The Lesson, written by Toni Cade Bambara examines the realization of economic equality in the 1960's through the eyes of a young African American girl named Silvia who is narrating the story. Mrs. Moore is a new teacher that has moved to the poor neighborhood in New York City and is considered strange by her new students, because she speaks proper English and attended post secondary school in her past. She wanted to show the difference of reality between the wealthy and poor, so she takes her students on a field trip to a famous toy store in New York, which forces them to think critically about their life and their circumstances. The narration enables the reader to become the student in the story and the student's lesson becomes the reader's lesson. The technique used by Bambara is narration and engaging the reader in the eyes of a student. It drives the reader to critically think about different aspects of our world. .
The educational theories and techniques outlined by Bambara in his short story "The Lesson" are closely tied to Freirean educational theories outlined in the "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", thereby deepening the significance of "The Lesson". Paulo Freire carefully crafted his writing, revealing two different concepts of education. When engaging in the story, the reader is forced to critically think, discover and perceive what is right and wrong. . In this way Freire deepens the Lesson's significance by promoting mutual human interaction and relativity between student and teacher, resulting in the student and teacher learning from each other, rather than students being deposits for information. Mrs. Moore uses the same Freirean technique by taking her student's on a field trip to a wealthy toy store in New York, letting the children observe and make their own personal decisions on how they feel about the circumstances that face them everyday.