar who offered remarkable insights and propositions regarding the education of adults. Nevertheless, at the same time, he seems to have given extraordinary significance to childhood. Indeed, Freire had an array of conversations with children. One of these dialogues is part of his more intimate autobiographical works (Letters to Cristina). There, he affirms more than once, that his main ideas concerning education have been inspired by the way he was introduced into the world of letters and words by his parents in Recife. Thus, Freire gives a high importance to chronological childhood. This presentation, however, will focus on how non-chronological childhood is an even more crucial category in Freire’s thought, as a political condition for educators of all ages. In order to present these ideas, we'll offer some elements to put into question the relationship between time and childhood and how early childhood might be considered not only—or not mainly—as what ought to be educated by the educator but what educates the educator and what the educator should keep alive in herself to educate people of all ages. In such a way, a new politics of early childhood inspired by Paulo Freire might emerge.