A Historical Analysis on Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and Abed's Reception of Paulo Freire's Critical Literacy in Designing BRAC's Functional Education Curriculum in Bangladesh From 1972 to 1981
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In this study, I examine the characteristics of the reception of Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire’s critical literacy by Building Resources Across Communities in Bangladesh (BRAC) from 1972 to 1981.The central questions of this study are: (1) how Dr. Fazle Hasan Abed, founding member of BRAC, read Freire within the context of his political intentionality and what he perceived were BRAC’s needs; and, (2) how Freire’s adult literacy theory was integrated in BRAC’s functional education curriculum design and practice. I argue that Abed was inspired by Paulo Freire’s pedagogical tenets in the planning and enactment of BRAC’s development initiatives to help the rural poor; however, Abed depoliticized and de-radicalized Freirean concepts when designing its functional education curriculum. Furthermore, his efforts at organizing the rural poor to generate income opportunities may have helped make the rural poor naïvely conscious. I also argue that although BRAC adapted Freire in its adult literacy curriculum, the program did not aim at the conscientization of its learners to challenge the oppressive social structure. Abed considered education as a tool of development within the frame of capitalism, not as an instrument for radical social transformation as Freire did. The political and social implications of specific processes of reception are illustrated through this comprehensive study on why and how Freire’s pedagogical principles were adopted and adapted by BRAC to develop their functional literacy curriculum. Development educators as well as popular educators, social reformers and social business entrepreneurs may gain a new perspective on the reception of Freirean pedagogical ideas.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/27558
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