Paulo Freire had many philosophies on education. Many of his philosophies have been popular with informal teachers, mainly because of the focus of his theories: on dialogue and the oppressed.
Freire’s main philosophy is proposed in opposition to the idea of “banking education”. Freire considers “banking education” to be common place in most pedagogical settings. It is when the teacher, rather than leveling with the student, oppresses the student by presuming they do not know, and transferring down that which is know, to the student. Freire is not against authority in the pedagogical environment, just oppression. Freire believes that if authoritarianism is left behind in the teaching environment and a democracy is instated, the student will no longer be oppressed. Basically, Freire is saying that rather than telling a student A, B and C, the teacher acts as more of a guide, following the students path of learning, through dialogue, and allowing the student to come to A, B and C in a way that does not oppress. Thus, the student not only learns what A, B and C are, but learns something from the process of discovering what they are. Freire not only wanted dialogue to be part pedagogy, but he wanted it to make sure that people understood that dialogue inherently involves respect. He says that, “It (dialogue) should not involve one person acting on another, but rather people working with each other.” (http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-freir.htm)
The Freire ideas serve as a useful “lens” in the study of Humanities because the condition or quality of being human continually involves the process of learning. Thus Freire’s ideas serve as an additional way to view our education systems and styles and to modify and alter them as we see fit.