Goldie’s Response to Paulo Freire’s article
”The Adult Literacy Process as Cultural Action
Freedom and Education and Conscientizaçao”

As I read “The Adult Literacy Process as Cultural Action For Freedom and Education and Conscientizaçao,” I noticed that Paulo Freire focuses on literacy and illiteracy. He states that
knowledge is useful for the illiterate learners and wants to convey ways to make them literate.
One part that I find most interesting was how he describes the two concepts of knowledge-digestive and nutritionist.

The first concept is the digestive concept of knowledge. He believes that the knowledge of the illiterate is “undernourished” and lacks the “bread of the spirit.” His cure for this poison herb or being illiterate should be eradicated with words that are transformed into mere “deposits of vocabulary” (617). The deposits of words are generative words that are made up and are important, in some way, to the learner. When Freire uses the term poison herb, I believe the poison is something that is usually fatal if there is no known antidote. With illiteracy being that poison herb, I say that he wants adults to have that antidote of knowledge so that they don’t succumb to illiteracy for the rest of their lives.

As for my opinion of his idea of the digestive concept, I think that Freire may be right in terms of the digestive knowledge. Many people hunger for different things in life. But no matter what that hunger is, I am comfortable enough to say that literacy or being able to read and write ranks in the top 10 along with food, shelter, clothing and having a job.

As for the nutritionist concept, the learners need information that pertains to them. He states that the word must be “deposited, not born of the creative effort of the learners” (618). For example, farmers need to know and be able to read passages that refer to farming and not about how to build a car. He refers to this type of learning or the fact that knowledge must have something to do with the person’s culture as “sociocultural reality” (618). When I think about this concept, I think about my journey as I learn more about English studies. I, too, rely on the courses that will help me become more knowledgeable in my content area. I know that this information must be deposited in me, because as Freire says, “It’s not born of the creative effort of the learner.” Someone must teach this knowledge to me.