Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery Leader

Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry people pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Frieire

One of the six books I’m reading as part of my Lenten journey is Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a brilliant landmark book written in 1970 by Paulo Freire. Freire wrestles with the problem of teaching poor and oppressed adult peasants in South America. He creates a teaching method that shifts from the traditional hierarchal direction of teacher to student. This vertical method doesn’t recognize the gifts and learning the student brings to the classroom. Instead, Freire develops the teacher-student with students-teachers method. Teaching ceases to be a one-way conversation and becomes a dialogue between equal partners participating in the enterprise of learning.

For Freire, learning comes from a restlessness in the spirit. Something inside of us has to see things as they are and want to change them. This may happen on a session, in worship, in a hospital or classroom. For Freire, education is about changing the world. It is about being empowered to change the world with others and through others.

One of the gifts of the upcoming Education Day is the opportunity to engage with others who want to bring change. It may be change in Christian Education, Liturgy, or buildings and grounds. It may be change in church growth, digital media, or being a welcoming congregation. Education Day is a day of re-imaging what the church can be; what ministry as ruling elders and deacons can be. It is a day where restless, impatient, and hopeful people come together to rub shoulders and learn from and with each other.

Education Day needs your participation and involvement. All are invited! This includes those across the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramec rivers, those down I-55 and the I-44 corridor, those in the lead belt, those from the inner and outer rings of St. Louis Metro, those just north of the boot heel, those in the “villes” in Illinois (Bellville, Collinsville, Edwardsville!). All are welcome!

Take the time to sign up today. The event is free and includes lunch. It happens Saturday, March 21st. It begins at 10:00 and concludes by 2:00. I look forward to seeing you all at Ladue Chapel for Education Day 2020.

Rev. Craig M. Howard

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