Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook, Volume One: Essays and Workbook Activities


Using Paulo Freire’s most influential text as a framework, this chapter will give a brief introduction to Paulo Freire, cover a few important popular education concepts, and share their importance in one-shot library instruction.

Time constraints and course expectations limit the incorporation of a complete popular education process in one-shot library instruction. The structure of this instruction session limits the adaption of the four-step popular education process (identification, analysis, action, and reflection), and therefore the session may focus on only identification and analysis. Librarians may find a more holistic approach to conducting a popular education-based one-shot library instruction session through partnering with service-learning courses, which should have action- and reflection-based learning outcomes.

The possibilities of incorporating Paulo Freire’s text and popular education concepts and activities to discuss social justice topics in a one-shot library instruction session focus on conscientization, or the process of developing a deep understanding of oppression. This deep understanding cannot be achieved in one library session. By focusing on the first two steps in a popular education process, students can begin to identify and analyze an issue. This introduction to conscientization can serve as an important first stage in the development of critical consciousness by students.


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