Though written years earlier, this paper appears in my book “Collected Essays on Learning and Assessment in the Digital World”, Common Ground Press, 2014
In this paper, I start by discussing the context in which I first read Paulo Freire’s work and the way in which I read his work given that context. I then point out that, though I read Freire as making a set of empirical claims about language and literacy, these claims were not at the time well supported by work in fields like cognitive psychology and linguistics. Moving to the more central part of the paper, I then argue that current work in cognitive psychology and supports what I originally took to be Freire’s empirical claims. Thus, while many have tried to dismiss Freire’s work as “merely political”, and though some of his supporters have failed to engage with empirical work on language and literacy, my argument is that many of Freire’s positions are not just politically motivated, but empirically sustainable.