I love academic work: I love studying, learning, reading, researching, growing in my understanding of the world and – on good days – stoking the fire of enthusiasm for change in the world, for helping, for action. It is the structure within which the work is made to take place that is oppressive. I am merely pointing out the academy’s systemic deficiency at creating an adequate space for real education to occur the academy as we know it today.
In a paper I recently wrote, I pointed out that the cost – the cold hard cash – of education is exponentially higher for a poor person, that is: for someone for whom the system has not been established to serve. More and more I am realizing that the price of such an education is more than cash – it’s our relationships with our families, our ability to function in a non-exhausted manner, our battling against defeat – psychologically, spiritually, and materially. It is from this fact that the accusation that the academy as we know it perpetuates inequalities inherent to the system it currently exists in. So, without further ado, here is section one of “Education-as-Commodity versus Education-as Social Justice: a brief Freirean analysis of the Academy Today.”