If students are not trained to ask basic questions about the images which confront them, if they are not asked to examine the knowledge and assumptions which they already possess, they are being denied the opportunity to develop the most simple and essential critical tools.
Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator and activist. His book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, published in 1968, pioneered the concept of critical pedagogy, the idea that education can liberate people from the institutional systems that oppress them. He pioneered new ways of teaching illiterate people to read in the 1960s, but when a military junta took power in Brazil, Freire was imprisoned and labelled a traitor.
Freire believed that teaching and learning were political acts in and of themselves. Teachers and students must be made aware of the politics that surround education. The way students are taught and what they are taught serves a political agenda. Teachers, themselves, have political notions they bring into the classroom.