“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
This quote has been a starting point in the process of creating the Intellectual output Programme for Developing Competences for Autonomous Employment. In our serach through the pedagogical theories we came across different terminologies and definitions … The findings permeate the program curriculum and are summarized in the two paragraphs where we describe the role of the mentor in the program. Here is a short extract from the curriculum:
Mentoring is based on realisation of equality or intellectual emancipation, a term coined by Rancière in his work The Ignorant Schoolmaster (Rancière, 2005). The mentor’s role is to place questions and challenges, which provokes and encourages the formation and expression of the views of all participants. In doing so, the mentor seeks the same answers and asks himself/herself the same questions, thus there is no difference in the behaviour of the mentor and of the participants.
The key aspect of this process is dialogue, in which everyone included creates content, learning moments and new insights together, which means that in terms of knowledge everyone is on equal footing. Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (Freire, 1971) described dialogic learning as a tool for emancipation and participation. In dialogic learning the content is produced through dialogue. The teacher (or mentor in this case) doesn’t put himself/herself above the student (or participant in this case) and doesn’t create content to be adopted by the student. Neither the teacher nor the student aren’t authors by themselves, but produce the content together. Dialogue is an art of creation and co-creation that connects reflection and the experience of participants.