News Release

James Kirylo

Southeastern professor authors book on Brazilian educator

Contact: Rene Abadie


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     HAMMOND – A Southeastern Louisiana University education professor has authored a book on Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, considered one of the world’s most influential progressive educators in the last 50 years.
     James Kirylo, associate professor of education, wrote the book “Paulo Freire: The Man from Recife” to celebrate the life and work of the educator who, he said, was “that rare person who emerges every so often in critical points in history when there is a need for a courageous, prophetic voice of conscience.”
     Freire, who grew up in the poverty of the ‘20s and died in 1997, provided a theoretical examination of political, social, economic and educational inequalities that Kirylo said offered a way to a more just society for those living on the margins.
     The book frames the sometimes complex topics and issues in a way designed to be reader friendly, with initial chapters covering Freire’s youth, early formation and professional experiences. Later chapters delve into his educational philosophy and thoughts on developing an education system that is just and appropriate for all.
     “In education circles, Freire is often referred to as the initial protagonist of what is known as critical pedagogy, an approach to education that questions and challenges systems considered unjust,” Kirylo said. 
     He said Freire was an advocate for what has become known as liberation theology, the theological perspective that views the world through the eyes of the poor. “In fact, he was a friend of James Cone, the theologian who is sometimes referred to as the ‘father’ of a black theology of liberation,” Kirylo said. A chapter in the book is based on an interview the author had with Cone, in which the work of both is discussed.
     Freire’s widow Ana Maria (Nita) Araujo Freire said of Kirylo’s book that its presents Freire’s thoughts “faithfully and respectfully, recreating him without distortion.”
     The book is considered a valuable resource for individuals interested in education, philosophy and theology. The book is published by Peter Lang Publishing and is available from the publisher, bookstores, and other electronic book distribution outlets.

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